IT’S OFFICIAL - Sowerby Bridge is the fastest-growing town in Calderdale.
Figures in Calderdale Council’s latest annual monitoring report show that the area’s population shot up by nearly 23 per cent over 10 years.
This huge surge puts it way ahead of Hebden Bridge, which saw the next biggest rise of just 3.5 per cent, and Halifax, where the population fell by 6.4 per cent.
While trade flounders in many other UK town centres in the wake of the recession, statistics indicate that Sowerby Bridge’s is flourishing.
Its floorspace has just a 7 per cent vacancy rate, compared to an average of nearly 13 across Calderdale.
And demand for properties in the area is booming according to Gary Horsfield, of Horsfield estate agents in Wharf Street.
The Sowerby Bridge resident said the town’s popularity was down to a mixture of cheap prices, good rail links, and the amenities on offer.
“The rental market in particular is very buoyant down here, because it’s very affordable,” he said.
“At one time Sowerby Bridge didn’t have a lot to offer - it had turned into a bit of a ghost town.
“But there is a lot of activity down here now - people will come here rather than go into Halifax.”
Regeneration of the wharf area and the relocation of the markets have helped to breathe life back into the town centre.
And the new swimming pool and sports centre, which opened to the public in November and was officially unveiled on Friday, have also given the area a boost.
Amanda Byrne (Con, Sowerby Bridge) said: “I’ve been a councillor here now for eight years and I’ve really seen how the town has developed.
“Its an incredibly friendly and very laid-back place, and a lovely place to live.”
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