SWINDON’S economic performance ranks alongside that of towns and cities many times its size according to a new report.

Each year, the independent Centre for Cities think tank ranks the UK’s population centres according to how they are fairing in the world of business, productivity and employment.

While it is not yet a city, the latest report released this week demonstrates that Swindon is proving that it is more than capable of holding its own alongside the big names.

The headline figures show that the rate of productivity per worker in the town is the tenth highest in the country, while its employment rate is seventh highest, comfortably beating the likes of London, Liverpool and Birmingham.

The high level of investment seen from the business sector in recent years is reflected in the news that for every one public sector job in Swindon, there are four private sector roles.

The council leader, David Renard, welcomed the report as well-deserved recognition of the economic performance of the town.

“The Centre for Cities 2017 Outlook report shows that Swindon is really well placed in terms of its ratio of business to private sector jobs, its high employment rate and the broad base of business we have here.

“Some of the other cities mentioned in the report are very dependent on the European market and on one particular industry.

“Swindon has got a huge advantage in that we are not dependent on any single industry or on a particular export market.

“We are in a really good place to drive the economy moving forward.”

Russell Holland, the cabinet member for finance, added: “I don’t think we talk enough about the strength of our economy - the council’s balance sheet is only one piece of the wider picture that is Swindon as a whole.

“It’s important to recognise we have a strong economy which we’re seeking to promote.

“That will inevitably help the council - if you look at the number of people who have got jobs over the past few years, that in turn will help alleviate some of our cost pressures.”

Coun Renard said that the strong economic performance will help with the work of the Switch on to Swindon, an push to promote the town as a great place to live, work, visit and invest in that was launched last week.

Nicky Alberry, interim chairman of the Place Marketing Board that is behind the Switch on to Swindon campaign, said:

“I’m not in the least surprised that Swindon’s economy has come out so highly in the latest Centre for Cities report, and is beating the likes of London and other major cities in the UK.

“We have the tenth most productive workforce in the entire country, with affordable houses that remain £63,000 below the average and, as the Centre for Cities points out, we have substantial potential for further growth.

“The new Place Marketing Board has launched the Switch on to Swindon campaign to spread the message that Swindon is a huge economic success story.

“It offers great potential and an excellent quality of life for innovative companies and skilled, talented individuals alike.”