Braintree has ranked in the top half of all local authority areas for the opportunities provided to residents.

The Vibrant Economy Index uses independent data to show a district’s strengths and weaknesses, and to measure economic success.

It is measured in six different ways, which touch on areas such as air quality, violent crime, poverty, qualifications and average earnings.

Braintree is ranked 125th out of 324 local authority areas in last month’s index.

The district is ahead of Tendring, Maldon, Basildon, Rochford, Southend, Basildon, Harlow and Thurrock.

Council economic development boss Tom Cunningham said: “These figures show we hold our own against other areas.

“The Braintree district is well in the top half of the Vibrant Economy Index and we rank above the national average for inclusion, equality, resilience and sustainability.

“In short this means our residents are benefitting from economic growth.

“The better businesses perform, the more jobs they provide and the better the impact on our economy and the lives of our residents.

“We are proud to support businesses by helping them secure grant funding, find mentoring opportunities and much more.”

Braintree was ranked below the national average for dynamism and opportunity, which measures areas such as the number of pupils achieving GCSEs, business formation rates and employment in higher education.

The district scored above the national average in several areas, including affordable housing, child poverty, energy consumption and housing density.

It is hoped the index will encourage individuals and organisations to talk about their area and and help them tackle shortfalls.

Mr Cunningham added: “We have also put a lot of work into establishing good relationships between educational partners and local employers to make sure our young people are being trained in the skills our employers are crying out for.

“There are some fantastic careers and opportunities to be had at our local firms and we want to make sure our young people have them in their sights.”