South Ribble has been named as the UK’s best place to live.
Sarah Beeny made the announcement on the Channel 4 programme of the same name on Tuesday night.
“South Ribble may not be the best known place in Britain but perhaps it deserves to be,” she said.
“I’ve been really stuck by how optimistic it is for the future and how happy people are.”
The borough beat off competition from the likes of Sheffield, Bristol and Manchester based on an analysis of national data that was weighted differently depending on how important they are to young people.
South Ribble’s housing market was found to be healthier than most parts of the UK, with the average home priced at just over £157,000.
It also scored well for employment opportunities - the same number of jobs were created in the area alone between 2004 and 2012 as Manchester and Liverpool combined.
The area’s road networks linking to other towns and cities were also praised, as was investment from the £434m City Deal and presence of big companies, including BAe Systems and Dr Oetker (pictured).
South Ribble MP Seema Kennedy said: “It is a tribute to everyone who works to make it such a friendly and welcoming community including local businesses, community groups and faith group.
“We are lucky to have access to good jobs and affordable housing, in part as a result of opportunities generated by the City Deal, as well as nearby areas of natural beauty that all contribute to a high sense of wellbeing.”
Council leader Peter Mullineaux said: “It’s brilliant news. It shows all the hard work done by the council and it’s partners has been really worthwhile.”
Highlights of the area:
-Big businesses in South Ribble include BAE Systems, Waitrose, Dr Oetker, InBev and Leyland Trucks.
-The borough’s parks have been ranked among the top in the UK for two decades. Last year Worden Park scooped its 20th Green Flag Award .It is the only park north of London to be awarded every single year since the scheme began.
-Life expectancy is one of the best in Lancashire, pupils achieving five or more A*-C GCSEs is ahead of Lancashire’s average and the number of households in fuel poverty is well below the national average.