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Worthing 'one of the top seaside resorts' according to ONS
Say “Worthing” and few in recent years would have volunteered the words “thriving” and “affluent”.
But a new study using official Government data has concluded the Sussex town has turned the corner.
Not only is it the most salubrious seaside resort in the county, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), it is among the top in the country.
The research reveals it is only beaten by Poole, Lytham St Annes and Christchurch in terms of quality of life.
The study looked at deprivation in employment, income, health and disability, education, skills and training, housing and services, crime and living environments.
The town is shown to perform particularly well in employment, income and education, skills and training, but was found to be slightly deprived in the quality of indoor and outdoor living environments.
Nonetheless, it ranked 28th out of 31 large seaside destinations for levels of deprivation.
Brighton fared worse after being ranked 14th in the deprivation table, beating Worthing in only the education, skills and training category. Hastings was among the worst in the league.
Bob Smytherman, mayor of Worthing, said he wasn’t surprised at the findings, declaring it was a “good time” to visit and live in the town.
He said: “There was once a conception that Worthing was a place where the elder generation came to live out their days but that’s not true anymore.
“We are positioned strategically with gaps either side of the town, we have fresh sea air, the South Downs and a host of successful businesses and attractions.
“One of Worthing’s negatives would be the house prices. This part of the South East is very expensive on the whole and the average age for first-time buyers now is 44.
“But yes, we’re making good progress and steps forward. It’s a good time to live and visit Worthing.”
While 20% of England overall was considered deprived in the study, the figure for the 31 larger English seaside destinations was 26.9% – a rise on the 2007 figure of 26%.
Blackpool had the highest level of deprivation of the larger English seaside destinations, ahead of Clacton in Essex and Hastings.
The ONS said: “Our analysis has considered levels of deprivation in larger English seaside destinations, which may have once thrived on seaside resort tourism.
“The results of the analysis revealed that there were higher levels of deprivation in 2010 than the deprivation measure for England on average.”
League table of deprived seaside resorts
7 Great Yarmouth
8 South Shields
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