Woking powers to the top of Vitality Index

WOKING has clinched top spot in the UK Vitality Index 2021, an annual assessment of the health of the UK’s towns and cities outside of London.

The town combined the best rankings across a range of indicators including economy, business, health outcomes and the environment, to beat off competition from the likes of Edinburgh, Cambridge and Bath.

Woking placed top of the 2021 UK Vitality Index, which is judged on factors including economy, health, business and environment

Compiled by Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), the “definitive health check on the UK’s towns and cities” assesses locations outside the capital to identify the best places to live, work and do business, in addition to those with the highest growth potential.

The Vitality Index is gauged from the rankings achieved within three main sections: Economy and Business, Living, Health and Environment, referencing 18 data sets.

“Our new and expanded analysis sees Woking crowned as the top-ranked location for vitality in 2021. The town was in the Top 10 on the Economy and Business pillar, with a top score for wage growth and commercial property investment,” said an LHS spokesman.

“It was also particularly strong on the Health and Environment pillar, ranked 2nd, with low levels of cardiovascular mortality and high scores for life satisfaction and recycling.

“This report shines a light on each location’s resilience and looks forward to post-pandemic recovery highlighting locations’ prospective strengths.”

With a growing population of more than 100,000 and a vibrant and diverse community, the town is due to see the results of a multimillion-pound transformation, with the Victoria Place project a key feature in Woking’s future growth plans. The development will deliver 429 residential apartments in two towers, a four-star Hilton Hotel, two public plazas and 125,000sq ft of new retail space including a flagship Boots and M&S store.

Performing arts institution, Italia Conti, is preparing to take up permanent residence over two floors at Victoria Place, and Gordon Ramsay will open his first cooking academy, and a new restaurant, in Woking later this year.

Leader of Woking Borough Council, Cllr Ayesha Azad, said: “Through a shared vision, big ambition and focused investment, Woking’s exciting transformation is helping to ensure we reach our full potential by creating new opportunities for economic growth and job creation in an enviable location which puts health, quality of life and our environment at its heart.

“I’m delighted that our progress and success in delivering on plans put in place more than a decade ago continue to deliver our vision to ensure that Woking will be the region’s leading economic hub, drive prosperity and growth and attract investment. We remain committed to leading the way to make sure Woking continues to be a great place for people to live, work, visit, socialise and invest.”

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