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Rethinking your future? Come to Cumbria

A recent survey found that Cumbria is one of the most popular destinations in the UK for relocation as people re-think their future post-COVID-19:

This has been warmly welcomed in helping to address Cumbria’s declining working age population and support economic recovery and growth.

The survey, by online mortgage broker Trussle, found that almost a quarter of UK adults had taken advantage of the time afforded by the COVID-19 lockdown to re-think their futures and were seriously considering relocating in the next couple of years.

Cumbria ranks highly in the places that people want to move to, along with other highly attractive, more rural locations, including Cornwall, Devon and Yorkshire.

That’s no great surprise says Jo Lappin, Chair of Cumbria’s Business and Economic Response and Recovery Group (BERGG), part of the Local Resilience Forum, responsible for developing the economic response to the pandemic.

She said: “It’s understandable that many homeowners and would-be buyers are looking for a different way of life post-COVID 19.

“During the pandemic, we have learnt that many people can work from home using digital technology such as video conferencing, which means that there is now far more freedom as to where people can live, as they are no longer tied to their business location.”

Mrs Lappin, Chief Executive of the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, added: “People have discovered a new way to work and are now looking for a new way to live and where better than Cumbria? It really does have it all – beautiful and affordable.

“Cumbria really can provide the right product, at the right price in the right place for every potential buyer.”

One family that made the move north from London two years ago offers living proof of the new possibilities.

Media professionals Phil and Charlotte Nettleton decided to uproot their family of three children and relocate to Cumbria in search of a better work-life balance. Today, they own and operate the Rickerby Grange guest house at Portinscale, near Keswick.

Phil explained: “It’s a fantastic place to live and bring up the kids. They have all settled into school and they are enjoying life here. Comparing what they have been able to do here in the Lakes with life in London is amazing – swimming, cycling, walking the fells and it’s all on our doorstep.

“We’re all fitter and healthier than we would be in London. Living here just encourages us to enjoy all of that.”

Former national journalist Phil works full time in the business whilst Charlotte retained her role as director of a communications agency, working from home most of the time and commuting from Penrith to London a couple of times per month.

Nick Miller, Managing Director of Carlisle and Penrith-based estate agent Fine & Country North Cumbria, said there’s evidence that others are seeking to follow Phil and Charlotte’s lead.

He said: “I did a virtual viewing on a property near Penrith a couple of weeks ago with a couple in their 30s from central London, who were looking to locate out of the city and were including Cumbria in their search for the right property.

“Good mobile signal and broadband communications were important for their ongoing work to be carried online. COVID has shown them and others that they can now work from anywhere – as long as the broadband is good and strong enough to potentially run a business.”

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