Preston has the friendliest neighbours according to a new survey

Good Neighbours, The Mayor of Preston Margaret McManus with her good neighbours Lorna and Andy Donaldson.
Good Neighbours, The Mayor of Preston Margaret McManus with her good neighbours Lorna and Andy Donaldson.
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Everybody needs good neighbours...and in Preston it seems they are best.

A new survey of the UK has come up with the perfect formula for a good neighbour – and it appears Preston is full of them!

We hear stories every day from our engineers across the UK about the examples of neighbourliness they’ve seen and we wanted to uncover what qualities set those really great neighbours apart.

John Greaves

The study, commissioned by home assistance company HomeServe reveals that Preston is the happiest of the lot when it comes to getting on with their neighbours.

Scientists have created a list of the country’s ‘happiest neighbourhood’ hotspots, with Preston topping the chart, closely followed by Dundee and in third place, Chester.

John Greaves, brand director of HomeServe, which has a major contact centre in Fulwood, said: “We like to do things differently at HomeServe, which is why we wanted to focus on the positives and show that – despite what other surveys might say – we are a nation of happy neighbours who go out of their way to help make life easier for each other, just like we do for our customers.

“It seems Preston, in particular, is full of happy neighbours! We hear stories every day from our engineers across the UK about the examples of neighbourliness they’ve seen and we wanted to uncover what qualities set those really great neighbours apart.”

Preston mayor, Coun Margaret McManus, said she was not surprised that Preston featured so highly.

She said her neighbours like Lorna and Andy Donaldson had been always helpful and supportive.

Coun McManus said: “Preston certainly is the best. There’s great community spirit. Lorna and Andy have always been there for me. They have a key to my house and I can always rely on them.”

Following a nationwide poll of over 2,000 UK homeowners, more than 83 per cent said their own neighbours have gone out of their way to help them and many know and interact with their neighbours regularly (42 per cent ).

By using the data from the study, HomeServe-commissioned boffins at research experts Mindlab have uncovered the special formula and blend of common traits that make up the country’s “perfect neighbour”.

Based on the research, the perfect neighbour is most likely to live in a house rather than a flat, lives in Preston, is good at DIY, is 100 per cent reliable in an emergency, is trustworthy and is very sociable.

In the HomeServe survey, trust ranks highest of the list of the most important factors in nice-to-have neighbours, with more than 46 per cent of homeowners polled saying it was most important to them. The trust factor was followed by; being friendly (17 per cent); being helpful (15 per cent); being considerate (13 per cent) and, finally, being vigilant (nine per cent).

The survey revealed that the nation’s community spirit is still very much alive. Of those polled, 83 per cent said they’ve had their own neighbours go out of their way to help them.