City is billed as ‘One to Watch’ in annual report

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ON the day of its 45th ‘birthday’, Milton Keynes has once again been pegged as one to watch in this year’s report from the independent think-tank Centre for Cities.

For the third year running, Milton Keynes has been praised for its strong economy, the standard of its workforce, and overall durability in the face of increasingly tough economic conditions, in the latest Cities Outlook report.

The report states: “Based on these factors some cities such as London, Aberdeen and Milton Keynes are well placed to support the creation of the jobs and growth that will address the UK’s unemployment challenge.”

Milton Keynes’ continued buoyancy is down to a combination of factors including its highly skilled workforce, knowledge based economy, and the number of new business start ups.

Businesses in Milton Keynes now generate more than £28,000 in income for every man, woman and child in the borough – and in 2010 there were more than five new businesses starting up for every 1,000 people living here.

Other highlights of the report include:

The general skills set remains high – with a third of the working population possessing high level qualifications.

Unemployment also fell locally, from 3.9 per cent in 2010 to 3.8 per cent in 2011.

The average week wage has increased steadily, from £515 in 2010, to £538 last year and it now stands at £561.

Council Leader Andrew Geary said: “We’re always confident that Milton Keynes remains one to watch, and this latest report from Centre for Cities is most welcome.

“We are a pioneering, ‘can do’ city which thinks differently, but we also have our feet on the ground.

“We have become a solid business base for thousands of companies, including many big household names which have staked their futures and their reputations on Milton Keynes, and we continue to possess all the right ingredients to attract new inward investment.

“A combination of the right skill sets and our knowledge based economy, as well as numerous business start ups mean that Milton Keynes is still in a very strong position to continue to thrive, even in the face of very tough economic challenges.”