The East Midlands has come out second when it comes to areas of high investment based on data in a new quarterly economic study from KPMG UK and the University of Nottingham.

The newly launched Local Business Pulse Index (LBPI) showed that both areas have been identified as High Investment Areas – places which share an expected high rate of growth in business investment – with 33% in the east, second when compared to the rest of England and against an average of 18%.

Standout areas identified for high levels of investment included:

  • East Midlands – Amber Valley, Hinckley, North West Leicestershire and Ashfield

The data also showed that the area is showing high levels of new business creation with 20%, above the national average of 17%.

The LBPI provides data insights across 363 UK areas, drawing on geographic, sub-national data covering businesses, employees, and consumers. The online tool is aimed at businesses and local government leaders and includes an interactive map of Scotland, England and Wales, with navigable local and regional business growth perspectives and detailed snapshots of individual areas.

The insights are placed into seven clusters designed to reflect common business conditions and shared economic strengths. These include Business Creation; Sales Growth; High Investment; Employment Growth; Research and Development; Consumer and Leisure; and High Productivity.

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KPMG Nottingham office senior partner, Marc Abrams, said: “Understanding and harnessing local economic strengths is central to securing regional growth across the UK. Data-led insights drawn from the Local Business Pulse Index can support local leaders as well as inform investment and policy decisions.

“The East Midlands is seeing higher levels of investment compared to the rest of the UK, a great result in a time of economic difficulty.

“The East Midlands is also benefiting from high consumer spending.

“Overall, data from the Local Business Pulse Index is positive across several key sectors in the Midlands and outlines clear pathways for growth in the coming quarter.

“As a firm with a heritage in the UK regions, we work with local businesses across the country to identify productive, local potential. Our collaboration with the University of Nottingham provides detailed local snapshots on key drivers of growth.”

Further insights for Midlands in Q3 2023 include:

  • The East Midlands stands out for also experiencing strong growth in consumer spending, with households in better financial health compared with other parts of the UK.

The LBPI will be updated each financial quarter, presenting a current and forward-looking view across each locality. Users will also be able to see where local areas have moved from one cluster to another, reflecting changes in the local business cycle.

KPMG private enterprise head for the UK, Karl Edge, further added: “As the economy continues through a challenging period, there’s growing emphasis on local authorities to define their economic strategies and leverage profile of their business community.

“That’s why we’ve created the Local Business Pulse Index to help pinpoint the growth opportunities across England, Scotland, and Wales. From the data, we can see there are distinct hubs for job creation, use of technology when working remotely, and investment. While we’ve experienced significant economic challenges over the past few years, it’s encouraging to see high investment levels come out on top, reassurance that growth and confidence are headed in the right direction for local areas.

“The need to understand local economies is crucial in prioritising investment and informing wider policy and with this tool, we can start to map out where our priorities should lie.”

University of Nottingham School of Economics professor, John Gathergood, concluded: “We are delighted to bring together the latest economic data, together with artificial intelligence technologies, to create this exciting new product with KPMG. It will support businesses and governments to help make better decisions about localities across Great Britain.”