Slough has come out on top of a survey of the 25 best towns and cities to live and work in, beating Manchester and Cambridge in the top three.
It is hailed as a “prime spot” for jobs, cost of living and worker satisfaction in research by jobs site Glassdoor.
Head offices for brands including Mars and O2 are based there.
The town is also the setting for sitcom The Office, about a fictional paper company on a drab industrial estate.
Swindon and Stoke-on Trent were fourth and fifth in the study respectively.
Nancy Lalor from the Slough Chamber of Commerce said she is not surprised by the study: “We’ve got so many head offices that are based in Slough, so many ‘corporates’, and an amazing trading estate with over 350 businesses on it, so I think it’s really on the up.
“There’s so much new build, so much development going on in the town, every few months the whole look of the town is changing and I think people are inspired by what’s going on.”
‘Slough’s a big place’
The town’s soulless image was also cemented by poet John Betjeman, who wrote the poem Slough in 1937 with the lines: “Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough! It isn’t fit for humans now”.
However, Glassdoor’s research shows Slough offered a good quality of life for employees, with a median salary of £35,000 per annum, the average house costing £390,000 and 26,000 vacancies being advertised.
Dr Andrew Chamberlain, Glassdoor’s chief economist, said Slough – which has head offices for well-known brand names including Mars and O2 – is in a part of the country which offers “pleasant environments” meaning “an increased quality of life for employees”.
He added: “Although people in London are generally satisfied, it has proven not only to be an expensive place to live, but also an ultra-competitive city in which to find a job.”