Preston & The Fylde
On The Up
Last year Preston was named the most improved city in the UK to live and work – ahead of London on a range of measures, writes Tracy Hargreaves
Research carried out by the accountancy firm PricewaterhouseCoopers and the think tank Demos looked at employment, workers’ pay, house prices, transport, the environment, work-life-balance and inequality to rank 42 UK cities and found Preston had improved the most in its 2018 Good Growth for Cities index.
Preston is beginning to see the green shoots of an emerging city living culture where aspirational, high quality residential projects are lifting the city’s new housing stock, such as The Union Lofts by Etc Urban in Guildhall Street. Affordability compared to near neighbours Manchester and Liverpool is a key benefit for new home buyers (prices at The Union Lofts range from £105,000 to £250,000) in the city centre.
The city has also experienced a large reduction in its unemployment rate, down to 3.1 per cent last year compared with 6.5 per cent in 2014, while it has also seen improvements above the national average for health, transport, the work-life balance of its residents, and for the skills among both the youth and adult populations.
And the people buying new apartments in projects like The Union Lofts also get to live amongst the greenery of Winckley Square and Avenham and Miller Parks while having the city’s cultural, retail, leisure and transport assets on their doorstep.
In 2017 South Ribble was also voted the best place to live for people in their 20s to settle down, by Channel 4s Best Place to Live in the UK programme, due to its average house prices and thriving job opportunities.
Housebuilders are still building for demand, with developments in Penwortham by Linden Homes and Jones Homes, Wainhomes in Bartle, Grimsargh and Barton and Morris Homes and Persimmon on the Fylde to name a few, with most offering from between one up to five-bedroom properties and a range of buying options including help to buy, part exchange and shared equity.
However, some people may be put off committing to a new home as they are unsure as to what effect Brexit may have on property sales. Do your research, both in terms of finances and places to live. You may have to compromise on your wish list if you want to get your first steps on the property ladder, but you may also be able to get yourself a good deal.
Whatever you decide for the new year, Lancashire is a great place to live and work.