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Milton Keynes is one of the top 3 growth areas outside London, says new report

The study, based on Grant Thornton’s High Growth Index, provides a ranking of English cities and districts according to their economic and demographic growth between 2004 and 2012.

Although London dominates the overall picture, outside the capital, the report places Milton Keynes at number three in the top 20 best performing areas, behind Manchester and Birmingham.

The report also looks at the quality of this growth – or ‘dynamism’ – to asses those areas which are most capable of supporting future, sustainable growth.

Outside the capital, Milton Keynes features at number seven, with Cambridge, Reading and Manchester taking the top spots.

Kevin Gale, practice leader at Grant Thornton Milton Keynes, said: "The report reinforces Milton Keynes’ position as one of the country’s leading centres of economic activity and future growth.

“This can be attributed to the large number of high-value, knowledge-intensive businesses in the area and a supportive environment for enterprise. The increasingly young, diverse and economically active workforce in Milton Keynes, coupled with strong transport and IT links, also contribute to a robust, economically resilient location.

“We expect to see the same positive picture when the results of our annual Buckinghamshire Limited survey into the performance of the county’s top 100 businesses are announced on Thursday 9 October.

“Last year’s results were very impressive and we are confident that the local economy has continued to push forward in the same upward vein.”

Grant Thornton’s study of growth areas also reveals a number of ‘corridors’ which are playing a significant role in the country’s overall growth levels.

Although predominantly stemming from London, these growth corridors include a number of other key areas at their core, including Milton Keynes, to create a network of strong strategic links between high growth and dynamic areas.

Mr Gale said: “Overall, the report raises a number of interesting questions about current economic policy, as London makes up around half of the 50 top performing districts. The focus needs to be on re-balancing the economy to drive sustainable growth outside of the capital, as much as within it.”