Preston is second most-improved city

Preston has ranked second in a new study, produced by think tank Centre for Cities, which looks at a host of measures, including the skill levels of residents, unemployment rates and number of new businesses, to determine how well different cities have fared since the 1901 census.

Author of the report, Naomi Clayton, attributed Preston's success to an ability to "reinvent itself as a regional service centre by building on its slightly more diverse economy and attracting engineering and companies manufacturing electrical goods."

Alongside greater industrial diversity, improved infrastructure also enabled Preston to thrive, promoting the growth of business parks and attracting new businesses to the city.

Edwin Booth, chairman of the Lancashire Economic Partnership, said: "What this report shows is the importance of a diverse economy with highly-skilled jobs and a developed infrastructure. The creation of the LEP has given us the mechanism to ensure that Preston and the whole of Lancashire continue to prosper for the next hundred years.

"Preston is just one of our assets – there are a host of places across Lancashire with different and complementary strengths that will play a key role in securing a bright economic future for the whole of the county."

Most improved cities since 1901:
1. Warrington
2. Preston
3. Swindon

See the July/August edition of Lancashire Business View for our in-depth eight-page feature on Preston and the Preston Guild 2012.