SUNDERLAND councillors have welcomed news that the city has been ranked is the best city to live and work in the UK.

A survey of 2,000 people from across the UK saw Sunderland named as the nation’s favourite place to live, based on factors including housing, jobs, transport and crime.

Sunderland’s Labour councillors have endorsed the news, describing the city as a ‘hidden gem’.

Council leader Councillor Graeme Miller, said: “I’m delighted that Sunderland has been recognised as the best place to live in the UK.

“As someone who moved to Sunderland from Edinburgh 26 years ago and has lived here ever since, I can vouch for it being an excellent place to live, work and bring up a family.

“As well as being a city by the sea with beautiful beaches, coastline and green spaces, Sunderland is a connected international city with excellent transport links, affordable housing and warm and welcoming people.

“Add to this £1.5bn investment transforming the fabric of Sunderland, the landmark new Northern Spire Bridge, developments like the Vaux site and the thriving music arts and culture development in the city centre and you get a flavour of how the city is changing at an unparalleled pace.”

The research, released by OneFamily, ranked places based on factors such as average salary, rent, property prices and commuting costs. It split its scores into two categories; satisfaction and happiness and Sunderland ranked top for satisfaction and fourth for happiness.

Councillor Stuart Porthouse, portfolio holder for housing in the city, said: “Anyone who lives in Sunderland knows that this is a special city, with some fantastic natural assets that make it a great place to live, work and play. It’s something of a hidden gem.

“While reports like this will come as no surprise to people who already know and love the city, for those who don’t, it is pleasing that they will learn more about Sunderland. We’re growing the economy here – just look at the regeneration projects that are coming to fruition in the city and what’s to come. We’re making changes to the city that will improve the fabric of the place – from the new strategic transport corridor, that will ease movement in Sunderland – to major developments like the International Advanced Manufacturing Park and Vaux, which will create jobs for local people. All of this will deliver an ever better place to live and enjoy. We know it’s becoming a more desirable place and this report confirms it.”

The report said that people who live in Sunderland are happy with almost all aspects of the city but are particularly satisfied with commuting and cost of living.