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'Best Place' survey condemned by agency chief


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A survey claiming to identify the best places to live in Britain has been condemned as elitist and irrelevant to ordinary people by Greater Peterborough Investment Agency chief executive Gloria Milne.

The survey, by Country Life magazine, places the small market town of Alnwick in Northumberland with its 700-year-old castle – the setting for the Harry Potter films – top of the list of other ‘picture postcard’ locations.

Alnwick Castle - setting for scenes from Harry Potter films - placed first in survey


However, Mrs Milne criticised the survey as being unrepresentative of what makes an ideal location for people living in the real world. “Britain is full of quaint, picturesque market towns but, like Alnwick, they do not offer rewarding career opportunities to their young people and house prices put home ownership beyond the reach of average families.

“As a result they do not represent a truly balanced community and are destined to become dormitories populated by wealthy retired people or high-earning yuppies who commute to work in nearby large cities.”

Any genuinely representative survey of the best locations to live in Britain would have to pick Peterborough, says Mrs Milne. “Peterborough has a balanced economy, offering excellent career opportunities with internationally famous companies for its young people, affordable housing for its residents and a healthy lifestyle,” she said.

Mrs Milne added: “Peterborough can rival Alnwick in several other ways, boasting the fastest travel-to-work times of any major city in the country and magnificent architecture in one of the finest Norman cathedrals in Europe. Its other claims to fame include the best example of a country manor from the time of the English Civil War and proximity to Burghley House – the best example of an Elizabethan home.”

While being a dynamic business centre within a 45-minute train journey of central London, Peterborough offers its residents easy access to beautiful surrounding countryside – including 2,000 acres of parkland alongside the River Nene, sailing lakes and golf courses, she said. A 50-mile network of cycle routes and footpaths permit people to enjoy the healthy outdoors free from traffic fumes.

“Country Life readers will discover that Peterborough has plenty of beautiful countryside – a bit like the Cotswolds but without hordes of tourists – and a growing cultural scene,” said Mrs Milne. “It is also within easy travel time of other centres such as Cambridge and London.

“This Country Life survey is elitist and meaningless,” said Mrs Milne. “Isolated picture postcard towns like Alnwick do not make good places for most ordinary people to live. Peterborough has all the benefits of a good quality lifestyle together with the business advantages you would expect from a dynamic city.”

  • Other top ten locations in the Country Life survey (in order of precedence) are: Midhurst, West Sussex; Fowey, Cornwall and Tetbury, Gloucestershire (joint third); Crail, Anstruther in Scotland; Presteigne in the Welsh Borders; Fakenham, Norfolk; Richmond, North Yorkshire; Framlingham, Suffolk; and Wimborne, Dorset.

October 2002

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Contact:
Gloria Milne/Bill Agnew
Greater Peterborough Investment Agency
Tel: 01733 404390

GPIA

Positively Peterborough

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