Northumberland named fourth best place to live in the UK

Bamburgh Castle. Picture by Jane Coltman.
Bamburgh Castle. Picture by Jane Coltman.
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Northumberland has been named as the fourth best place to live in the country according to a new index.

Price comparison and switching service uSwitch.com carried out its Quality of Life index that placed Edinburgh top of the list for low crime rates, affordable living costs, high average salaries and fast broadband.

Solihull in the West Midlands came second, and Hertfordshire just pipped Northumberland to third place.

The county climbed four places from 2013 when it was ranked eighth overall.

Northumberland County Council leader, Grant Davey, said: “I am extremely pleased but not at all surprised that Northumberland has come out as one of the top places to live in the UK.

“The county holds an amazing mix of the traditional and the new – with incredible landscapes, historic castles and coastline, alongside more modern but fitting new developments.

“Northumberland people are fantastic and their drive to make and keep the county great is a major factor. In Northumberland we pride ourselves on making great places even better.”

The study assessed 138 local areas for 26 different factors including salaries, disposable household income and the cost of essential goods, such as fuel, food and energy bills, as well as lifestyle factors such as working hours, life expectancy and hours of sunshine, to provide a complete picture of the quality of life in each region.

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: “What this report reveals is the vast differences in the quality of life that many people across the UK are experiencing.

“Despite a buoyant UK economy, millions of people in this country aren’t feeling the benefits. We shouldn’t kid ourselves that it’s getting better for everyone out there.

“The reality is that millions of British households are still facing huge financial pressures, with wages barely covering higher living costs. And with talk of interest rates rising, any hope that those financial pressures might ease seems a forlorn one.

“It’s more important than ever that households take an honest look at their household budgets and see if there are savings that can be made.”