The LSC Corridor is often linked to the so-called “Golden Triangle” with London and Oxford. It is therefore useful to understand the economic characteristics and dynamics of the West London – Thames Valley Corridor in order to understand the broad similarities and differences. This short economic analysis has been used to compare London Stansted Cambridge Corridor to the West London / Thames Valley Corridor.
A brief report is available here. The main findings are outlined below.
- Like the LSC Corridor, The West London / Thames Valley Corridor has high productivity – 14 per cent higher than the National Average (LSC Corridor = 16 per cent higher)
- Population growth rates have been high – at 11.4 per cent between 2004 and 2014, although lower than in the LSC Corridor (15.9 per cent)
- Like the LSC Corridor, Professional, scientific and technical activities and ICT industries are strong employers in the West London / Thames Valley Corridor.
- A similar share of employment in knowledge based industries, at 25.9 per cent of total employment in the West London / Thames Valley Corridor compared to 25.4 per cent in the LSC Corridor.
- Similarly, in many districts, house prices are much higher than the national average in the West London / Thames Valley Corridor. Housing is relatively less affordable than the national average.
- The area of West London / Thames Valley, with its population of 3.9 million, is bigger the LSC Corridor (2.7 million).
- Economic performance: the rate of economic growth at 92 per cent between 1997 and 2013 has been slightly below the national average (94 per cent). This is far below the LSC Corridor rate of growth of 128 per cent
- The West London / Thames Valley Corridor was impacted much more be the recession (experiencing a 3.3 per cent contraction) than the LSC Corridor (a 1.1 per cent contraction). Post-recession growth rates of 3.9 per cent per year have been below the LSC Corridor (4.7 per cent per year)
- The West London / Thames Valley Corridor has a higher rate of businesses per working age residents – 75 businesses per 1,000 working age residents in 2013 compared to 68 in the LSC Corridor.
- The business population grew at a higher rate than the national average – by 7.6 per cent between 2009 and 2014, but this was much lower than the growth rate of 14.0 per cent experienced in the LSC Corridor.
- There is a slightly higher share of employed residents in higher skill occupations, at 33.8 per cent in the West London / Thames Valley Corridor compared to 32.5 per cent in the LSC Corridor.
- Rates of economic participation are higher and rates of unemployment are lower in the West London / Thames Valley Corridor compared to the LSC Corridor.