HYNDBURN has been voted one of the top 20 places in the country to live and bring up a family.
The borough was named 18th in a list of 408 towns, cities and rural districts for providing the best surroundings and facilities for a happy home life.
It easily beat swanky Chelsea, trendy Manchester and parts of leafy Surrey in the survey conducted by Reader's Digest.
The magazine asked parents what factors are most important to them when it comes to family life.
Their answers, on which the survey is based, include a low crime rate, good local hospitals, affordable family housing, good state schools and high employment.
Each area was given a score based on these factors which was then measured against statistical and demographic portraits of all 408 local authority areas in England, Scotland and Wales.
Hyndburn MP Greg Pope said: "I am delighted that people are beginning to recognise what a great place Hyndburn is. I have been saying this in London for ages. We have low unemployment and high employment and that is something we should be proud of."
Council leader Peter Britcliffe commented: "It is great news that we have come out so well in a national poll. It confirms what we believe, that Hyndburn is on the up and is becoming a better place for people to live and bring up families. I am delighted."
Sergeant Allen Davies of Accrington Police said: "We feel that Accrington is a safe place to live. There have been significant reductions in crime over the last 12 months which has been achieved by working closely with the community, enabling us to identify problems early and take immediate positive action."
Gordon Coates, a spokesman for Accrington and Rossendale College, agreed: "The area has a lot to be proud of. We couldn't be happier that Reader's Digest has confirmed what we have known all along - Hyndburn is a great place to live, work and learn."
Jo Cubbon, chief executive of the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "We are very proud of our new hospital facilities in Blackburn and Burnley which provide services for the people of East Lancashire including Hynd-burn.
"Both developments help ensure that we provide the highest quality patient care from the best possible hospital facilities."
A spokesman for the East Lancashire Primary Care Trust said: "The area has had its traditional health-related problems, with the legacy of heavy industry and poor housing conditions, but we take a very proactive approach to trying to improve the quality of people's lives.
"Our two new Accrington-based health centres are well underway. aiming to bring state-of-the-art health provision to people's doorsteps."
Rona Courtney, head of corporate and support services for Hyndburn Homes, said that Hyndburn was one of the North West's best-kept secrets.
She added: "The clearance of old housing to be replaced by new is already having an impact. We have noticed more demand to live in the area which is reflected in our own very healthy waiting list.
"Hyndburn is also close to open countryside, is accessible for the M65, has good rail links and has a friendly community atmosphere.
"It's no wonder that it is in the 20 top places to live. It seems like the secret is out."
The only area in East Lancashire to come in ahead of Hyndburn was the Ribble Valley which was ninth overall. Burnley came in 141st while Blackburn with Darwen was 163rd.
East Dunbartonshire, Scotland, whose main town is Milngavie, was named as Britain's best place to live while Reading was right at the bottom of the list.
Posh London borough Kensington and Chelsea ranked 244th and thriving Greater Manchester 328th.