Edinburgh in top 10 of UK growth cities

Quartermile is a thriving business and residential district in the city centre

Edinburgh has held on to its place among the top 10 cities outside London for economic growth and prospects for business expansion.

Lambert Smith Hampton’s third annual UK Vitality Index provides a ‘health check’ on Britain’s towns and cities and reveals that Edinburgh held on to its 9th place, despie its overall score slipping marginally last year. Aberdeen was 21st and Glasgow remained at 33rd.

The index aims to identify which locations are the most robust, the best positioned to support growth, and which will provide the greatest opportunities for businesses to expand.

Results are based on the analysis of 20 datasets, with each location ranked in six categories: most productive, fastest growing, most entrepreneurial, best educated, greenest and rising influence.

Dean Village, Edinburgh (photo by Terry Murden)
Dean Village, Edinburgh (photo by Terry Murden)

Edinburgh and Aberdeen are both ranked at the top of the ‘most productive’ category which considers GVA per capita, as well as data on the number of new enterprises per capita and the percentage of the local workforce claiming job seekers allowance.

Aberdeen also tops the table in the ‘most entrepreneurial’ index, which looks at a combination of business density, number of new enterprises and GVA per capita to assess which towns and cities provide the best environment for business start-ups.

Similarly, Edinburgh makes the top 10 in the ‘most highly educated’ index, which reflects the level of educational attainment of the city’s residents. This measure incorporates school exam results at age 16, the percentage of residents with a degree level qualification or above, and the presence of a university scored by its position in the national league tables.

St Vincent Plaza
St Vincent Plaza, , one of Glasgow’s newest developments

While Glasgow’s overall rank has remained static at 33, Scotland’s largest city has progressed in certain areas. In terms of ‘most affluent’ it has powered up from 59th to 35th, in the ‘most productive’ category it has risen 9 places to 22nd, and in the ‘greenest’ section it is going in the right direction moving up 9 places to 43rd.

Craig Maguire, LSH’s head of Scotland operations, said: “It is pleasing to see Edinburgh maintain its place in the top 10 cities according to our own UK Vitality Index, reinforcing its importance as a key business hub, not just for Scotland but the UK as a whole.

“Unsurprisingly, the Scottish Capital does well in terms of educational attainment being home to one of the UK’s leading universities and has a high proportion of residents qualified to degree level or above, offering businesses a quality labour pool.

“Aberdeen and Glasgow also take positives from the data we have compiled with improving statistics in key areas such as productivity.”

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