READING is among the least deprived areas to live in the United Kingdom, official figures show.

The Office for National Statistics found the town to be one of the best places in the country to live.

Reading falls just beneath Solihull and Cheltenham, while nearby Guildford was ranked the least deprived town in the Britain.

Mayor of Reading Councillor Sarah Hacker praised the results, adding: "I think Reading is a wonderful place to live.

"We have diverse cultural groups and we get on together and learn about each others' culture.

"Reading has excellent leisure facilities and excellent sports facilities, we have Reading FC which brings occasional bursts of happiness."

The study considered factors such as income, employment, health, education, skills and training and crime.

The most deprived areas were Oldham, West Bromwich and Liverpool.

Cllr Hacker added: "I have never felt intimidated living in Reading, and I live off the Oxford Road which sometimes has a bad reputation.

"I know lots of people who have moved away from Reading for University and come back because it is a great place to live.

"We have a great museum and great entertaining, there is a thriving art and culture scene in Reading too."