Business in Warwickshire is increasingly booming with new figures revealing the county has the fastest-growing economy in the country.
Since the 2009 recession, Warwickshire has experienced the biggest growth in productivity of all local authority areas in England.
The region as a whole is performing strongly with productivity in the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership area having outgrown every other LEP in the country.
Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show that productivity within Warwickshire grew by 30.4% between 2009 and 2016, higher than any other area and nearly double the rate for the UK as a whole (16.5%).
That means that what the county’s workforce produced in a typical 37.5-hour working week in 2009, it now produces in 29.3 hours – so the workforce as a whole now generates in four days what, in 2009, it generated in five.
It is great news for the local economy with annual growth for Warwickshire growing 2.5% between 2015/16, exceeding the UK average by 0.1%). The level of productivity is now above the national average (£53,447 of GVA per job filled, compared to £52,626) – a big improvement on the previous decade when it was more than 10% lower.
Raising productivity has been a key focus of economic development activity by Warwickshire County Council, the Coventry & Warwickshire LEP and partners in recent years.
The area has invested in a number of key initiatives to drive economic growth in recent years. These include new railway stations at Bermuda and Coventry Arena, the National Transport Design Centre (Coventry University), Venture House Business Centre (Stratford-upon-Avon) and Trident Business Park (Leamington Spa). Major investment also gone into road improvements at Tollbar Junction and the M40 junction 12 and business support programmes such as the Warwickshire Rural Growth Network.
This has helped to attract a range of high-profile investments with major companies such as Amazon, AVL,Brose, Geely, Jaguar Land Rover, SEGA, TATA Technologies, Ubisoft and Vitsoe choosing Coventry & Warwickshire as an ideal place to locate their business over the past few years.
Warwickshire County Council leader, and portfolio holder for economic growth, Cllr Izzi Seccombe said: “Warwickshire has meant business for a number of years now. Economic growth is up there amongst this council’s top priorities and it is fantastic to see evidence of our partnership with business bearing fruit.
“It is great that Warwickshire is leading the way nationally in increasing levels of productivity and it is no surprise that businesses are increasingly looking to move to, or expand within, Warwickshire.”
Jonathan Browning, chair of the Coventry & Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said: “These figures are very good news for Warwickshire and our wider area. Driving up productivity and economic performance is a key priority for the CWLEP, working with partners.
“The aim now is to ensure that this growth continues right across our patch. We have so many assets and we have to continue to push forward on all economic fronts.
“We work very closely with the county and are delighted that the efforts are producing tangible improvements.”