I hear many great stories about businesses in the South West doing amazing things - innovating, growing, employing more people. So it's no surprise to me that cities in the South West are cited as having positive indicators of good growth - Bristol is in the top five in the 2016 Good Growth For Cities report, while Plymouth is amongst the 10 most improved of the 42 cities featured in the report.
Good growth is about so much more than GVA - it's about what people want and how they feel. The report reveals a more rounded picture of the attractiveness of each city by measuring a basket of factors ranging from new business formation to work-life balance.
But a city’s vision for growth must extend beyond using Gross Value Added (GVA) as a measure of local economic success. The debate on local economic development needs to recognise the total impact that new policies and interventions can have in a place. Importantly, places need to see success through the lens of what the public wants and needs, in both an economic and social sense.