A special study of how towns and cities have developed during the past century has revealed Warrington as the top town in Britain for economic growth.
One of the key factors for Warrington's success revealed by the first ever analysis of how urban Britain has evolved since the turn of the twentieth century, was receiving new town status.
The ‘Cities Outlook 1901’ report is the product of a research project by the think tank Centre for Cities. It captures how life in large towns and cities has changed for the people living there.
It uses census data to understand the economic stories of cities in 1901 and compares how they have progressed across measures like population, employment, and wages to understand how some cities have become more successful than others.
One of the reasons identified for Warrington’s strength is its new town status. A key element of that programme was investment in infrastructure; roads, railways and homes, which has enabled movement of skilled workers between neighbouring cities and regions.
Cllr Terry O’Neill, (pictured right) leader of Warrington Borough Council said: “Warrington is an excellent place to do business. Our infrastructure and transport links are the cornerstone of our success but our people and their skills are really the key. Year after year Warrington continues to grow and I believe this will continue to be the case for many years to come.” Alexandra Jones, Chief Executive of Centre for Cities said, “Cities Outlook 1901 provides a unique window through which to observe how far our cities have come since the turn of the twentieth century. History tells us that failure to invest in city economies has long term effects for the UK economy.”
Welcoming the news Colin Daniels, (pictured left) Chief Executive of the Warrington Chamber of Commerce said: "Warrington’s continuing success is due to its location, excellent transport links and with skills of NVQ Level 4 and above significantly higher than both the North West and England averages as a whole since becoming a university town in 2005."
The Centre for Cities uses the Department for Communities and Local Government Primary Urban Area (PUA) definition of a city for the English urban areas included in cities Outlook 2012. Primary Urban Areas are an aggregate of local authorities that make up the ‘built-up’ area of a city, defined as having a population of 125,000 or more.

The following tables show which cities saw the greatest positive change on the Cities Outlook indicator from 1901 to 2011 and which cities saw the reverse. The index is compiled by measuring the economic performance of cities across various indicators:

 

PUA

Index 1901

Index  2011

Change

Warrington

12.5

82.1

69.6

Preston

7.1

67.8

60.7

Swindon

3.5

60.7

57.2

Norwich

28.5

75

46.5

 

PUA

Index  1901

Index  2011

Change

Grimsby

62.5

12.5

-50

Liverpool

71.4

19.6

-51.8

Bradford

78.5

23.2

-55.3

Hastings

94.6

28.5

-66.1