SHIPSTON is once again among the top places to live in the country.
The town has been included in the The Sunday Times 101 Best Places to Live annual guide, which also features nearby Leamington and Kenilworth in south Warwickshire.
The list, covering ten regions in Britain, is drawn up from a study of statistics such as crime rates and school performance along with individual assets from local festivals to natural beauty. It includes ten locations in the Midlands, with Edale in Derbyshire’s Peak District scooping the top regional spot.
Shipston – which last year took first place – was recognised due to its ‘Strong community spirit and thriving centre’ along with its proms festivals and properties being cheaper than the nearby Cotswolds.
And town mayor Ian Cooper said the town’s ranking on the list proved what he already knew.
He told the Observer: “Having won this accolade over recent years it’s nice to know that Shipston has once again been included on the Midlands and UK list of best places to live. We are indeed fortunate that we live in such a special place.
“This year we have found wherever we go there is a genuine warmth that people feel towards Shipston. This is in large part due to the strength of our community, our voluntary and community organisations and how these work with the town council for the betterment of the town.”
And Mr Cooper says after a year of milestones – including the 20th anniversary of the Shipston Proms and 150 years of the town’s Wool Fair – the area is continuing to thrive.
But he wants to see the town continue to grow and improve to meet the needs of its residents.
He added: “Shipston is once again going through a growth phase, we are very keen to ensure that the growth of the town adequately supports our younger generation.
“We have some excellent sports facilities with strong youth development programs and many volunteers who help out with other organisations, but also recognise we need to invest more in the future of our younger generation.”
The other Midlands locations on the list included the Birmingham suburb of Harborne, Shrewsbury in Shropshire, Stamford in Lincolnshire and the Vale of Belvoir near Nottingham.
Helen Davies, The Sunday Times home editor said, “Finding our very own best place to live now feels more important than ever, for our wellbeing and wealth, happiness and health.
“This year we were looking for community spirit along with convenience and culture. There is so much going on around the country, and so many great places that the choice was a hard one.”