Vibrant places are dynamic places, rich in entrepreneurialism and innovation, where new products and services are created and where skills and knowledge abound.
They provide the people that live and work in them with a sense of opportunity. They are places that will drive future growth. To measure this, our index takes into account the business formation rate, skills and qualifications from GCSEs to degrees, research and development and patents granted.
The geography of dynamism is extremely varied across Wales (see map 1). The cities of Cardiff and Swansea are the top performers – ranking first and second respectively – with Gwynedd, Monmouthshire and Ceredigion the next three highest ranked places. The presence of higher education institutions correlates strongly with the areas that perform strongly. In part, this reflects the fact that one of the measures in this basket relates to employment in higher education. However, it also reflects the role that higher education plays in driving innovation, research and development and entrepreneurship.
Map 1 - How areas of Wales perform against the Vibrant Economy Index dynamism and opportunity indicators
The areas that perform less well on this basket of measures are clustered around a number of the Valley authorities in the south east. Some of these low-performing areas rank notably higher on the prosperity basket of measures, highlighting the challenge for those responsible for shaping place of ensuring the right foundations are in place to drive strong and productive economic growth in the future.