OLDHAM is the second “most unliveable place” in the North, according to a study.

The town is behind only Bradford in the Northern Powerhouse Liveability Index which has analysed all 72 local authority areas across the North of England.

Compiled by housing association Your Housing Group and former treasury economist Chris Walker, it ranks the locations on affordability of its housing, employment opportunities, availability of housing, and desirability.

The study has found the Bradford is the most unliveable place in the North with Oldham the runner up with Sheffield, Manchester, Blackburn, Middlesbrough and Newcastle also featured in the top 10.

South Lakeland, Fylde and Ribble Valley are among the top 10 most liveable places across the North of England.

Oldham, Blackburn and Knowsley on Merseyside are amongst the areas identified as being the most difficult to live in for average earners in those areas and the most in need of new affordable homes, despite having reputations for below-average housing costs.

Among other challenges, residents living in Oldham and Blackburn with Darwen also face above average rates of unemployment.

The unemployment rates in Blackburn and Oldham are 40% above the national average with unemployment rates of 6.3% and 6.2% respectively, compared to 4.5% of people out of work across the UK.

The news is not all bad, however. Local authorities across the North are battling to improve their district despite often lacking the devolved powers to push on as they wish.

In 2013, Oldham Council launched a new, co-operative approach to tackle unemployment and create apprenticeships and training opportunities in the borough. Since then it has supported the creation of more than 6,000 employment placements.

Last year, Andy Burnham was elected as the first ever Mayor of Greater Manchester with the ambition to make the city the core of the Northern Powerhouse, with the mayor gaining power over budgets for transport, health and social care and a £30m housing investment fund for Greater Manchester.

However, despite efforts, the Liveability Index shows towns and cities in the North are still in great need of affordable housing.

Your Housing Group chief executive Brian Cronin said: “This significant new research reveals the hidden problem areas for average earners in towns and cities across the North of England. Importantly it also shows where we need to see the development of more genuinely affordable homes.

“As a housing provider we are passionate about creating more places to thrive. Everyone should have the opportunity to live in a good quality home they can afford, in a thriving neighbourhood with good community facilities and the potential for local work opportunities. That’s why we invest in community regeneration, such as the transformation of Anfield in Liverpool, which has seen us bring homes which lay empty for many years back into use and create employment opportunities through with our regeneration partners.

“Commercial developers simply cannot deliver this and Government needs to recognise the major role housing providers such as Your Housing Group could play to fill this significant gap. We will be sharing our findings with policymakers and setting out ideas on how our sector can boost the supply of affordable housing where it’s needed most.”