Sunderland is one of the top five locations in the UK for earning a living, according to new figures.
Credit comparison website TotallyMoney.com based its findings on wages compared to mortgage payments, the cost of living and the local jobs market in 64 towns and cities across Britian.
Sunderland was ranked fourth, beaten only by Blackburn, Derby and Cambridge, while London could only manage 26th position and Birmingham was 30th. Newcastle was ranked 16th and Middlesbrough a lowly 47th
Sunderland City Council leader Coun Paul Watson said: “It’s great news that Sunderland’s status as a great place to live and work has been recognised.
“The city has a healthy jobs market, with a strong showing in automotive, IT and the contact centre sectors, plus a diverse range of other businesses from manufacturing to retail.
“We have good value housing and a low cost of living when compared to many other parts of the country, and we’re also proud to be a vibrant city with plenty going on from sport to culture.
There is a lot going on in Sunderland with leisure facilities and provisions for health and welfare.Anthony Reynolds
“Sunderland is a great place to start a business or relocate a growing enterprise. For anyone thinking of making the move to the city, the City Council can help, advise and support you.”
Sunderland’s employment market as seen the creation of more than 5,500 jobs in the last three years and investment of £384.7 million in projects to boost employment and the local economy.
In 2014/15, 54 new projects - including automotive supplier Vantec’s second major warehouse development in the city - pulled in funding of £117million and led to 2,400 new jobs.
The largest investment was in the automotive sector, where £83million of capital expenditure on 12 projects led to 820 new jobs. The growing software and IT industry created 210 jobs, contact centres brought in 1,100 additional posts and other sectors combined to create 275 jobs.
Anthony Reynolds from the Sunderland City Centre Traders’ Association runs Reynolds Outdoor Centre in the city centre, selling outdoor gear. He is the fifth generation of his family to take the helm of the business and returned home to run it.
“The city is a good place for us to be based because it’s well-positioned for the coast and we’re not too far from Northumberland and the Lake District,” he said.
“There is a lot going on in Sunderland with leisure facilities and provisions for health and welfare.”
The Traders Association was set up in the city centre through discussions with Sunderland City Council’s business investment team.
“We have a good working partnership with the City Council. They recognise that retail is an important part of the city centre and understand business needs. We worked with the city council to get a parking permit system for businesses, and found good communication rapport with them.