Uttlesford among 'best' areas, national data shows

PUBLISHED: 08:36 10 January 2020 | UPDATED: 08:36 10 January 2020

Tim Taylor, practice leader at Grant Thornton�s Chelmsford office. Photo: CONTRIBUTED.

Tim Taylor, practice leader at Grant Thornton�s Chelmsford office. Photo: CONTRIBUTED.

Archant

Uttlesford has been named as one of the best areas in the country for creating an environment for sustainable growth.

According to a new report from the business and financial adviser Grant Thornton UK LLP, Uttlesford is among the healthiest, happiest, most inclusive and dynamic areas in the country.

The area scored highly in multiple sections of the Sustainable Growth Index, which tracks the success of the 324 local authority areas in England. The index is unique, as it takes into account social indicators such as dynamism, inclusion, health, resilience and community trust, as well as traditional economic measures.

The district is in the top 20 per cent of all local authorities on the overall Sustainable Growth Index, with Uttlesford on the 55th place, demonstrating a good balance between social and economic performance.

Uttlesford was also named as the fourth best area in England for 'health, wellbeing and happiness', moving up six places on last year's index.

The index revealed a national trend where large towns and cities struggled to translate positive scores in the areas of 'dynamism and opportunity' (which measures an area's entrepreneurial spirit) and 'prosperity' (which evaluates local wealth and job opportunities) into inclusive and healthy societies. Uttlesford, however, appears to have defied this trend.

The area also received a below average score for 'prosperity' at 190 but scored highly for 'dynamism and opportunity at 51 and 'inclusion and equality' at 29.

Tim Taylor, practice leader at Grant Thornton's Chelmsford office, said: "Grant Thornton created the Sustainable Growth Index as a new way of measuring the success of an area, which takes into account more than just economic performance, our aim is for these findings to kick-start conversations, and help inform and shape future investment decisions."

He also highlighted the differences between different Essex areas: "This year's Sustainable Growth Index has certainly been a mixed bag for regions in Essex. Taking health and wellbeing - half of the county's local authorities improved their score, while areas such as Maldon, Epping Forest and Chelmsford fell drastically.

"The overall Sustainable Growth Index scores were very mixed too, with regions in both the top and bottom 20% in the country."

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