New research has revealed the most financially productive areas in the UK, with an East London borough coming out on top. 

The study, compiled in collaboration with global fintech group Plus500, analysed ONS data from 2004 to 2021 of Gross Value Added (GVA) per hour worked in the UK. GVA represents the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry, or sector of an economy, and is one of the most important indicators of regional economic performance.  

1 – Tower Hamlets  

Tower Hamlets is the most financially productive area in the UK, with £71.9 GVA per hour. The borough has over 19,000 registered businesses, and the professional, scientific and technical sectors are the most prominent in Tower Hamlets when measured by total business count, with strong representation from management consultancies and architectural and engineering firms. Information, communication, wholesale, and retail firms are also well-represented in Tower Hamlets’ business base. 

Gross Value Added per hour worked: £71.90 

2 – Camden and City of London  

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Camden is the second most financially productive area in the UK with £65.9 GVA per hour. There are over 34,000 registered businesses in Camden, however about 85% of those are classed as micro businesses with between 0-9 employees. Management consultancy activities followed by barristers at law have the highest number of businesses in terms of local units in Camden. The City of London is a financial hub for the UK and thus houses many high-earning businesses that add a lot of value to the area. 

Gross Value Added per hour worked: £65.90 

3 – North Hampshire 

North Hampshire ranks third in this list; business in this area is thriving, with roots deeply set in its aerospace and defence history, Hampshire is now the epicentre of this dynamic sector and its vital supply chain. Several world-leading aerospace and defence businesses such as BAE Systems, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Gulfstream have a significant presence, which provides a lot of value to the area. This works alongside the growing digital and financial sectors due to the proximity to transport links and London.  

Gross Value Added per hour worked: £60.20 

4 – Westminster  

Westminster has around 52,000 businesses offering over 700,000 jobs. The top industry is professional, scientific and technical, which includes a range of high-skilled and specialised activities comprising industrial divisions such as legal and accounting activities; scientific research and development; architectural and engineering activities, and many others. Many of these jobs generate large amounts of revenue that adds value to the area, equating to £58.6 per hour worked.  

Gross Value Added per hour worked: £58.60 

5 – Hounslow and Richmond Upon Thames  

Together in Hounslow and Richmond Upon Thames there are over 29,000 businesses, the area in total has £57.2 of Gross Value Added per hour worked.  This area is very affluent with high property prices and high revenue businesses that generate a lot of value for the area and make it one of the UK’s most financially productive areas. 

Gross Value Added per hour worked: £57.20 

6 – Berkshire 

There are 97,711 businesses in Berkshire, of which 45,175 (46%) are registered for VAT and/or PAYE. Business survival rates are slightly higher in Berkshire than the national average with 42.4% of Berkshire firms ‘born’ in Berkshire in 2015 surviving for at least five years, compared to 39.5% nationally. The largest portion of Berkshire’s GVA, 23.6%, is from the information and communication sector, a rapidly growing industry. There are also 10 FTSE 100 companies based in Berkshire, which help provide value to the area.  

Gross Value Added per hour worked: £53.5 

7 – Croydon 

Croydon is one of the largest financial centres in the southeast and is also home to many legal and insurance firms. Croydon has more than 14,000 businesses and corporate headquarters for major organisations active in the financial services, insurance, engineering, digital and tech, and government sectors. These industries all contribute to Croydon having one of the highest GVA per hour of £52.20. 

Gross Value Added per hour worked: £52.2 

8 – West Surrey 

Surrey overall has over 65,000 registered businesses, with the primary industry being professional, scientific and technical, comprising 14,000 of the total businesses. Construction is the second largest sector, with over 8,000 businesses classified under this category. Surrey is also home to many large companies such as McLaren and Netflix (who have a studio there), both of which provide value through products but also investing in the local area. 

Gross Value Added per hour worked: £52.10 

9 – Swindon 

There are approximately over 29,000 businesses across Swindon, which include national headquarters for companies such as Nationwide, Intel, and Zurich, which is why it’s known as the regional centre for business. The area contributes around £21 billion GVA annually, equating to £50.90 per hour worked, making it one of the UKs most financially productive areas.  

Gross Value Added per hour worked: £50.90 

10 – Lambeth 

Lambeth’s major business sectors include the creative and digital industries, professional and financial services, life sciences and healthcare and hospitality and tourism with major employers such as IBM, National Theatre, The South Bank Centre and Shell UK all established there. These are just a few of the over 15,000 businesses registered in Lambeth. With a GVA per hour worked of £47.80, Lambeth is the tenth most financially productive area in the UK.  

Gross Value Added per hour worked: £47.80