DENBIGH has been unveiled as one of the best market towns to live and work.

Denbigh took the top spot for Wales in the study comissioned by Royal Mail, Britain's oldest postal service, which based its findings on a number of categories that measured work-life balance, such as average earnings, house prices, access to services, crime figures, population skill level and unemployment figures.

The historic market town scored consistently above average across these categories, and received top marks for short commuting distances and working hours.

Community figures from across Denbigh were very positive about the impact the study will have on the town’s continued progress.

Catherine Jones, mayor of Denbigh, said: “Being announced as the Best market town in Wales is a fantastic achievement for our town, and very well deserved. Denbigh is growing day by day and the community spirit here is outstanding. New businesses are opening and the retail park is doing really well. We have a wonderful museum now, a great theatre, we’ve just had the annual carnival with over 4000 people attending. Denbigh looks beautiful with all the flowers via Denbigh in Bloom. The town is booming. I’m very proud of our town and the community.”

Glenn Swingler, councillor for Denbigh Upper/Henllan, said: “I’m thrilled. The shops are filling up in town.

“We have beautiful countryside, the castle and great heritage and history. There are too many groups in Denbigh to mention them all in a short statement but every one of them contributes to this incredible town. You will find it difficult to find a community, anywhere, that beats Denbigh.

Annie Bryan, owner of Denbigh Chocolate Shop said: “The shop’s customers feel that this is a great thing for the town surprised. Denbigh has been through the mill lately and this has given us such a boost. Also, Denbigh Royal Mail workers know everyone in the community and are really lovely people, they’re always smiling and happy to see people in the town in the morning.”

Chris Bonnell, owner of Cariad Cards, a card business established in Denbigh three years ago, said: “For such a little place there are lots of things going on for the community to get involved in. People in the town come together and support each other during times of crisis and there has not been a community spirit like in Denbigh anywhere I’ve lived previously.”

Sparrow Harrison, owner of the Cae Di Estate and Cae Dai 50s museum, said: “I grew up in Denbigh when we had the former North Wales Hospital where many people had mental health problems, and the town was very easy-going and understanding of the difficulties people may have. I think that attitude has continued and is a reason why Denbigh is a place that people feel happier and better supported than elsewhere.”

Lyndsey Tasker, owner of the Carpet Emporium and chair of Denbigh in Bloom, said: “We are over the moon that this has been made public; it is something that people of Denbigh have known all along. The sense of community here is the best you’ll find anywhere. Denbigh in Bloom was overwhelmed by the encouragement it received from the community. Hopefully this announcement will encourage further investment in the area.”

Royal Mail, established in 1516 under Henry VIII’s reign, is today regarded as a British cultural icon, with an estimated 100,000 post boxes and delivering to 30 million homes across the UK.

A spokesperson for Royal Mail said: “This new study demonstrates the breadth of market towns providing attractive places for people across the UK to live and work in.

“For people who value a good work-life balance, there are plenty of market towns to choose from.”

Also appearing in Royal Mail’s study, Ruthin took sixth place in the top ten in Wales.

Leading the study elsewhere in the UK was Egremont, Cumbria in England, Langholm in southern Scotland, and Carrickfergus, near Belfast in Northern Ireland.