'No nightlife or sports for young people' in parts of Wales

Brynmawr Image copyright Geograph/ Robin Drayton
Image caption Blaenau Gwent often does badly in comparisons with the rest of Wales' local authorities - but in this survey it came second

Young people in many parts of Wales have limited opportunity to go out, take bus journeys and use sports facilities, a new survey suggests.

Bars, clubs and music events were rated 0/10 in 13 of Wales' 22 local authority areas in Radio 1 Newsbeat's Know Your Place project.

Even Swansea, with its Wind Street offering, scored 1/10, while Cardiff scored top with 5/10.

The project looked at what was on offer for 16-25-year-olds.

The best places to live for young people are Bristol, Oxford and Glasgow.

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In the analysis of provisions such as 4G, sports facilities and employment, Blaenau Gwent, was the joint second (with 5/10 overall) best place to live behind Cardiff (7/10).

It had the cheapest rent (£170 per month), compared to the capital's £331 per month.

The valleys county - which consistently tops deprivation leagues - also scored highly on 4G coverage (7/10) and natural land (10/10).

In terms of meeting mental health targets, Powys was judged to do this 8% of the time, compared to 92% in Cardiff, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Vale of Glamorgan.

Image copyright Jaggery/Geograph
Image caption Cardiff - which includes the St Mary Street strip - was judged to have Wales' best places to go out for young people

There were 11 variables considered altogether, with 378 local authorities in Wales, England and Scotland ranked from highest to lowest.

A poll of more than 1,000 young people was also carried out to help ensure that the measures used were important to them.

The proportion of 16-25-year-olds in each area was calculated, with Cardiff (19% of its population) having the most, while counties with universities also had large numbers.

These included Ceredigion (19%), Swansea (16%) and Gwynedd (15%).

This interactive content requires an internet connection and a modern browser, but here are some facts to tide you over:

  • The best place for going out is Westminster, which scores 10/10
  • The youngest place is Oxford, where 26% of people are aged 18-24
  • Blaenau Gwent, in Wales, has the cheapest rent per bedroom, at £170
  • Hammersmith and Fulham, in London, is the best place for buses
  • Highland, in Scotland, has the most natural beauty

Scoring an average 7/10 overall, Cardiff was rated the best place to live with 2,577 young people moving into the area.

Many of these were students, including Tasha Constable, 21, who has been in the city for four years.

Originally from Warwickshire, she described the nightlife as "obviously amazing compared to there", adding: "I think it's just enough.

"It's not too busy, it's not too far to walk from each place to each place and I think you've also got a variety."

Fellow Cardiff Metropolitan University student Livvie Coleby, 19, said: "I just like living here, it's quite easy.

"It's a city that doesn't feel too busy."

Despite it having the highest rental price, Cardiff University student Roz Farr, 21, said she believed it was fair.

Harry Johnston, 21, said he enjoyed the city as a student, and loves the nightlife, but does not expect to stay once he finishes his studies.

"I'm going to go back home, maybe London. I don't know, I'd like to go abroad maybe… but Cardiff, no."

While Cardiff (7/10) was the best place to live, nine authorities scored just 3/10 - Anglesey, Conwy, Powys, Denbighshire, Wrexham, Flintshire, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Monmouthshire.

Carmarthenshire's 3/10 score was dragged down by zero figures for going out, buses and sports facilities.

Image caption Steffan, 22, has a car and does not need to relay on buses

But Steffan, 22, defended the night life and called the zero score "unfair".

"Obviously a lot of people my age prefer the night clubs like in Swansea. Here I'd say it's pubs and there's not many clubs really," he said.

But as a footballer he criticised the local pitches for being "muddy" with poor facilities.

Image caption Students Elspeth and Lily both plan to leave Carmarthenshire

Lily is studying at Bangor University and much prefers it to being at home in Carmarthenshire.

"I wouldn't say the nightlife here is a nought. I'd say it's more of a two, it's not great," she said.

"I don't think I've had a good night out in Carmarthen before."

Her friend Elspeth added: "It's not too bad for going out at night. But it's still a two or three.

"The public transport though is awful. That's the reason I want to move away basically."

So is there anything positive in Carmarthenshire for them?

"The beaches are good," said Lily.

"It's a tourist area more than a place to live," added Elspeth.

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