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South Lakeland tops 'liveability' index

9 May 2018

A new survey has ranked South Lakeland as the most liveable place in the north of England.

The first ‘Northern Powerhouse Liveability Index’ - commissioned by Your Housing Group - rated every district across the region in several factors.

Each area was scored on availability and affordability of housing compared to average earnings, opportunity of employment, access to high-quality education and desirability of the location, to give a combined overall score.

South Lakeland came top of 72 areas surveyed, ahead of Fylde in second and Craven in third.

Ribble Valley (fourth) and South Ribble (fifth) made up the rest of the top five.

Other Cumbrian regions also performed well, with Copeland (sixth) and Eden (10th) both making the top 10. Meanwhile Allerdale (11th), Carlisle (13th) and Barrow (25th) all made the top 25.

According to the index, South Lakeland offers the best place for affordable living in the north.

South Lakeland’s higher than average rents (£645) and house prices (£254,500) are cancelled out by average earnings (£27,300) and the highest employment rate in the region (86 per cent).

South Lakeland also scores highly due to the desirability of its area, with good housing available and access to good schools.

Councillor Jonathan Brook, our Housing portfolio holder, said: “This survey shows what most of us who live here already know, South Lakeland is a great place to live.

“For several years our Council Plan priorities have focussed on the delivery of new homes, the creation of new jobs and the promotion of a vibrant cultural offer.

“These goals, combined with great local schools and our superb natural environment, create the conditions for local people, businesses and communities to grow and thrive.

“Having been recognised as a top performing area, we at SLDC are committed to do all we can to ensure South Lakeland now remains the best place to live, work and explore.”

The liveability index is yet more positive news about life in South Lakeland, following the district performing well in two economic measures.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show that South Lakeland’s economy has become the fastest growing in Cumbria, out-performing neighbouring district authorities and overtaking the cities of Lancaster and Carlisle. 

More than £100million has been added to the value of goods and services produced across the district, according to the ONS figures.

Meanwhile South Lakeland has been listed as one of the North West’s top five ‘vibrant economies’ by accountants Grant Thornton in a report for a major international event to attract inward investment.

The ‘Vibrant Economy Index’ scores areas on economic performance, taking into account factors such as prosperity, dynamism and opportunity, and health, wellbeing and happiness.

South Lakeland is ranked fifth overall in the North West, just ahead of Lancaster in sixth and Manchester in eighth positions, and is the only Cumbrian district to make the North West top ten.