Aberdeen has fallen down a ranking of the best UK cities due to the effects of the oil price crash – although it has retained a top five place, a new report shows.
The Granite city fell from fourth place to fifth on the latest annual Good Growth for Cities index, produced by PwC and think-tank, Demos.
The index, released today, measures the performance of 39 UK cities against a basket of 10 categories defined as key to economic success and wellbeing, including jobs, health, income and skills, work-life balance, house-affordability, travel-to-work times, income equality and pollution.
Paul Brewer, PwC’s government and public sector lead in Scotland said: “While Aberdeen’s oil wealth has consistently influenced high scores in areas such as jobs, income and skills, the lower for longer oil price backdrop is beginning to chip away at that.
“It’s vital that Aberdeen future-proofs itself, extending its success beyond the life of North Sea oil exploration,” he added.
He said there was “real potential” for the north-east to “build on its exceptional skill base and reputation for innovation to create a world class decommissioning hub, or to focus on those transferable skills and encourage investment in other sectors such as renewables, food and drink or technology”.
Aberdeen City Council Leader Jenny Laing said: “Aberdeen must look to the future and aim to extend the success of the area beyond the life of North Sea oil. This is something that we have been working towards for some time, through our negotiations with the UK and Scottish governments on a City Region Deal and work to help promote the tourism, food and drink, life sciences and renewable energy sectors.”
Reading and Brackell in the south-east topped the list, while Edinburgh was the top ranked Scottish city at number three. Liverpool came bottom of the ranking.