New study ranks Eastleigh 34th out of 379 local authorities.
The Legatum Institute has just published the UK Prosperity Index revealing the prosperity of every local authority in the UK. Out of 379 councils that are listed, Eastleigh ranks an impressive 34th. The metrics suggest that the Borough is a more prosperous place to live than Oxford (111th), Chichester (48th) or Cheltenham (92nd). All 13 of the local Authorities within Hampshire are highly placed with Winchester, Fareham and East Hampshire in the top twenty and Hart in sixth.
A closer look at the data for Eastleigh shows its three highest scores were for Living Conditions (49th) Investment Environment (56th) and Enterprise Conditions (56th).
The data for Living Conditions measured the quality of life experienced by people, including material resources, shelter, digital connectivity, access to local amenities, and protection from harm. The Investment Environment data measures the extent to which investment capital is readily accessible and in demand while the Enterprise Conditions category measured the degree to which regulations enable businesses to start, compete, and expand.
Eastleigh’s lowest scores – which are still above the level of many local authorities in the UK were for Infrastructure (163rd), Education (210th) and Personal Freedom (269th),
The ‘Infrastructure’ pillar data measured the quality of the infrastructure that enables commerce and business activity, Education measured enrolment, outcomes, and quality across four stages of education (pre-primary, primary, secondary, and tertiary education), as well as the skills in the adult population. The ‘Personal Freedom” category measured, crime levels, progress towards basic legal rights, individual liberties, and social tolerance.
The study clearly shows that the most prosperous regions of the UK are the South East, South West, and East of England. The most prosperous local authorities are Wokingham, Waverley, Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell, and Woking.
According to the index, the least prosperous regions are Greater Manchester, West Midlands (Metropolitan), and Yorkshire and The Humber. The least prosperous local authorities are Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Oldham, Glasgow City and West Dunbartonshire.
The Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council, Keith House told Eastleigh News:
“Choosing the right location to live is a big decision. We always said Eastleigh is a great place to live and work and this report, that highlights our borough as one of the most prosperous areas, reaffirms this. We have been continually investing in our communities providing the right mix of housing, local community facilities, green and public open spaces and people like that. Businesses also see Eastleigh as an attractive place to invest as you get a great connectivity.”
The Legatum institute warns that while the UK is one of the most prosperous countries in the world, its prosperity is currently being undermined by a deterioration in aspects that lie outside of the traditional focus on GDP, infrastructure, and transport. These include the safety and security of local communities, people’s physical and mental health, conditions for local enterprise, key aspects of social capital, and, to a lesser extent, the effectiveness of local governance.
Professor Matthew Goodwin, director of the Legatum Institute’s Centre for UK Prosperity, said:
“Genuine prosperity is about far more than building a strong economy or giving people bridges and trains. The Index shows that we also need to invest in areas such as safety and security, health, enterprise conditions, and family and community life if we are to see all citizens, neighbourhoods, and communities reach their full potential.
“This is why, while we support the focus on levelling-up regions that have historically been left behind, we believe that the Government can be bolder. We need to do more than just level-up left behind areas to the status-quo. We should be much more ambitious and aim to reach entirely new heights by creating the conditions that will put all regions and communities into the fast lane toward greater and long-lasting prosperity.”