Birkenhead beating Liverpool on quality of work and life, says report

In its fourth Good Growth for Cities report, accountancy giant PwC ranked the 42 UK locations on 10 key measures around income, skills and work-life balance. Tony McDonough reports

Snowdrop, Mersey Ferries
Birkenhead is ranked above Liverpool in the PwC index. Picture by Tony McDonough


An index measuring 42 UK towns and cities has placed Birkenhead above Liverpool when it comes to economic well-being and quality of life.

In its fourth Good Growth for Cities report, accountancy giant PwC ranked the 42 UK locations on 10 key measures, which include jobs, health, income and skills, as well as work-life balance, house-affordability, travel-to-work times, income equality, environment and  business start-ups.

Liverpool was ranked as one of the most improved locations in the list, moving up three places to be ranked 31. Birkenhead was ranked at 22 just below Manchester and ahead of Warrington and Wigan.

Despite it well-documented economic problems there are signs of Major improvements in and around Birkenhead with the council now pushing forward with major regeneration and major developments coming out of the ground at Peel’s Wirral Waters.

This year Birkenhead has seen the opening of the Woodside Ferry Village and Make Hamilton Square, a new arts and community hub that replicates a successful and well-established model in Liverpool.

For the fourth year running, Oxford and Reading have been named the top-performing cities on PwC’s Good Growth for Cities 2019 index, followed by Southampton in third place.

Although Reading has maintained its position in this year’s index, it has seen a decline in its overall index score, driven by lower house price to earnings ratios, income inequality and a fall in new businesses created.

Woodside Ferry Village
Woodside Ferry Village in Birkenhead is already proving to be a hit. Picture by Tony McDonough


Despite its relatively low ranking, Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson said he was pleased that the index showed the city was moving in the right direction. He explained: “One of my key messages has been that Liverpool is open for business, and we have been working really hard over the last few years to attract jobs and investment.

“I am pleased that despite all the uncertainties around Brexit and our own budget, we are now really setting the pace in making Liverpool a great place to live, work and visit.

“Everything we are doing is connected to driving inclusive growth which benefits everyone – whether it is investment in the roads, improving housing, replacing worn out schools or driving forward big regeneration projects such as Paddington Village and the new cruise liner terminal.”

PwC partner and local government leader Jonathan House, added: “In an era of political, technological and environmental disruption, cities and regions that want to get ahead, need to do things differently. Even with the uncertainty of Brexit, over the last year, local leaders have had significant success in delivering good growth in their cities and regions.”

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