Belfast In Top 10 UK Cities

Belfast has been named among the top 10 UK cities for growth and economic success.

A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers has shown regional cities like Belfast are outshining the UK's largest, in terms of both economic success and the factors that citizens hold dear to them.

The 2013 'Good Growth for Cities' index, produced by PwC and think tank Demos, showed that some of the UK’s medium-sized regional cities, including Reading, Aberdeen, Preston, Southampton and Belfast, rank higher than they would be in tables based on economic size alone - usually dominated by London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.

The PwC report measures the current performance of 39 cities on a wider range of measures than GDP alone, capturing the characteristics of a city which the UK public considers important for judging medium to long term success.

The top 10 are as follows:

1. Reading and Bracknell

2. Aberdeen

3. Edinburgh

4. Southampton

5. Cambridge

6. Oxford

7. Preston

8. Bristol

9. Belfast

10. Norwich

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Lord Mayor of Belfast Councillor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir said: "This is great kudos for the city of Belfast and it shows just how far we have come in terms of attracting investment and what we have to offer – a skilled workforce, world-class infrastructure, and competitive operating costs. But also, Belfast scored well for work/life balance, commuting times and housing affordability and these are all things which have a direct impact on a city’s residents.

"I’m absolutely delighted to see Belfast included and coming ahead of other major cities like London, Liverpool and Manchester. I think it underpins the confidence that our great city and its people are starting to show. The very fact that the front cover of this report features Titanic Belfast is proof just how far the Belfast brand is reaching."

John Hawksworth, chief UK economist at PwC, said: "Our analysis demonstrates that there is a rising price for economic success for many of the largest UK cities. Increased congestion, pollution, income inequality and high house prices contribute to rankings in the index below that expected based on traditional GVA measures. Medium sized cities with better quality of life tend to score better on our index based on what the public says is important to them."

Paul Cleal, head of government and public sector at PwC, added: "Good growth is in everyone’s interest. And to support good growth we need good jobs, ones that give satisfaction, pride in doing good work, meaning (such as contribution to the community), an opportunity for career progression, flexibility (work-life balance) and income sufficient to live on, ideally with a little left over!

"Public sector organisations at all levels, particularly in our cities, have an important role to play in creating a platform for growth through a focus on the key levers of skills, infrastructure and innovation."


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