Picture: From left to right Stephanie Kerr BID Leamington, Cllr Mini Kaur Mangat chairman Warwick District Council, MR MONOPOLY, Ella Gibbs Winning Moves UK, Cllr Liam Bartlett WDC Portfolio Arts & Economy, Cllr Nick Wilkins, Mayor of Royal Leamington Spa.
Leamington Spa is officially the best place to live in the Midlands.
It beat off stiff competition from Warwick, Digbeth, Market Harborough and Great Malvern to take the top spot in the Sunday Times Best Places to Live guide.
The accolade comes hot on the heels of Leamington being named one of the coolest cities in the country and confirmation it would soon have its own version of the hit board game, Monopoly.
Famed for its Regency town houses, ironwork, tree-lined streets, independent businesses and beautiful parks, it is also the centre of the UK’s growing gaming industry, taking on the mantle of the Silicon Spa.
The Sunday Times judges said: “The Silicon Spa combines period charm with very modern innovation.
“It’s a major hub for digital industries and its high-tech credentials are about to get a power-up from the launch of a new Creative Quarter.
“It also has beautiful, well-tended parks, excellent transport links, good schools and a town centre with a combination of useful chains and interesting independent shops and cafes.”
The Regency town sprang from a tiny village to a bustling tourist magnet after mineral springs were discovered in the 19th century and it rapidly became a favourite tourist retreat amongst Royals, with Queen Victoria bestowing the Royal title on it in 1838.
Leamington’s excellent reputation has been further endorsed with a special edition of the hit board game Monopoly. It beat a 10-strong region-wide shortlist, beating – amongst others – Warwick, Solihull, Gloucester and Telford.
Due to hit shop shelves in October, it will feature landmarks such as the Pump Rooms, Jephson Gardens, the Town Hall and the Spa Centre.
The Chance and Community Chest cards will be customised in the game and three local charities are also due to be chosen and featured on the board. If you have suggestions as to which charities should feature, email email@example.com before 11.59pm on Thursday, April 6.
It is being produced by London-based games company Winning Moves UK under licensing from global brand entertainment company, Hasbro. Bosses said factors including pride, beauty, sense of community and distinct heritage were considered when selecting Leamington from the shortlist.
Leamington is no stranger to accolades. For the past three years it has also featured in Rightmove’s Happy at Home index.
Sheldon Bosley Knight’s associate director, Andrew James said: “Leamington is a special place and I’m delighted it continues to get the recognition it deserves.
“With its independent shops and businesses, pubs, bars, restaurants, the Spa Centre, Pump Rooms and the beautiful Jephson Gardens, it’s a great place to live and work.
“For those wanting to settle here it, Leamington is ideal thanks to being centrally located with excellent transport links, fantastic schools and lots to do. Housing is plentiful and varied and there is something to suit most budgets.
“If you are thinking of buying, selling or renting, pop in to our office on Regent Grove and we will be happy to help you – and show you why Leamington is such a great place to live and work.”