‘Mark One’ New Town – Designated 1 April 1950

Increased demand for iron and steel in the late 1940s led to the expansion of steelworks at Corby as a ‘matter of national importance’. Corby was initially designated to provide homes for the expanded workforce, but there was an intention to encourage new industries to diversify the employment offer. The designated area was subsequently expanded to accommodate some of London’s overspill, despite being located over 100 kilometres from the capital. The modern Corby has an ambitious programme of regeneration and growth, working towards doubling the population with a complementary increase in jobs, prosperity and the quality of local public services. Major development, including town centre regeneration, has already begun to transform the area, which, in percentage terms, has the fastest-growing population in the country.

Key facts:

  • Location: 129 kilometres north of London. A recently opened railway station offers access to London in just over an hour.
  • 2011 Census population: 59,563, in 28,520 households.
  • Local authority: Corby Borough Council.
  • Local Plan status: North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (adopted July 2016).

New Town designation:

  • Designated: 1 April 1950.
  • Designated area: 1,083 hectares, revised to 1,971 hectares.
  • Intended population: 40,000, revised to 55,000 in 1965, with natural growth to 80,000 by the year 2,000 and 63,600 by 2006 (population at designation: 16,880).
  • Development Corporation: Aimed to provide not only housing but also social, commercial and amenity services. The Development Corporation also aimed to diversify from the existing steelworks industrial base. Green Belt was to ensure ‘an independent existence’. Development Corporation wound up 31 March 1980.

Figures taken from Corby ‘5 minute’ fact sheet – TCPA New Towns and Garden Cities, Lessons for Tomorrow research, available here.

Council website:

Other useful links

Website for the North Northamptonshire Joint Planning Unit. Established by Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough and East Northamptonshire Councils, together with Northamptonshire County Council.

Etopia Corby – A pilot housing scheme in Corby which is one of the highest performing (in terms of energy efficiency) and most eco-friendly developments in the UK