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Centre for Cities

Innovative Swindon ranked UK #2 for creating patents

Swindon is ranked second only to Cambridge for creating patents, according to a major new report.

The Centre for Cities’ Cities Outlook 2014, the annual health check of UK cities, made headlines when it warned that the economic recovery was benefiting London far more than the rest of the nation, with 80 percent of national private sector jobs growth concentrated on the Capital.

But buried in the detail of the report was the news that Swindon registered the second highest number of patents in the UK – almost 20 patents per 100,000 head of population.

The statistic suggests that Swindon beats local rival Bristol (ranked 7th, at eight patents per 100,000 people) hands down. However, the town has a long way to go to catch up with Cambridge, which registers a whopping 69 patents per 100,000 people.

Further number-crunching reveals:

  • Swindon has a lower-than-average rate for business start-ups (37.5 per 10,000 head of population) against a national average of 42
  • Swindon has a slightly higher than average skilled workforce. Nine percent of workers have no formal qualifications, compared to nearly 10 as a UK average.
  • The employment rate is slightly higher than average – with 73.5 percent of the population in work, compared to a UK average of 71 (July 2012 – June 2013)
  • At £477, weekly average earnings (2013) were the highest in the South West (beating Bristol, Bournemouth, Plymouth and Gloucester), but were lower than the UK average of £502.20 per week.

For the full report, visit