The UK is divided over whether community spirit still exists.
New research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks has revealed that 49% of homeowners in the UK believe there is a strong sense of community in their local area, whilst 27% haven’t noticed and 24% feel it is lacking in their neighbourhood.
The strongest community spirit can be found in the North East where 61% believe they have a strong connection with their local area in comparison to just 38% in the North West.
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The research also revealed that friends rather than family now hold the key to community spirit, reflecting the fact that many people now live further away from family members placing increased importance on the support of friends.
Friendships are strongest in the North East and Wales where 46% of respondents have a network of friends in their local community compared to just 29% in Scotland. There is also a marked regional difference in family networks with 30% in the North East having strong family support compared to just 7% in the East.
Overall neighbours were valued more highly than family members in creating a strong community spirit with 72% stating they were of prime importance.
Whilst 16% of those surveyed prefer not to be part of their community, it is a cause for concern for a further 15%. Of those, 9% are keen to become more involved in their local community while 6% are worried about the lack of a support network in their neighbourhood.
Steve Fletcher, Director of Retail Banking Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks said: "At Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks we understand the importance of strong local communities and are focused on playing a positive role in the development of community spirit.
“We have a wide range of community initiatives from our ‘Spirit of the Community’ Awards and volunteering programmes to supporting our charity partner, Hospice UK, and we are committed to working with the communities we serve. As well as launching Yorkshire's first ever bike library we work closely with both the Scottish Charity Air Ambulance and Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS)."
For more information, customers can contact their local branch on 0800 22 24 26 for Clydesdale Bank or 0800 20 21 22 for Yorkshire Bank or visit www.cbonline.co.uk (opens in a new window) or www.ybonline.co.uk (opens in a new window).