SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 38

AND THE

winner
is...

SARAH BEENY SET OUT
TO FIND THE MOST
ATTRACTIVE LOCATION
FOR 20-SOMETHINGS
TO BUY A HOME - AND
LONDON DIDN'T EVEN
GET A LOOK-IN!

038 | MAY 2017

THE UK'S BEST
PLACE TO LIVE
South Ribble
After analysing data and giving
weighting to key factors that
are important to people in their
20s: namely affordability, job
opportunities, pay, happiness
and the number of similar-aged
people in the area, South Ribble,
near Preston, came out on top.
Its average house price is
£157,058 - far lower than the
national average of £218,255*
- and its biggest town, Leyland,
is less than an hour on the train
from Liverpool and Manchester,
which suits commuters.
'The two most important things
were income and house price-toearnings ratio and availability of
jobs,' says Dr Rae. 'South Ribble

does really well across the board
on all the data we looked at. It's
a major industrial urban area,
but relatively affordable.'
Nine out of 10 people said
they were happy and satisfied
with life in the borough in
a recent local government poll.
Local florist Sophie O'Regan
told Sarah: 'For young people
wanting to start businesses,
there are so many opportunities
and so many courses and spaces
- and these are businesses run
by young people and aiming
at the younger crowd as well.'
Outside space is also on the
doorstep with the nearby Forest
of Bowland Area of Natural
Beauty and Ribble Estuary
nature reserve. There are even
seaside delights: Blackpool is
just over half an hour away.

WORDS: NATALIE BOWEN, IMAGES: GETTY IMAGES, SHUTTERSTOCK,
THANKS TO: CHANNEL 4, OUTLINE PRODUCTIONS,
SOURCES: *THE UK PRICE INDEX, ** TRINITY MIRROR

B

ritain may be facing an
uncertain political future, but
Sarah Beeny is keen to remind
people it is a great country. Her
recent Channel 4 programme,
UK's Best Place To Live, celebrated the
nation's work ethic, natural beauty and
commitment to family life.
The property developer worked with
Dr Alasdair Rae, an urban and regional
analyst who lectures at the University of
Sheffield, to crunch numbers and find the
best place for the age group most likely
to relocate: people in their 20s.
'To find that right place, what's essential
is planning, planning, planning,' Sarah says.
'Instinct alone isn't enough because often
what we think we know about a place
simply isn't true.'
Researchers used the latest data on
housing, jobs, business, wellbeing, culture,
transport and family life from the Office of
National Statistics (ONS) and other sources
to reach their findings.
Viewers may have expected London to
lead the chart, but no: the nation's capital
did not even make it into the top 50.
Instead, the winner was South Ribble:
a non-metropolitan district and borough
in Lancashire, with excellent links
to the thriving cities of Manchester,
Liverpool and Leeds.
'We looked at 10 factors overall,' says
Dr Rae, 'so things like how much people
earn, affordability of housing, health and
wellbeing, unemployment - all the way
to how accessible and central places are.'
Here's what he and Sarah found out...



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