AN East Lancashire borough has been named as one of the top 10 places to live in the UK because of its primary schools.

The Sunday Times ranked Rossendale as one of the most sought-after areas because of recent education league tables.

Rossendale boasts three schools in the country’s top 500 for literacy and numeracy.

Of the other nine areas recommended, including St Albans, Rugby and the London areas of Bermondsey and Ruislip no area has more than three or four of these high-achieving schools.

The three primaries listed are Balladen Community in Rawtenstall, Helmshore and St Veronica’s RC in Helmshore.

They rank 111th, 334th and 403rd in the country respectively. However St Mary’s Primary in Haslingden, which isn’t mentioned in the list, topped an earlier table in first place when ranked with the nation’s similar schools.

The Lime Road school came joint first with three other schools, with headteacher Donna McNicoll receiving a letter praising their hard work from schools’ minister David Laws.

Chair of governors at Rawtenstall Balladen, Nick Pilling, said the school was also gaining increasing recognition and was judged ‘outstanding’ at its last Ofsted inspection.

He said: “We have certainly seen an upturn in pupils coming on roll, so we would probably struggle to accommodate any more. We have got a good, committed team of staff and we are very pleased with the results we have been getting.”