SWINDON is enjoying a 'mini-boom' and is officially one of the healthiest places in the UK for economic growth.

The town ranked eighth out of 42 towns and cities - higher than big cities Leicester, Cambridge and Plymouth -in the latest Good Growth for Cities index.

Jobs, income, health, housing, the environment, business start-ups, transport facilities and the work-life balance are all taken into consideration by PwC when considering the economic wellbeing of each area.

Swindon Borough Council cabinet member for economy and place Coun Oliver Donachie said: “This is incredibly good news. There are two particular areas of strength- our employment and number of start-up businesses.

"Something no-one can contest is that the people of Swindon are an incredibly hard working bunch, always ready to roll their sleeves up and work hard.

"This success speaks to their strength and I continue to be grateful for their efforts.

"There is a very sad and stale commentary about lack of investment around Swindon from a minority of people who seem determined to talk the town down but we have record levels of investment here.

"There is a huge amount of pharmaceutical and advanced manufacturing in Swindon and these two industries are helping the town to experience a mini-boom.

"Now that we have such great employment, SBC's plan to attract people to the town with initiatives like TechSwindon is moving forward.

"It's easy for me to say that everything is great with Swindon's economy but reports like this proves that it's true."

Council leader David Renard said: “This is confirming what we already know - Swindon is a great place to live.”

The town has dropped one place in the table compared to last year’s rankings, with poorer health, costlier housing and skills of 16-24 year olds.

It is the only town in the west region that saw a fall in transport, health and skills of people aged 25 and over compared to the 2018 index.

However, this dip has not been severe enough to knock it out of the top 10.

Swindon’s Local Enterprise Partnership performed well in terms of jobs, income, new businesses and environmental efforts, but struggled with the work-life balance and house price to earnings.

A spokesman for PwC, which created the index, said: “Good Growth for Cities 2019 shows continued broad improvements across cities in the UK, driven in particular by falling unemployment rates and increases in new businesses.

“The long term view shows that good growth improvements have been largely driven by skills and new businesses.”