Birmingham might not be the name you think of first when it comes to cities that are fast becoming hubs for work-life balance.
However, a slew of investment and regeneration projects have seen the UK’s second city surging up the rankings, according to recent research by Demos and PwC.
Their Good Growth for Cities index is based on employment, health, income and skills - the most important factors, as judged by the public - while housing affordability, commuting times, environmental factors and income inequality are also included, as is the number of new business starts.
With Southern cities dominating the highest-ranking cities list, improvers are largely from the Midlands and the North, suggesting a narrowing gap.
John Hawksworth, Chief Economist at PwC, notes how successful cities tend to suffer from some of the worst problems.
He said: “The UK has been a great job-creating machine in recent years and this has driven improvement in our good growth index this year across all major UK cities.
“There has also been a price to pay for this in terms of worsening housing affordability, increased average commuting times and more people having to work long hours. The cities that are highest ranked on our index also tend to suffer the highest price of success.”
|Highest ranking cities
|Top 10 improvers
since last year
|Cambridge||Middlesbrough & Stockton|
|Coventry||Wolverhampton & Walsall|
Source: PwC analysis/ Recruitment Grapevine