Stoke-on-Trent is at the forefront of economic growth

Stoke on trent Culutal Quarter

Stoke-on-Trent is among the fastest-growing local economies anywhere in the UK, according to two new reports published by independent financial analysts.

A report on the state of the UK’s economy by global forecasting experts Oxford Economics has named the city as the second fastest-growing local economy over the last five years. The report, Beyond The City: Britain’s economic hotspots, showed that Stoke-on-Trent’s economy has grown by 18.6 per cent since 2010, compared to the national average of just 3.2 per cent. The city also saw the sixth fastest growth in wage levels across the country, at 4.8 per cent, during a period when most areas outside London suffered falling wages. And the report also identified Stoke-on-Trent has having benefited from the third biggest impact from the expansion of digital and creative industries.

The report said: “The fastest productivity growth in the past five years was in Mansfield and Stoke-on-Trent. In both cases rising manufacturing productivity was a significant factor in driving growth, accounting for a quarter of the total productivity gains.”

These findings have been reinforced by a second report by chartered accountancy firm UHY Hacker Young, which found that Stoke-on-Trent was the fourth best-performing economy nationally between 2009 and 2013, growing the size of its economy by 21 per cent in that period.

The report showed an increase in the total value per person of all the goods and services produced in the city, known as GVA (gross value added), from £15,233 in 2009 to £18,495 in 2013. The report attributed the strong performance to a boom in advanced manufacturing and engineering.

Malcolm Winston, a partner at UHY Hacker Young’s Birmingham office, said that the city had benefited from an ongoing regional economic uplift in manufacturing, inward investment, skills and job creation.
He said: “Industry will go where the wages are reasonable and the communication links are good, and Stoke-on-Trent is clearly very well placed to benefit from these advantages. I expect economic growth will continue at the same kind of level for several more years to come.”

Councillor Janine Bridges, the city council’s cabinet member for economy and education, said:
“This is certainly good news for Stoke-on-Trent that all our hard work over the last few years is beginning to pay off. The city is certainly well placed now to attract further investment and we have all the right things in place to attract traditional and new manufacturing industries into the city.
We have a reliable and innovative work force, excellent connectivity to the rest of the country and a ‘can do’ approach to attracting new industries and enabling existing small and medium-sized businesses to expand and grow. In addition, we are determined, through our education system, to invest in our schools and colleges to provide a comprehensive skills base to support our businesses and enable our economic growth to continue.”