Harris Lamb has welcomed an influential report that cites Stoke-on-Trent as an economic hot-spot.

The ‘Beyond the City’ report, published by Oxford Economics, demonstrated that the city had the second fastest growth in productivity for a city or region outside London between 2010 and 2015, something that Andrew Groves, based at the company’s Stoke office, said he was not surprised by.

“The past three years in particular has seen investment and commercial interest within the region significantly increase, leading to a record number of enquiries at our Stoke office in 2014,” said Andrew.

“We’re continuing to experience high levels of freehold enquiries illustrating the general trend in the market for increased freehold demand in the industrial sector and particularly manufacturing companies, and that suitable sites are in short supply, which is becoming an increasing challenge for the region,” he added.

Beyond The City states that the city saw growth in productivity of 18.6 per cent, a figure only bettered by Mansfield with 19.4 per cent Strong improvements in manufacturing productivity, particularly within the ceramics industry, for which Stoke is renowned, were seen as the main reason for driving the growth, accounting for more than 25 per cent of the total productivity gains.

The productivity figures have also lead to the city seeing improvements in its wage growth, with the report placing it as the sixth fastest area in terms of wages growth, increasing by almost five per cent between 2010 and 2015.

Andrew added: “The report’s findings bode well for Stoke and its businesses over the coming year. Speaking for ourselves, 2014 was an extremely successful year for the business as a whole, and that looks set to continue. The first quarter of 2015 saw us field 20 per cent more enquiries, compared to the same time last year, and month-on-month comparisons are significantly higher.

“The market has steadily improved over the last 12-18 months, with more serious enquiries and as a result, more deals. The freehold industrial sector is particularly strong due to increased occupier confidence and improved availability in bank lending.

“The much-cited productivity crisis that the UK is apparently suffering has happily not affected the region, and we have high hopes that Stoke will continue to thrive,” he added.