Stockport has risen 23 places in this year’s Sustainable Growth Index, compiled by business advisory firm Grant Thornton, placing the borough in the top 30% of UK local authorities.
While the league table’s top places were dominated by areas in the South of England, Stockport was one of only four authorities in the North West to score above the national average, alongside Cheshire East, Cheshire West and Chester, and Trafford. Cambridge, Westminster and Camden were the authorities at the top of the Sustainable Growth Index.
Some of Stockport’s rise in the Sustainable Growth Index is attributed to the successes of ongoing town centre regeneration projects, with the borough seeing big increases in its economic prosperity, as well as the happiness and wellbeing of residents.
To calculate the index, Grant Thornton analysed all 324 local authorities in England against six measures. Rather than focus solely on economic performance, to ensure the Index is an assessment of sustainable growth, the six measures analysed are:
- Dynamism and opportunity
- Inclusion and equality
- Health, wellbeing and happiness
- Resilience and environmental sustainability
- Community, trust and belonging
Carl Williams, partner and North West lead, Grant Thornton UK LLP, said:
Stockport’s improved ranking on last year is evidence of a well-considered approach to regeneration that puts its people and communities first.
“But, overall, across the North West it is a mixed picture. Meaningful change in our towns and cities rarely happens as quickly as we might like.
“That there remains such a disparity in the fortunes of Northern areas versus our Southern counterparts only reinforces the urgent need for the infrastructure investment which can help to redress that balance.”
While Manchester ranked 24th in the Sustainable Growth Index on economic measures, its poor inclusion and equality ranking, in the bottom 10 authorities nationally, saw it rank in 186th. Liverpool also fared equally poorly, ranking 191st for the same reasons.
Cheshire East was again the top ranked authority in the North West in the Sustainable Growth Index, ranking 31st nationally.