BEST Business Group Urges Action from Town Council over Guildford’s Historic Victory
Guildford, Surrey, 12th January 2009.
One of Guildford’s most dynamic business groups is hailing a great victory for the town.
BEST Business Group is celebrating the result of the latest UK Competitiveness Index which places Guildford at the top of the league as the most competitive centre in Britain.
“We have seen off the likes of Edinburgh, Leeds and Cambridge,” says BEST chairman Keith McCullough, “BEST represents top bankers, solicitors, insurance brokers and financial experts in the town, as well as the leading marketing, PR, HR, IT and building practitioners and we’re immensely proud to be Britain’s most competitive centre.
“We’re just amazed that neither the Guildford Borough Council nor the Surrey Council have done anything to celebrate the accolade.
“All of us at BEST think that this is a great PR opportunity for the town to be a magnet for top talent to come here from all over the country and abroad, and to retain the best people who might be tempted away to London.”
The Centre for International Competitiveness at the University of Wales Institute in Cardiff publishes an annual Index, and the University places Guildford as the most competitive centre with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The criteria include investment in high-technology and knowledge-based economic activity.
“Guildford’s position as Britain’s most competitive city highlights its growing reputation as a key player within the knowledge-based economy,” says Professor Robert Huggins at the Centre for International Competitiveness.
“This reputation is cemented by the city forming an important component of a wider regional economy consisting of those localities boasting the highest levels of competitiveness across the UK. Guildford, along with Wokingham, Bracknell, Woking, and Reading form a formidable cluster of high value-added economic activity within the South East England region.”
But Huggins wants to see greater connectivity. “Examples from overseas, such as California’s Bay Area, incorporating the smaller cities within Silicon Valley and San Francisco, and the cross-national cooperation occurring across numerous cities and regions in mainland Europe highlight a growing trend for connectivity as a means of assuring future competitiveness.
“If Guildford is to maintain its position at the top of the competitiveness league, increased efforts to cooperate with its competitors may prove fruitful.
“Such collaboration is necessarily difficult to coordinate and manage, but given that Guildford, St Albans, Reading, Cambridge, Oxford, Brighton, and Peterborough are likely to be the bedrocks around which British competitiveness will increasingly revolve, efforts to promote increased cooperation are not unduly fanciful.”
Professor Robert Huggins is at firstname.lastname@example.org and T. (029) 2041 7075
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