Dundee’s reputation has been given a further boost after being named among the best cities in the UK to bring up a family.
Tayside’s biggest urban area was ranked fifth in the country in a lifestyle study conducted by CIA insurance.
The study measured quality of life, crime rate index, number of outdoor activities, as well as the cost of monthly childcare and rent.
Belfast ranked first followed by Swansea, Carlisle, Chester, and then Dundee.
Scotland’s biggest family praise city
One local family who know the challenges of raising youngsters more than most are the Hanns, who have no less than 13 children.
Mum Emma, who co-owns the city’s Empire State Coffee, and dad Roy, a nurse, say the city “just works well” for families.
They pinpoint its compact nature, lack of traffic jams, plentiful parks, and riverside location as key.
Emma said: “I don’t think we realise how lucky we are here sometimes.
“You can get one from one side of the city to the other in no time, we’ve got beautiful parks, and the river and the Sidlaw hills on our doorstep.
“It doesn’t really have a lot of the problems bigger cities have such as congestion.
“All that means we’ve been able to raise all our kids well here.”
She added: “It’s much cheaper for property and living compared to cities like Edinburgh too.”
Although the crime rate in Dundee is double that of the next best city (Chester in North West England), it ranks very high on overall quality of life.
The study also cites the number of schools as a crucial determining factor but does not appear to take into account quality of education.
It comes after Dundee began appearing in various ‘must-visit’ lists published in the last three years in magazines, travel guides, and newspapers around the world.
Emma, who was also raised in Dundee, added: “We moved to Arizona in the USA when we just had just five little girls.
“I couldn’t handle being so far away from the water. It’s funny because I don’t think I realised how important that is until we didn’t have it.
“When we came home after seven years with four more kids, I expected some of them to ask ‘why did we come back?’
“But none of them ever have and they’ve all enjoyed growing up here.
“Our kids also all loved their schools (Camperdown Primary, Lochee Primary, and St John’s RC High School).”
The children consist of Rachel, 29, Sophia, 28, Polly, 26, Charlotte, 25, Alice, 22, Annabelle, 20, Jennifer, 18, Isabella, 17, Jonas, 15, Enos, 13, Eva, 11, Posy, 9 and Meg, 6.
Dundee ‘getting recognition it deserves’
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander says the area is rightly growing its fan base.
He said: “As a father of two myself, I wholeheartedly agree with Dundee’s ranking. The city is a very good place to raise a family.
“I’m glad Dundee has gotten the recognition it rightly deserves. The research shows the high level of attractions available to residents, as well as the favourable cost of living.
“The news follows the recent recognition Dundee received in the Royal Society of Arts’ 2020 Heritage Index which also highlighted what is on offer in the city, and being named the Best Place to Live in Scotland by the Sunday Times in 2019.
“Like any city, Dundee has its social issues and there is still more to do to address these. The study shows some of the city’s achievements so far, but also highlights the potential we can build on.”