Belfast Telegraph

Belfast one of least attractive cities in the UK to live and work, study finds

Belfast city centre. Credit: PA
Belfast city centre. Credit: PA

Belfast is one of the least attractive cities in the UK to live and work in, according to a new study.

Northern Ireland’s capital came in 11th out of 12 cities looked at in a study commissioned by Royal Mail.

The study assessed each city on nine categories including access to education, green space and healthcare, cultural services and housing costs.

Belfast came in last for healthcare, business community, cultural services and 11th for the amount of greenspace in the city.

However, Belfast came in second on the affordability measures for office space and housing. The average cost of renting Grade B office space in the city is £12.00 per square foot, and the average house price is equivalent to five years of wages.

Belfast City Council is responsible for all the parks in the city.

A council spokesman said: "Belfast City Council is responsible for 49 parks and open spaces across the city – 17 of which have been awarded Green Flag status.

"Council is committed to offering residents and visitors free access to its parks, playgrounds and open spaces which are open all year round.

"We encourage as many people as possible to visit these facilities by hosting a number of family friendly events throughout the year."

The study was carried out by Cebr on behalf of the Royal Mail to investigate the UK’s most attractive cities to live and work in. Credit: Royal Mail.

Edinburgh has been rated as the most attractive city in the UK to live and work in.

The Scottish city came ahead of London, although the UK capital scored higher on earnings, employment and business activity.

Earnings in Edinburgh (at £578 on average per week) are second only to London and the city also has the second highest number of start-ups, while office space costs are about half that of London and the employment rate is strong at 70.8%.

People in London, which is in second place, have the highest earnings at £697 per week on average, while employment levels are strong at 73.7%.

However, housing affordability and office costs are the highest in the UK.

Bristol, in third place, has an employment rate of 77.3% and is the top-ranking UK city for job opportunities while Newcastle-Gateshead was fourth and Manchester fifth overall. North of the border Glasgow was in sixth place.

Known as the ‘dear green place’ it lives up to its reputation, taking first place for the share of the city which is green space, at 35%.

It ranks third for rich cultural services as the city has 7.1 theatres and 60.2 libraries per million people.

Leeds was in seventh place followed by Cardiff, Sheffield, Liverpool, Belfast and Birmingham.

Royal Mail spokesman David Gold said: “This new research from Royal Mail shows there is hot competition among the UK’s leading cities to be the most attractive location for people to live and work in.

“Edinburgh has the edge on other economically significant UK cities. Bristol also performs well in categories including job opportunities, healthcare, business community and culture.”

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