The 2010 UK Competitiveness Index has rated Manchester in the top three most competitive large cities in the UK, alongside Edinburgh and Bristol. Manchester has also come first in the ‘Happiness Index’, ranking UK cities by factors such as confidence, stress and the extent to which people enjoy life *. The Index is produced by the Centre for International Competitiveness at the University of Wales Institute.
First introduced and published in 2000, the report benchmarks the competitiveness of the UK’s regions and localities, with a particular focus on the correlation to be found between increased business prosperity and sustained standards of living. Factors such as R&D expenditure, business start-up rates, degree-level education, exports per head, productivity, employment rates and gross weekly pay are all considered in the study.
Colin Sinclair, Chief Executive of MIDAS, Manchester’s Investment and Development Agency, commented: “As this report testifies, Manchester is not just a world-leading destination for business, but a rewarding and amazing place to live and work.
“Through a global recession we have been working hard to provide the tailored business support to attract inward investment and generate and retain jobs in the city region. Manchester has a strong and diverse talent pool, attractive commercial properties, superb universities and colleges and a world class airport and transport connections. Our top ranking in the ‘Happiness Index’ is also a testament to our leading sports and cultural centres, as well as the varied housing stock and schools and the positive attitude of the people of Manchester.”
*A ranking of areas in the UK to provide an indication of the level of ‘happiness’ in the area has been developed by Ballas and Tranmer (2008). The measure is developed from the British Household Panel Survey.