Why you should move to Ormskirk
PUBLISHED: 13:02 28 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:03 20 February 2013
Ormskirk is a place on the up, we find out why
Ormskirk boasts former Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, and comedian, Jon Culshaw, as its celebrity sons. The Smiths frontman, Morrisey, also spent time there and it is reputed the latter was inspired for the title of famous album, Meat is Murder, after seeing the words scrawled in graffiti on the wall of a local butchers.
Property prices reached their highest in the last ten years at about the same time local college, Edge Hill, was awarded university status at around the same time.
Situated just off the A59 and close to the M6 and M58 motorways, Ormskirk has become an increasingly popular option for those commuting to Liverpool. The market town also has ideal links thought for those working in nearby Skelmersdale, Southport or Burscough or a little further afield in Wigan, Chorley or Preston.
Ormskirk has a bustling shopping centre but there is a slightly down at heel feel to some areas of the town partly due to the existence of bargain basement stores and a tired looking indoor market. Local community groups agree Ormskirk needs a makeover. But improvements are already happening with a relatively new mosaic floor area in front of the clock tower and an eclectic selection of food retailers from small, locally run cafes, continental inspired delis, a few tapas bars and new Marks & Spencer's store, Simply Food. An older tradition, The Charter Market, is also popular. It dates back to the late 1200s.
Property prices have risen steadily since 1996 but they have fluctuated above and below the national average for that period. It peaked in 2006 with average prices coming in at almost 50,000 above the national picture. There was a short-lived dip in the town's housing market shortly after this boom but prices are now in recovery and stand at the second highest in the past ten years.
Properties range from large detached homes benefiting from lots of open space around them to traditional, character terraced properties and new, contemporary flats. Price wise there is something for every budget with homes ranging from around 100,000 to others tipping the 1 million mark.
New developments are also springing up including at the old Ormskirk Grammar School building from two bedroom apartments to four bedroom town houses and detached properties.
Take a look just outside Ormskirk and there is plenty to do at the National Trust site at Formby where you can see red squirrels pottering around as well as experiencing some history of Rufford Old Hall. Sun seekers can go to the nearby Southport beaches. Ormskirk is a place full of potential.
Property prices: Land registry figures show the average property price in Ormskirk sits around the 208,000 mark. A detached home can be bought for around 325,000 where semi-detached homes sell for just under 180,000. Terraced homes and flats come in at arounf the 140,000 mark.
Ups: Bustling town with plenty going on, low crime levels, good schools and lots of attractions in and around Ormskirk to keep the family entertained.
Downs: Traffic can be a problem, plus a lack of high quality shopping facilities.
Schools: Ormskirk Church of England Primary School, 01695 574027, Ormskirk School, 01695 583040, West End Primary School, 01695 574375, St Bede's Catholic High School, 01695 570335, St Anne's RC School, 01695 574697, Ormskirk College, 01695 577140, Asmall Primary School, 01695 576654.
Transport: Trains run frequently from Ormskirk station to Liverpool and Preston. Regular buses also run in the Ormskirk circular as well as to other areas including Skelmersdale, Burscough, Hesketh Bank and Southport.
Commuting: Ormskirk is ideally located for commuting to nearby Burscough, Skelmersdale, Southport and Liverpool with Chorley and Preston within a reasonable distance. The town is situated just off the A59 and the M6 and M58 motorways.
Shops: Good selection of shops, particularly for food lovers, including a fish and chip shop with a pyramid of pies in the window. Couple of delis, tapas and supermarkets offering food from around the world including the famous Ormskirk gingerbread. The historic Charter Market is held every Thursday and Saturday and there is the usual choice of high street chain stores.
Restaurants/bars: Puts bigger towns to shame with many pubs, cafes and restaurants including the Buck I'th Vine pub which has an old wooden bar.
Weekend fun: Get involved with everything from drama and history to literary clubs or the local flying association. You can visit Rufford Old Hall, where it is reputed Shakespeare performed as a young man, or see the playful red squirrels at Formby's National Trust site, visit the beaches or shop in Southport or enjoy a flutter on the horses at Aintree Race Course