The 2024 UK Vitality Index has revealed that Watford is the highest ranked of the UK’s 100 largest urban areas, taking the crown from last year’s top location, Bath.
The annual health assessment of the UK’s largest towns and cities outside London, undertaken by property consultancy Lambert Smith Hampton (LSH), identifies where are the best places to live and do business, along with the greatest potential for future opportunities.
For the first time since the index was started in 2012, Watford has been crowned as the UK’s top-ranked location, with the Hertfordshire town climbing from third position last year to knock Bath off top spot. Having only debuted in the Top 10 in 2022, Watford’s steady climb reflects a transformation in its relative standing among the UK’s largest centres.
Watford’s winning overall position is driven by its top ranked performance in the Economy and Business pillar, which includes top scores in four of the pillar’s seven metrics. Watford also performs well in other areas, securing tenth and eleventh position in the Health & Environment and Living pillars respectively.
Elected Mayor of Watford, Peter Taylor, said: “I am proud that Watford has been recognised as one of the best places in the UK to live and do business. Ensuring Watford remains vibrant, with something for everyone, has always been top of my agenda. Through careful planning, and working with many other organisations, we have seen the town continue to flourish.
“We have supported sound strategic investments and remain focussed on delivering improvements in our town, with initiatives such as expanding the Beryl bike scheme, plans to introduce an Electric Vehicle Car Club, and launching a new Shopper Bus service. Alongside this, we are enhancing our environment. Efforts include planting 20,000 trees, revitalising the River Colne, and continuing the Cassiobury Wetlands project.
“To support the local economy, we have been investing in improvements to Watford Business Park and Watford Colosseum. Plans to deliver an Innovation and Incubation Hub are also progressing well. Despite financial challenges, we have managed to ensure the quality of local services, from pristine parks to efficient waste and recycling services.
“We strive to support our communities and continuing to move forward with opportunities which will make a lasting difference to the people and businesses of Watford.” For more information and to view the full report, please visit https://www.lsh.co.uk/