Edinburgh 'is the best city in Britain'

FORGET the recession, roadworks chaos and overflowing bins – Edinburgh is officially the best place to live in the UK.

A new survey of 10,000 people has named the Capital as the most desirable city in Britain.

Edinburgh was also judged to have the best atmosphere in the UK by top market research firm YouGov and was in the top five in all other measures, including tourism, transport, food, shopping, investment, safety and the friendliness of the people.

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The news of the result was today welcomed as a much needed boost for residents and businesses.

The YouGov analysts said: "Edinburgh is Britain's most desirable city according to our index. Not only does Edinburgh have lots to offer, but the city is safe to visit, easy to get around and the people are helpful and friendly.

"Aside from its entertainment and leisure offerings, it is also considered worth investing in."

Following Edinburgh, the next most desirable cities, according to YouGov, are York and London. Bradford came bottom.

City council leader Jenny Dawe today welcomed the findings.

She said: "Edinburgh has much to be proud of and provides an enviable quality of life. We all contribute to the city's success and, while the council has an important role, there are many others who need to be given credit."

One of the biggest surprises is that Edinburgh is still regarded as the second easiest city to get around, even with the tram work causing chaos.

When it comes to offering a cultural experience, Edinburgh was just slightly pipped by London, with little more than a hair's breadth between the scores.

John Leighton, director-general of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: "The only surprise in this survey is that Edinburgh does not come out ahead of London.

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"Everyone knows that Edinburgh has an exceptionally vibrant cultural life and some of the greatest art collections and exhibitions in the world."

The city was rated the second best place for good cuisine and restaurants, the third most varied choice of shops, the third friendliest and most helpful population and the third best to invest in.

Ron Hewitt, chief executive of the Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce, said: "Edinburgh has the highest level of educational attainment behind Oxbridge, and a well qualified and schooled population is very attractive for a workforce.

"Studies show that the most effective workers choose to live in cities that suit their lifestyles and Edinburgh has it all, from good transport links, sports, entertainment, food, plus it's surrounded by fantastic countryside."

The only negative aspect of the report shows that all of this desirability comes at a price.

Edinburgh was judged the third most expensive city to live in, behind London and Oxford.

ESPC business analyst David Marshall said

: "Since the credit crunch began, house prices have fallen by around 10-15 per cent, but this has been coupled with a drop in the number of properties being built.

"There's a danger that you could soon see a level of inflation that prices people out of the market in the short term, and would be unsustainable in the long term."