Edinburgh best place to live in UK - It’s official

THE Capital is often hailed for having a unique character that makes it an attractive and desirable place to live.
Edinburgh UK Oct 12 2015;Views of Edinburgh taken from Calton Hill  credit steven scott taylor / J P LicenseEdinburgh UK Oct 12 2015;Views of Edinburgh taken from Calton Hill  credit steven scott taylor / J P License
Edinburgh UK Oct 12 2015;Views of Edinburgh taken from Calton Hill credit steven scott taylor / J P License

And now it has come top in a survey of more than 130 UK council areas in a new quality of life index.

Comparison site USwitch looked at large districts and cities across the UK and rated them on 26 different lifestyle factors.

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And despite one of the categories relating to hours of sunshine, Edinburgh still fared the best on its overall score. It rocketed to number one – jumping 97 places from its previous position during the last survey in 2013.

When compared with the other destinations, it was deemed to have cheap energy bills, average salaries of £29,558, a disposable income at the average of £20,083, and superfast broadband.

Researchers assessed 138 areas on 26 different themes including employment rate, average gross income, exam results, house prices, average weekly rents, crime rates, hours of sunshine and energy prices.

Life expectancy, working hours and the average price of household goods were also taken into account.

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Edinburgh was found to be the best place to live in the UK, knocking Solihull in the West Midlands off the top spot.

On the other end of the scale, Bradford and Hull ranked in 137th and 138th place.

The study hailed the Capital as having “low crime rates” in comparison with the other areas – a claim which clashes with a new inspection report this week which showed that the city had the worst rates in Scotland.

However, USwitch said that when compared with other areas, and combined with the other positive attributes of Edinburgh, the city’s crime rates were favourable.

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Deputy Lord Provost Steve Cardownie welcomed the study – and said it should be used to keep up good standards.

“This is great news,” he said. “Everybody who works to make the city the way it is will continue to do so. We never rest on our laurels. It’s great to see it’s being recognised. There’s no doubt that there are areas of severe deprivation and that has to be addressed, so it’s not all milk and honey, but it’s good to see that when we’re being compared with other cities that we are on top.

“In the council, we will strive to deal with the areas that do require our attention, while promoting the attractions of the city for visitors and for our citizens to enjoy.”

Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.com, said: “Edinburgh has long been a city that’s inspired; a vibrant city with striking architecture and a world-famous festival, all surrounded by stunning scenery.

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“Now it’s official – Edinburgh is the best place to live in the UK.

“With low crime rates, high wages and affordable living costs, it’s not just the history and cultural attractions that are drawing people to Scotland’s capital.”

She added: “Despite a buoyant UK economy, millions of people in this country aren’t feeling the benefits.”