ABERDEEN has been ranked the best city to live and work in Scotland – and second best in the UK – in the 2013 Good Growth for Cities index.
The report places Aberdeen second only to Reading and Bracknell, both in Berkshire, in the national index, with Edinburgh – the only other Scottish city to make the UK top ten – in third place.
Earlier this month, Aberdeen was ranked second in the UK Competitiveness Index 2013, with Cambridge top.
The latest results show that the buoyant oil capital of Europe is growing more successfully than almost every other British city, including London, Edinburgh and Glasgow.
The Good Growth for Cities index, prepared by PwC and think-tank Demos, combined economic performance with quality of life to rank UK cities.
Councillor Barney Crockett, the leader of the city council, welcomed Aberdeen’s success.
He said: “Aberdeen topped the list of Scottish cities last year and outperformed many other UK cities. Aberdeen has continued to bloom and grow since then. It is becoming increasingly well known as a fantastic place in which to invest, live, and visit. Our city is seen as a very attractive place, particularly among people from outwith the area, Scotland, and the UK.
“As well as a healthy jobs market and healthy business growth and start-up rates, we have a lovely beach in the middle of the city. We have beautiful buildings, a great cultural offering, fabulous sporting facilities, an exciting night-time economy and an outstanding environment with award-winning parks and the countryside on our doorstep.”
Councillor Crockett added that Aberdeen was named the happiest city in the UK last year.
“The PwC Northern Lights report indicated that the city has the potential to create 120,000 jobs by 2022 in the energy industry,” he added.
Paul Brewer, PwC’s government and public sector leader in Scotland, welcomed the performance of both Aberdeen and Edinburgh in the index.
He said: “Our cities all performed well in the economic measures of jobs, income and skills, as well as quality of life measure like transport infrastructure, environment and work-life balance.
“Our research suggests that the public wants to live where people can combine opportunities to acquire jobs, skills and advancement with a good quality of life; our research also suggests that investment follows the same priorities, seeking skills, talent and infrastructure. Scotland is already one of the best-performing regions outside London and whether it is Edinburgh’s financial services sector, Aberdeen’s oil and gas industry or Glasgow’s broader industrial base that supports half a million jobs; Scotland is delivering good growth for citizens and investors alike.”
The Good Growth for Cities report measured the performance of 39 of the UK’s largest cities against a basket of 11 categories defined by the public and business as key to economic success and personal and family wellbeing.
The measures include jobs, health, income, skills, work-life balance, house-prices, travel-to-work times and pollution.