‘Mark Three’ New Town – Designated 18 December 1967

In 1957 a group of county councils established the Mid-Wales Industrial Development Association – one of the first regional development bodies in the UK – to arrest rural depopulation in Mid-Wales, promote industry and revitalise economic and social life. Following an initial proposal for a large New Town, a more modest approach was adopted, based on the expansion of the existing market town of Newtown under a new Mid-Wales Development Corporation (succeeded on dissolution by the Development Board for Rural Wales). The expansion of Newtown was to involve the provision of cultural and commercial facilities to encourage and sustain immigration. Factories were built in advance of homes to accelerate development. Today, Newtown is the largest town in mid-Wales and a primary key settlement in the Wales Spatial Plan.

Key facts:

  • Location: 53 kilometres east of Aberystwyth, 51 kilometres south west of Shrewsbury.
  • 2011 Census population: 11,357, in 5,015 households.
  • Local authority: Powys County Council.
  • Local Plan status: Powys Local Development Plan 2011-2026 Deposit Draft, published in July 2014. Wales Spatial Plan (adopted 2004, updated 2008).

New Town designation:

  • Designated: 18 December 1967.
  • Designated area: 606 hectares.
  • Intended population: 13,000 (population at designation: 5,500).
  • Development Corporation: Designated to stem the depopulation of rural Mid-Wales and to create conditions for economic growth in the area. Outline plan drawn up by Cwmbran Development Corporation, acting as agents for the Mid-Wales Development Corporation. Development Corporation wound up 31 March 1977.

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

Council website:

Local museums and archives:

Powys Council Archives Catalogues:

Photo Credit: Newtown Town Council

Updated: 1st April, 2020