New figures have revealed the growth of Surrey's economy in a year has outstripped the rest of the UK.

The growth of 8% has been hailed by Surrey County Council, with its leader David Hodge pledging continued backing for business.

The county council said that according to the Office for National Statistics, the amount Surrey generated for the nation’s economy climbed by £2.4 billion between 2011 and 2012 to more than £32 billion.

That represented annual growth of more than 8%, compared with the UK rate of 1.6%.

Coun Hodge hailed the increase for being “the highest for any county, city or region in the country.”

The county council has thrown its weight behind a range of growth-boosting initiatives, including filling almost 540 apprenticeships in a year, after another campaign successfully arranged 265 places, launching a £100 million programme to overhaul more than 300 miles of roads to help businesses run more efficiently, giving virtually everyone high-speed broadband access by the end of this year, and pledging to ensure 60% of its spending on goods and services is with local firms.