Speaking at a business breakfast at Heron Tower in the City of London, Oliver Kolodseike, senior property economist at real estate services company Colliers International, highlighted Bristol as one of the UK’s top economic hotspots saying it was set to enjoy growth above the national average.

“Bristol’s economy is expected to outperform the UK as a whole over the next few years,” he said.

“Indeed, latest forecasts show that the UK economy will grow by only around 1.3% this year, while growth in Bristol is set to accelerate to above 2%.

“The winner of the 2017 UK Smart Cities Index continues to attract companies and investors thanks to a highly skilled workforce, business friendliness and above average productivity.”

Tim Davies, head of the Bristol office of Colliers International, said: “The presentation by Oliver revealed some interesting insights into Bristol’s economy and jobs market, and is very much in keeping with our own observations based on doing business in Bristol’s commercial property sector.

“It also underlines the pressing need for the increased commercial property development to meet the demand for both office and industrial space in the Bristol area, which has been combing with a shortage of space to drive growth in both rents and prices.

“In the first quarter of 2017 headline office rents in Bristol were £28.50, but by the first quarter of this year Grade A city centre rents had risen to £32.50 and we expect further growth later in the year driven by demand and constrained supply.

“In the industrial sector, rents in Bristol for large secondary units rose by 11% to £7.25 per sq ft last year, compared to a UK average increase of 6%.

“We have been seeing increasing interest in opportunities on the part of investors. Overseas investors accounted for 58% of investments in industrial properties in Bristol last year, and UK institutions 26%. In Bristol’s office investment market, 48% of investments last year were from UK institutions and 29% from overseas investors

“One of the reasons for this attention from investors is the excellent value offered by real estate in Bristol, and also in the South West.”

The Bristol office of Colliers International organised the business breakfast at which Mr Kolodseike gave his presentation.

During it, he detailed the strengths of Bristol’s economy to potential investors, and noted that the strength of the Bristol economy was reflected in its highly skilled workforce and low unemployment rate.

“The jobs market remains strong with Bristol’s unemployment rate amongst the lowest across the UK’s largest cities – a trend that is set to continue,” he said.

“One advantage Bristol has over other cities is the low reliance on occupations that are forecast to shrink over the next decade as a result of technological progress and automation. Bristol’s highly educated work pool will continue to support its economy and help the city to keep growing.”