SUNDERLAND is the best place outside London to do business, claims a new report.
The report, produced by research consultancy in conjunction with the Municipal Journal, ranks Sunderland as “the best city in England in the environment and infrastructure category,” which covers: commercial floorspace; connectivity; cost base; quality of life; and growth in commercial and industrial floorspace.
It comes hot on the heels of last month’s Centre for Cities Outlook report, which praised Sunderland’s economy and highlighted the way in which the city is recovering from recession faster than many others and this week’s announcement that Wearside is set to win sweeping new powers under the Government’s City Deals programme.
City council leader Coun Paul Watson said: “This business and investment success has been achieved because we have set down long-term goals through our Economic Masterplan and we are seeing the results.
“Despite tough times, new jobs are being created, and there are strong levels of public and private sector investment. What Sunderland is good at is getting both the infrastructure and the business environment right.”
The report points to the success of Nissan as well as the presence of major investors such as Barclays, Lloyds TSB Bank, EDF and Nike.
“The city council has always forged strong links with the private sector – from property developers to manufacturers – and these links have made the city’s economy far more diversified, far more robust and far more resilient,” said Coun Watson.
“As a city by the sea, and part of the wider North East region, we can offer a very attractive quality of life outside of work too.”
The report highlights ways in which the city council has worked with both public and private sector partners to support businesses, the availability of high quality, low-cost premises and the presence of a availability of a skilled workforce, with staff turnover of less than 10 per cent as major factors in attracting and retaining companies.