Top 10 UK cities to live and work revealed by PwC

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By Isabelle Bell, CA Today

6 November 2015

Reading & Bracknell, Oxford and Edinburgh have topped a list of the best places to live and work in the UK, while London featured in the bottom 10 cities, according to new research.

The 2015 Good Growth for Cities index, produced by PwC and think-tank Demos, measured the performance of 39 UK cities against factors including job opportunities, income, work-life balance, housing-affordability, commuting times and pollution.

PwC said that rising employment and a return to growth have helped to boost the performance of UK cities and regions, but average city scores are still below their pre-financial crisis levels in 2005-07.

However, cities including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Oxford and Cambridge have “benefited more from recovery than other UK cities”, according to the researchers. Newcastle, Durham and Cardiff have also improved significantly.

The report suggested that London’s low score is a result of its unaffordable housing, lengthy commuting times and longer working hours, despite residents enjoying significantly higher levels of average income.

The top 10 cities to live

  1. Reading & Bracknell
  2. Oxford
  3. Edinburgh
  4. Cambridge
  5. Aberdeen
  6. Southampton
  7. Bristol
  8. Belfast
  9. Leicester
  10. Coventry

The bottom 10 cities to live

  1. Wakefield & Castleford
  2. Middlesbrough & Stockton
  3. London (Boroughs Only)
  4. Sunderland
  5. Liverpool
  6. Bradford
  7. Birmingham
  8. London
  9. Swansea Bay
  10. Maidstone & North Kent

Stephanie Hyde, head of regions at PwC, said the report showed that “there’s more to life than GDP”.

She said: “Growing the UK economy and creating sustainable employment relies on a vibrant and confident private sector investing in cities and regions offering high-level skills, competitive operating costs and a world-class infrastructure that attracts and retains workers and their families.

“The challenge in achieving good growth is to get the balance right between investment and reform and maintain a clear focus on driving economic growth and delivering better value public services.”


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