MK highlighted as prosperous by Financial Times

editorial image
Share this article

Milton Keynes has been described as “an extremely prosperous town” in an article by the Financial Times which said Gross Value Added has risen to £8.7 billion.

In a report featured in the FT by the Local Data Company, which measures UK shop vacancy rates, it was shown there has been a steady growth in GVA - the key figure relating to the value of goods and services produced in an area.

It rose from £8.2 billion in 2011 to £8.7 billion in 2012, an increase of 6.1 per cent.

That works out at an average increase - per person - of £32,981 in 2011 to £34,291 in 2012, an increase of four per cent. GVA per employee also grew from £50,348 to £52,107, an increase of 3 per cent.

The FT report follows other national exposure highlighting MK as ‘one to watch’ by the independent think-tank Centre for Cities, and the economy has also been praised by credit experts Experian, as well as the renowned local government publication the Municipal Journal and Local Futures, which named MK as the best place to do business.

Last year the number of business units in Milton Keynes had increased to 11,530 from 11,150 in 2012, making it the strongest business presence in the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and in the South East England region. It has one of the highest business start-up rates in the South East England region.

MK witnessed employment growth between 2009 and 2012 from 137,240 employees to 144,316 employees – full and part-time – in 2012 an increase in jobs of 5.2 per cent, signifying a very high rate of job creation and high employment rate.

MK was in the top 10 cities for high employment rates in 2012 with 74.9 per cent

Councillor David Hopkins, the Cabinet member for economic development, said: “Milton Keynes’ economic health is alive, well and certainly kicking, and the statistics back that up.

“It’s very gratifying to be mentioned in the pages of the Financial Times, a very well-read and respected publication.”

In the FT report, Sir Peter Hall, the professor of planning and regeneration at University College, London, and president of the Town and Country Planning Association, said: “Milton Keynes centre is doing well. It’s a modern shopping centre in an extremely prosperous town, still expanding.”

Last year Economic Development: Invest Milton Keynes, the council-based inward investment team, and its partners, organised the very successful Small Business Fortnight.

The idea originated from ‘Small Business Saturday’, a national initiative designed to help promote small companies across the UK, and the vital role they play in supporting the economy and creating jobs.

Events included a chance for customers to vote for their favourite local business ‘heroes’, as well as a business support exhibition for start-ups and small businesses at the MK College Silbury Campus site.

Pam Gosal, Head of Corporate Economic Development & Inward Investment at the council, said: “Not only is our main shopping area successful but we pay great importance to our smaller retailer units in the towns surrounding Milton Keynes, and Small Business Fortnight was there to showcase exactly that.”