Money-conscious bloggers dub Hull the North's 'best kept secret'

A family from Kent who have moved more than 200 miles to East Yorkshire say they believe Hull is the North's "best-kept secret".

Ricky and Naomi Willis, who run the money-saving blog Skint Dad, moved to the city earlier this month after the Covid crisis forced them to reassess their finances.

The couple had spent 13 years renting in Tunbridge Wells and began blogging in 2013 in the face of high rent and low income.

The website, which is now their full-time job, suffered following the onset of the first coronavirus lockdown and their income plummeted - prompting them to bring forward plans to move house.

Ricky said: "I think Hull is the North's best-kept secret, I didn't realise how much was here - the beach, shopping, nightlife, culture, creatives - and from bottom of my heart it's the people. It's like everyone's your neighbour."

Credit: ITV News

Last year, their social media followers recommended Hull as a place to relocate and, between the first two lockdowns, they visited and decided to buy their first home.

After posting about the move online earlier this month the family was inundated with messages of support.

Naomi said: "I'd say to anybody, book a hotel and see what it's like and it's well worth it - and it's not as cold as people say."

It comes after research suggests some workers in the South, and particularly London, are considering moving because of the impact of Covid.

A survey by the London Assembly Housing Committee found last month that 15 per cent of respondents wanted to leave due to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, research by Total Jobs has suggested that as many as 1.6 million people in London, who were working outside the city during the lockdowns, wanted to continue to do so.

But the Centre for Cities thinktank says there is unlikely to be an especially large number of people moving from South to North due to the rise in home working.

Paul Swinney, the Director of Policy Research at Centre for Cities said: "People may now only work three days in the office or four days rather than five but I still think they will be tied to an office location.

"For somewhere like Hull... it's more about 'well, how does Hull make itself a more attractive place to attract businesses?'"