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 an area’s strengths and weaknesses as a new way of measuring economic success.

This is measured in six different areas, which touch on things like air quality, violent crimes, poverty, qualifications and average earnings.

Braintree ranked 125th out of 324 local authorities in last month’s index.

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

Cllr Tom Cunningham, responsible for economic development 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 benefiting 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 has ranked below the national average for dynamism and opportunity, which measures thinks like pupils achieving GCSES, business formation rates and employment in higher education.

However, the district has scored above the national average in several areas, which measure housing affordability, child poverty, energy consumption and housing density.

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

Mr Cunningham said: “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.

“We are also investing in much-needed start up and grow-on units in our towns and rural areas to help businesses thrive as well as a brand new modern business and innovation park in Great Notley which is already attracting big names from outside the county.”

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