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Anger as Armagh ranks third bottom in best places in UK to raise a family survey

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Anger as Armagh ranks third bottom in best places in UK to raise a family survey thumbnailThe beautiful Mall in the centre of Armagh City

SURVEY results are often greeted with cynicism, and it appears that it was no different when Armagh citizens learned of a list compiled that placed the city third from bottom out of 35 best places across the UK to raise a family.

Taking second place was Newry with London placed at the very bottom in a survey compiled and published by price comparison website, Moneysupermarket.com using six criteria; job opportunities, average salaries and house prices, as well as access to good schools and parks.

Topping the table is Newcastle-upon-Tyne, with Derby coming second and Wolverhampton ranked third for being the best city to raise a family. Edinburgh came 22nd, three places ahead of Belfast in at number 25.

Joining Armagh in the bottom ten, in consecutive order, is Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield, Glasgow, Kingston upon Hull, Brighton and Hove and Birmingham.

The results have since prompted many raised eyebrows, however, a spokesperson for Moneysupermarket.com stressed the survey is merely a tool to help assist families. "The Family Living Index was created to guide parents - or soon to be parents - looking to futureproof their next move," they said.

In recent years, however, Armagh hasn't always garnered such negative national media press. In 2012 Guardian writer, Tom Dyckhoff wrote in his "Let's all move to.." series, "Who knew Armagh was such a delicious place? To my shame, all the name conjured up was memories of TV news reports, usually grim... since the Troubles were tempered, places such as Armagh have been able to shine with a brilliance long unseen".

Although he said that it required a "polish", Mr Dyckhoff favourably compared the city to a popular Georgian English destination. "It needs new lead in its pencil, the kind of zip you can see in small doses in, say, the Market Place theatre," he says of Armagh. "This is basically a mini Bath, sitting there gathering dust."

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