A NEW index to track the Government’s progress on its ‘levelling up’ agenda puts Bolton among the most deprived boroughs in the UK.

The Legatum Institute has published the UK Prosperity Index revealing the prosperity of every local authority and highlighting considerable variations between regions.

The institute uses traditional indicators such as infrastructure and transport alongside the safety and security of communities, people’s physical and mental health and the conditions for local enterprise as measures for its index.

Overall Bolton ranks 330th out of 379 local authorities with a particular poor rating for safety and security, based largely on crime figures.

The living conditions of residents in Bolton also rated poorly based on income and housing, as did the health of the borough’s population.

However, the area scores much higher for infrastructure, being ranked 30th out of the 379 areas for access to transport and high speed communications such as fibreoptic broadband.

The report reveals that the most prosperous regions are the South East, South West, and East of England with the most prosperous local authorities Wokingham, Waverley, Elmbridge, Epsom and Ewell and Woking.

According to the index, the least prosperous regions are Greater Manchester, West Midlands and Yorkshire and Humber.

The most deprived local authorities are Blackpool, Middlesbrough, Oldham, Glasgow and West Dunbartonshire.

CEO of the Legatum Institute, Baroness Philippa Stroud, said the country stands at a ‘reset moment’ as it finds it way out of the global pandemic and forges new trading relationships after Brexit.

She added: “If the country is to make the most of this reset moment, then it will need to unlock prosperity across all of its regions and communities.

“As our new UK Prosperity Index reveals, while levels of prosperity levels remain much higher than other nations and increased further during the first half of the 2010s, in more recent years this prosperity has been stagnating.

“This underlines the need for a more detailed assessment of what is going well and what is not.

“The UK Prosperity Index draws on a wealth of data, the index is designed to map current levels of prosperity at the local authority level, how they have evolved over the past decade and how they will continue to track in the years ahead.

“It is, we believe, the most ambitious and comprehensive index of its kind to date.

“It draws on data for 379 local authorities across the UK, using 256 indicators organised into more than 50 policy-relevant elements.

“This transformational tool allows leaders to assess the relative strengths and weaknesses of their respective areas and explore the economic, social and institutional choices that need to be made in order to drive prosperity from the ground up.

“Just as importantly, it allows citizens and the media to hold government to account.”

Prof Matthew Goodwin, director of the Legatum Institute, added: “Genuine prosperity is about far more than building a strong economy or giving people bridges and trains.

“We support the focus on levelling-up regions that have historically been left behind, we believe that the Government can be bolder.”