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The local area guide to living in Chichester

Chichester is a beautiful city located in the county of West Sussex, in the South East of England. It is a cathedral city, famous for its outstanding medieval architecture as well as the surrounding countryside, coastline and diverse array of attractions.

Chichester has a rich historical background and was an important settlement prior to the Roman conquest, as well as during the invasion. The River Lavant flows through Chichester and was used by the Romans in order to bring in supplies from France. The town was heavily fortified during the Roman occupation, and they named it Noviomagus Reginorium. It was in approximately the early 6th Century that the Anglo- Saxons arrived. The Saxon term for a set of buildings was a ‘ceaster’, and this was combined with the Saxon name ‘Cissa’ in order to name the town Cissa’s Ceaster, from which the current name derives.

Chichester Cathedral was undoubtedly one of the greatest developments to have occurred in the history of the city. It was built in the 11th Century and consecrated in 1108. Despite having been rebuilt twice as a result of fire damage, the building remains virtually unchanged since the 15th century. Chichester has a large number of listed buildings, but it is the magnificent and striking cathedral that is regarded most highly.

Today, Chichester has a highly artistic and creative culture. The four-week Festival of Chicester, held every summer, showcases many talented musicians and artists, attracting audiences from far and wide. Furthermore, the Chichester Festival Theatre is one of the UK's top producing and touring dramatic organisations. Whist the city has a fairly small population of around 27,000 people, several notable figures were born or raised there, including several significant influencers in the English Civil War. More recent high-profile figures linked to Chichester include the astronaut Tim Peake, who was born and raised in the city, as well as The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick.

Information about the local residents

Chichester's relatively diminutive population of 26,795 has a mean age of 44.5, a few years higher than that of the national average of 39.3. It has a median age of 46, seven years above the rate for England. Around 83% of people from Chichester declared their health to be either ‘good’ or ‘very good’ in the latest census, which indicates a good level of self-reported state of health.

Chichester is relatively wealthy and this shows in its social grade profile, which is determined by the occupation of the main earner in each household. 28.8% of households belong to the higher grade (AB), which compares to 23% for England, and just 18.6% of households are ranked in the lowest grade (DE), compared to 26.05% of the rest of the country.

This wealth is also reflected in home ownership rates. 67% of households are owner occupied, of which 40.5% are owned outright. That compares to 63% and 30.6% for England respectively. Only 12.8% of households in Chichester are privately rented, and barely 2% are council-run social houses.

Only 1.7% of people in Chichester claim Jobseeker's Allowance, and only 8.9% are on any sort of benefit. The figures for the country as a whole are 3.3% and 13.5%, significantly higher.

Nearby schools

Chichester's culture, architecture and setting make it an attractive place for families and this is heightened by its excellent educational institutions.

Chichester High School for Boys is foremost of four secondary schools which also include Chichester Free School and the Chichester High School for Girls as well as Bishop Luffa School.

These schools are fed into by six primary schools running from infancy to the age of 11, as well as two infant-only schools and two special-needs schools.

For parents looking to privately educate their children, there are three preparatory schools to choose from; Westbourne House School, The Prebendal School, and Oakwood Preparatory School.

Past the age of 16, many pupils choose to go to a sixth form college. Chichester High Schools Sixth Form, the largest in West Sussex, is the most popular and performs very well. It offers both academic A-level courses and more vocational options.

Getting around

Chichester's positioning is extremely convenient. It has a railway station on the West Coastway Line and provides direct services to Brighton, London Victoria, Southampton and Portsmouth. The bus services are also regular and reliable and the bus station sits beside the railway station.

For motorists, Chichester is very well placed. The A27 is the primary trunk road, - running coastally between Eastbourne and Southampton - and connects to all the major nearby motorways.

Local shops

Chichester's economy relies on tourism and as such, it has developed some fantastic retail options to serve visitors.

Whilst reputed high street brands such as Accessorize, H Samuel, Laura Ashley and John Lewis are easily found, the town really shines in terms of independent antique, craft, book and vintage shops which are dotted all over its streets.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

p>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith

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