Research shows that Monmouthshire has the most vibrant economy of any local authority in Wales – ranking top out of 22 local authorities in Wales. These findings have been revealed by Grant Thornton’s ‘Vibrant Economy Index’ which rates the economy by taking into account not only financial growth and economic return within an area, but also a wider set of characteristics. The index measures the current position in 22 Welsh local authority areas across six areas of socio-economic indicators, to provide an indication of the vibrancy of the area.
The six measures include the following attributes:
- Prosperity – an economy that is producing wealth and creating jobs.
- Dynamism and opportunity – economy is entrepreneurial and innovative, with a population that has skill sets that can drive future growth.
- Inclusion and equality – Everyone benefits from economic growth. The gap between richest and poorest narrows, regional disparities reduce and there are equal opportunities for all.
- Health, wellbeing and happiness – People are healthy and active, leading fulfilling lives which provides individual prospects.
- Resilience and sustainability – Our economy has a neutral impact on the natural environment and our built environments are resilient places we want to live in.
- Community, trust and belonging – Vibrant communities have a lively and creative cultural life, and a clear identity that all its people are proud of. People feel safe, engage in community activities and trust the integrity of businesses and institutions.
Monmouthshire ranked highly in all areas including Inclusion and Equality, Dynamism & Opportunity, Resilience and Sustainability and Community, trust and belonging.
Alistair Wardell, practice leader at Grant Thornton’s Cardiff office, said:
“Monmouthshire’s overall performance in the index demonstrates it as being Wales’ most vibrant local economy. Our data shows it has consistently ranked in the top 2 authorities in Wales over the past 5 years and currently, it ranks in the top 20% nationally for four of the index baskets, ranking in first place for inclusion & equality.”
“This impressive result highlights that when looking beyond just economic prosperity and focusing on measuring the wellbeing of society as a whole, it can produce real change and start to positively impact local people. We hope that our Index, will act as a key improvement tool to all areas of Wales and help businesses, public sector leaders, the third sector and communities identify ways they can collaborate to create a truly vibrant economy that works for everyone.”
Cllr Peter Fox, Leader, said:
“It’s really refreshing to see these results which consider not only economic prosperity, but a wider set of elements that are important to people’s lives. Monmouthshire really is a special place and it’s fantastic to hear the findings of this independent study. Our amazing communities look after each other, innovate and demonstrate the entrepreneurial, creative edge to make the difference to everyone.”