York is the most dynamic place in the north (but we could do better on equality)

What a vibrant place… Photograph © happymillerman on Flickr
17 Nov 2016 @ 5.11 pm
| Business

If you are feeling bright and breezy today, don’t credit those three cans of Red Bull – it’s down to the city you live in.

York has one of the most vibrant economies in the north of England, according to a new measure drawn up by accountants Grant Thornton.

What is a vibrant economy? One which “enables businesses, communities and individuals to thrive”. And we’re particularly hot on “dynamism and opportunity”.

The new index takes into account the health, happiness and sense of community of a place, as well as its wealth.

According to the authors of the Vibrant Economy Index “vibrancy is dominant in the south of England, with other standout pockets of vibrancy including Cheshire East, Trafford, York, Harrogate, Wiltshire, Bath, Warwick and Rushcliffe”.

York is placed 48th out of 324 English local authority areas. That makes it the most northerly authority in the top 50, and the only one in Yorkshire.

This position emerges from the city being ranked on these six different socio-economic indicators.

How York appears on the Grant Thornton Vibrant Economy map
How York appears on the Grant Thornton Vibrant Economy map


York is 107th out of 324 for producing wealth and creating jobs. Nearby Leeds is much higher at number 27.

Dynamism and opportunity

York is 23rd out of 324 for being “entrepreneurial and innovative, with a population that has skill sets that can drive future growth”. On this measure York is easily the highest-ranking in the north.

Inclusion and equality

York is 123rd out of 324 on the measure “everyone benefits from economic growth… and there are opportunities for all”. Could do better. Hambleton ranks the highest in the north on this score, at number 58.

Health, wellbeing and happiness

York is 80th out of 324 on the score for residents being “healthy and active, leading fulfilling lives which provides individual prospects”. Near neighbours Craven (15th), Richmondshire (18th) and Hambleton (22nd) scored much higher.

Resilience and sustainability

York is 56th out of 324 on the benchmark “economy has a neutral impact on the natural environment and our built environments are resilient places we want to live in”. Leeds was at number 5.

Community, trust and belonging

York is 97th out of 324 for this category based on places with a “lively and creative cultural life, a clear identity that people are proud of”, and somewhere that’s safe. Bradford is at 37.