Market Harborough has once again been named one of the UK’s best market towns according to an annual report published in national newspaper The Times. The town featured at number one in the newspaper’s ‘Best Places to Live Guide’ for 2016. The guide selected 20 of Britain’s ‘top’ market towns based on information such as crime rates, house prices and school performance. The paper also cites the town’s good transport links to London and amenities such as the Harborough Theatre. Harborough’s regular inclusion in the Times’ annual list comes as no surprise to William Naylor of local estate agency Naylors. He says “Demand for property in the town is always high, with many buyers relocating here from London and other cities. As a local resident and a business owner it really does offer something for everyone.” He adds “We are well known in the area for our range of independent shops, restaurants and cafés and the local economy is also thriving. In addition, the fact that we’re only 20 minutes from Leicester and an hour from London on the train makes the town a highly desirable location.” The Times article summarised Market Harborough as “a popular town with commuters. There are several outstanding-Ofsted primary schools, with nearby private options at Oakham and Uppingham. The town has a small theatre and a range of bespoke shops. The Grand Union canal runs through the town and nearby Foxton – one of the longest runs of locks in the country.”
Market Harborough was one of three East Midland’s market towns to be included, with Belper in Derbyshire and Retford in Nottinghamshire also in the top 20. The town was also recently identified as the most sustainable of 11 similarly sized towns in a State of the Town report and also scored highly in the Halifax Quality of Life Survey 2015. As a result of nationwide housing demand the government has set the town a target of 475 new homes to be built in the district. If targets are met, the district’s population could increase by over 1,100 people.