A recent study has ranked Preston as the North West’s number one city in which to live; ahead of the region’s major cities of Manchester and Liverpool. The 2017 ‘Good for Growth Cities’ report by PwC and Demos, which measures the current performance of a range of the largest UK cities and Local Enterprise Partnership areas against 10 indicators, ranked Preston in overall 20th place ahead of other North West cites including Warrington & Wigan, Manchester and Liverpool.
The annual report uses factors including employment, health, income, housing affordability, commuting times, environmental factors, income inequality and business start-ups to score the cities.
Although falling one position from its 2016 ranking of 19th, Preston scored particularly highly for jobs and business startups, with the city’s good transport links and affordable housing also contributing to its success.
To those that live and work in the city, the results of the PwC report may not have come as much of a surprise. As we recently blogged about, Preston has seen a significant level of investment across its local attractions, amenities and infrastructure in recent years.
The city is also set to benefit from the HS2 project – by 2026 it will be the only intermediate stop on the service’s London to Glasgow/Edinburgh route. The rail project will halve the journey time between Preston and Birmingham, cutting the total Preston to London journey to just 1 hour 18 minutes when completed. The arrival of HS2 in Preston could mean 75,000 extra visitors a year, adding £3.3m to the city’s economy annually. According to the LEP, productivity gains from the impact of HS2 services to the area could help provide an extra £600m for the region, and 3000 additional jobs in Preston and South Ribble alone.
UCLan is also an exciting source of investment and redevelopment in the city – in particular the £200 million development programme for its Preston campus. Alongside plans for new state of the art university faculty buildings, a number of construction companies are also seeing the opportunity around city centre student living. The past six months alone has seen a number of ambitious plans submitted for high-quality student accommodation in the city centre.
With more students set to live in the city, its amenities including entertainment, bars, restaurants and shops will only be heading in one direction – up!
Lea Hough offer a wide range of professional property services for those who own or are looking to purchase property in Preston. To speak to us about our residential services, including valuation reports and RICS Homebuyer surveys, or our commercial services which include development monitoring, pre-lease assessments and pre-acquisition surveys, please contact us.