Tech businesses keep Runnymede among top 10 locations for competitiveness

Runnymede is among the top 10 most competitive locations for business, according to newly published research from two respected universities.

The UK Competitiveness Index 2023 compiled by professors at Cardiff University and Nottingham Trent University lists Runnymede as the only area outside London in the top tier.

The academics said the top 10 most competitive localities in 2023 are dominated by London, with only Runnymede listed outside the capital city. They said: “There is considerable stability in terms of which localities are the most competitive. Runnymede in the South East remains the one exception to the dominance of London. Similar to Hackney (which entered the top 10 this year), its success is now centred around high-tech sectors, with services rather than manufacturing dominating.”

Find out why Runnymede is the perfect place for business in this film

'Playing to our strengths'

Cllr Tom Gracey, Leader of Runnymede Borough Council said: “Runnymede’s continued presence as one of the top 10 most competitive areas of the UK demonstrates that we are absolutely right to play to our strengths and focus on economic development and prosperity as core element of our work.

“We can see from the report that the presence of tech and service-led businesses has kept our Borough in such a prominent position in the league table, and we’re delighted by the news.

“This report should say to start-up and relocating firms that with careful research you will find pockets of success outside the capital, like Runnymede. You will be welcomed and among a cohort of successful, entrepreneurial enterprises large and small where you can thrive.

“Later this year we will also be launching our new Business Growth and Innovation Service. Funded with the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and working in partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London, this new service will provide free mentoring, advice and financial assistance to help small and micro businesses succeed and grow.”

►Our annual Economic Assessment provides a detailed view of the Borough to help businesses considering locating here.

Wider benefits

The news of Runnymede’s highly competitive business environment is also beneficial for smaller businesses, suppliers and current employees and the next generation workforce.

The Council recently celebrated the business community with the launch of its Runnymede Business Awards. More than 70 nominations were received with corporate events company MGN Events, based at Thorpe Industrial Estate, winning the overall award.

In addition, the Runnymede and Elmbridge Youth Hub, run by Brooklands College and sponsored by the Council celebrated its 100thbusiness pledge in June this year. It has supported well over 100 under-25s into intensive employment and learning support since its launch in 2021.

Business Runnymede, which the Council manages, continues to play a role in promoting the area and acting as a focal point for the business community.

Cllr Gracey added: “The Borough’s location close to Heathrow, the M25 and M3 and with direct trains to London makes for an ideal area to do business and for goods and employees to get to and from.

“Our small towns and villages are attractive places to live, whilst our regeneration schemes at Addlestone One and Magna Square keep the borough fresh and modern. Royal Holloway, University of London and Thorpe Park are here, plus several upmarket hotels. We're proud to be home to numerous businesses including Compass Group, Gartner, Netflix and Samsung, among others.”

The UK Competitiveness Index is a measure of the long-run potential of localities, cities and regions to generate economic growth and well paid employment. It provides a benchmarking of the competitiveness of the UK’s localities, and it has been designed as an integrated measure of competitiveness focusing on both the development and sustainability of businesses and the economic welfare of individuals.

►Supporting the local and regional economy is a core part of our Corporate Business Plan

Published: 8 August 2023