Basingstoke has been nominated as one of the most depressing places to live in the UK - and we think that is completely untrue. Reporter Mark Paine explains why. 

I was born and raised in Basingstoke, I attended local schools and have worked in a variety of different jobs around the town.

Truthfully, I do not understand where this rumour that Basingstoke is depressing has come from. I think the local area is pretty good if, as with anything, you take the good with the bad, and all with a pinch of salt. 

READ MORE: 'It could be so much worse' - residents react after Basingstoke branded 'depressing'

I understand people's dissatisfaction surrounding house building schemes, and share concerns about the town centre and how vacant many shops are.

But this isn't an issue that is specific to Basingstoke - it's a national issue that needs to be addressed centrally and with that, you would see change in various cities and towns up and down the country.

That said, Basingstoke is still a great place. Employment opportunities in the town are competitive, with various industries, trades and roles on offer.

SEE ALSO: Tank still parked outside Basingstoke Wickes two weeks after first appearing

There are so many opportunities available to locals, be that sport-based, going out for food or drink, taking in a lovely scenic countryside walk, going to the cinema, bowling, bingo, or a variety of different clubs and societies to fill your boots with.

We are fortunate to be surrounded by beautiful countryside, with the Test Valley, another beautiful part of the world, literally right down the road.

Basingstoke also has excellent transport links, be that via public transport or by driving. We can easily access the south of England including nearby seaside towns and beaches, and even the north, with the A34 just up the road at Bullington Cross.

I've always thought it was a pretty good place, be that throughout my youth or into my working career. Really, it comes down to your own mindset and the way you want to perceive the local area.

If you are convinced that the area you live in is 'depressing', that is exactly how you will see things. Don't tarnish your own view - it may not be the best place in the world you could live, but it is very, very far from the worst.