Richmond has been named one of the most likely borough’s to bounce back from the recession quickly thanks to a determination to support local businesses.

Research carried out by the University of Oxford’s Economics arm, and published by the Institute for Public Policy Research, ranked Richmond at number seven in a list of local authorities most likely to recover from downturns in economic growth and job creation over recent months.

Councillor Pamela Fleming, Richmond’s cabinet member for community, business and culture, said it was good to see the efforts of the council and community, working with businesses and the council to encourage trade, paying off.

She said: “This is welcome news for the 10,000 businesses in our borough, who must be wondering when they will see the good times again.

“We’re not out of the woods yet, and the council will continue to give practical help local shops and firms, but it is good to know we are heading in the right direction, and at a faster rate than many other places.”

Coun Fleming said the council’s commitment to working with businesses and encouraging private sector growth, by helping firms grow and create jobs, had been a hallmark of their approach to fighting the recession.

She praised initiatives including the introduction of a business and retail champion, investment of money on Christmas lighting, removal of yellow lines in town centres, and the new RichmondCard which offers residents 30 minutes’ free parking, to help encourage people to shop locally.

Richmond came seventh in the list of 406 local authority areas ranked by the research which was topped by the City of London.

According to economic forecasts London’s employment levels will return to their 2008 peak by 2014. Predictions also suggest employment will be 10 per cent higher than in 2008 across the capital by 2020.