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Living and Working in the East of England

Joanna Clare

The East of England consists of Bedfordshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk with the latter regions generally being known as East Anglia. The area stretches from the north and north east of London to The Wash which is the estuary bordering Norfolk and Lincolnshire.

Over six million people reside here in this striking part of the country which is characterised by waterways, lakes, rivers and canals. Despite the abundance of water, you will find that the east of England is actually the driest place (weather-wise) in the whole of the UK due to the temperate maritime climate.

The region appears to have the secret to ongoing economic success as according to the ONS, it had the lowest unemployment rate in the UK (in the three months ending in November 2020). In the same number of months, employment was calculated to be 76.9% and unemployment was a mere 4.6% compared with a UK national average of 75.2% and 5% respectively. This is an area that can retain and expand its economy and the region as a whole, oversees the fourth largest amount of exporting in the UK and favours a strong financial sector, manufacturing and advanced manufacturing, engineering, pharmaceuticals, scientific research, offshore renewables, agri tech/ agriculture and ICT,  thus proving time and time again that this is a place for investment and endless possibilities.

One of the UK’s busiest airports, Stansted, which is little over 40 miles from central London, is easily accessible via road. Stena line ferries operate regularly from Harwich in Essex to the Hook of Holland with Felixstowe Port in Suffolk dealing with almost half of the UK’s active container trade.

Of course, tourism brings in a steady flow of income and with a recent 218 million pounds investment to improve the region's network of roads, pavements and bridges, one can travel effortlessly to destinations like the Norfolk Broads which is Britain's largest protected wetland. Norwich is described as the best medieval city in the UK and Kings Lynn has more graded buildings than the ancient city of York with Great Yarmouth having 15 miles of beaches which includes the famous ‘Golden Mile’. Majestic cathedrals and stately homes are plentiful and even the Queen chooses to reside here at times at her beloved Sandringham in Norfolk which is a coastal area of outstanding natural beauty. The highly regarded Cambridge University is consistently ranked one of the best in the world and at certain times you can walk around the colleges, associated buildings and grounds that encompass the university.

The pace here is unhurried yet everything still gets done. The spark and dynamism within the people and their consistent work ethic is apparent.

House prices are more expensive here than in some other parts of the country simply because of the influence of London which is in commuting distance but salaries do reflect this. Another factor to consider is that the region is often in highly favourable positions on lists of ‘best places to live’.  Only here do you have the choice of living in either grand and noble homes, quaint farming cottages, sleek city apartments, neat and tidy semis, or canal boats and historic windmills!

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