What Makes Warrington the Most Productive City in the North West?
In some cases, Warrington might not be the first choice for businesses seeking a new office in the North West. Situated between Liverpool and Manchester, you would expect the town of Warrington to play second fiddle to its sprawling city neighbours.
But when you compare important metrics such as productivity levels, wages, and location, Warrington punches well above its weight.
In fact, Warrington is by far the most productive city in the North West of England.
That’s the surprising yet perfectly justifiable outcome from CityMetric’s Jonn Elledge, who crunched the data provided by Centre for Cities and found that Warrington is indeed leading the way for North West businesses. When it comes to wages, Elledge also found that Warrington is on a par with its city neighbours, which is unusual for a smaller town.
So how and why is Warrington performing so well?
According to Elledge, Warrington experienced a housing boom in the 1960s and 1970s which kick-started its meteoric rise. “Over the last half century, the population of the town has roughly tripled to over 210,000: in the ‘70s and ‘80s, the decades when many northern industrial cities were in decline, Warrington’s population boomed.”
Much of this growth was due to its location, sitting neatly between two major northern cities, which provided additional job prospects for local residents.
Alongside its population growth, the town began attracting more businesses and inward investment, which triggered further development in local facilities and transport infrastructure. Its “new town status” and availability of land meant it was a prime development target, and the council seized on its economic prospects.
Today, Warrington has become an innovative business hotspot surrounded by successful business parks and development zones, which are now home to a high proportion of knowledge intensive service businesses.
Here’s what brings businesses of all sizes to Warrington:
- Location: As Elledge notes, “geography is clearly a factor” in the town’s success. It lies within easy reach of both Liverpool and Manchester via train and motorway, sitting on the main north-south routes of the West Coast Main Line and the M6. “Whether you’re a commuter or a business, it’s a good place to be based.”
- Transport network: In addition to major road and rail links, Warrington also benefits from close proximity to two international airports at Manchester and Liverpool, both within an hour’s drive away.
- Business support: Warrington & Co. leads much of the development and regeneration schemes in the area. It also has a sharp focus on local business growth and acts as a support mechanism to help startups, high-growth SMEs and larger firms acquire funding, training, and other services.
- Facilities for business and leisure: Much of Warrington’s development focus has taken place in peripheral areas, which has produced first rate environments for businesses outside of the town centre. For instance, UBC’s Rutherford House offices are based at Birchwood Park - a high quality business park with numerous office buildings for firms at all stages of development, from independent consultants through to large firms employing 300+ staff. Not only that, many of these parks, including Birchwood in particular, have invested in leisure and wellbeing initiatives such as cafes, shops, footpaths, nature walks, and weekly programmes of activities for lunchtimes or evenings.
- Enterprise Zone: Numerous sites around Warrington’s Cheshire Science Corridor have now achieved Enterprise Zone status, including Birchwood Park. Businesses within these zones have access to numerous benefits including business rates relief, simplified development, and greater opportunities for collaboration with other local businesses.
All in all, these initiatives have helped Warrington become a great place to live and work, backed by a fantastic support infrastructure for growing businesses and high-quality workplace facilities.
Numerous business growth initiatives can be found at UBC’s Rutherford House, a flexible workspace and business centre which hosts monthly events geared towards business development. With its range of serviced offices, excellent on-site meeting facilities and supportive customer service team, this corner of Birchwood has become a thriving business hub and a great place to do business.
Find out more about serviced offices at Rutherford House in Birchwood, Warrington, at ubcuk.com.