Britain's tiger economy is Worthing

ENVY THE lucky traders and business people of Worthing.

The south-coast resort, known for its genteel atmosphere, Regency architecture and bracing sea air, is the most profitable town in Britain according to a new survey.

The figures show that businesses in the West Sussex town enjoy an average profit margin of around 21 per cent.

Britain's next most profitable town, Warrington, scores just under 20 per cent, while businesses in Dundee, placed third, achieve an average profit rate of almost 19 per cent place.

Some people might be surprised by the findings. To many Worthing is the epitome of a quiet, polite and even rather dull seaside town, a far cry from fashionable Brighton, its racier neighbour.

Few would expect it's residents - many of whom are retired - to be so industrious. The thought of tiger economies does not spring instantly to mind.

But findings of the survey, carried out by the global information group Experian, suggest profitable towns share a number of characteristics. These include excellent communication and transport links, a high number of skilled workers and a well-established manufacturing base.

Many profitable areas are seeing an expansion into high-tech business services.

Yesterday, Worthing Borough Council's economic development officer Tim Preston, said the town fulfilled all these criteria.

"Major companies coming to Worthing have recognised the professionalism and skill of our labour force, coupled with the fact that the number of school-leavers achieving more than five GCSEs with grades C or above is 10 per cent above the national average," he said.

"In addition the town has excellent transport links, including easy access to Gatwick Airport, the Channel ports and the Channel Tunnel."

He said companies investing in the town included the Daewoo Motor Company, SmithKline Beecham Pharmaceuticals, and Griffin Credit Services.

The survey, which analysed the profits of around 200,000 companies in England, Wales and Scotland, showed a huge degree of regional variation.

Perhaps as can be expected, the survey found the most profitable businesses are concentrated in the south and south-east of England. Only seven English locations in the north and 11 in the Midlands made it into the top 50.

Meanwhile Swansea, the most profitable location in Wales, only reached 32nd place in the overall list. Aberdeen, Britain's oil capital and the fifth most profitable location in Scotland, was placed 50 overall.

Not all was well in the south-east, however. Folkestone came in bottom position just behind Ramsgate and Sittingbourne, whose figures were all heavily in the red. This led Kent to be branded as Britain's least profitable county.

Worthing itself is not resting on its laurels. The Council is currently working on a "strategy for the 21st Century" to improve its shopping and retail facilities.

The locals are also keen to counter the view that their town is old and grey. Becky Gibbs, 20, a receptionist at the town's Burlington Hotel, said: "There are hundreds of young people here at weekends and they are all along the seafront in the evenings. There are loads of bars and clubs which are heaving. Young people love it here."

The Top 10

Worthing (20.90)

Warrington (19.57)

Dundee (18.75)

Andover (18.61)

Newbury (16.40)

Newcastle upon Tyne (15.94)

Exeter (15.19)

Perth (14.55)

Evesham (13.55)

Banbury (13.46)

The Bottom 10

Stockton on Tees (-2.33)

Boston (-2.40)

Solihull (-2.44)

Scunthorpe (-2.75)

Brentwood (-3.02)

Wells (-5.24)

Salisbury (-5.81)

Sittingbourne (-9.38)

Ramsgate (-18.89)

Folkestone (-25.13)

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Data Specialist

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are the go-to company for ...

Recruitment Genius: Search Marketing Specialist - PPC / SEO

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join the UK's leadin...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This caravan dealership are currently recruiti...

Day In a Page

Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test