‘Mark Three’ New Town – Designated 14 February 1968

Historically a market town, Northampton was designated as a New Town to accommodate London overspill and provide for regional growth. Development was promoted as a partnership between the local authority, leading on the development in the central area, and the Development Corporation, focusing on expansion in new areas. Today, Northampton is the wider area’s main employment, retail and cultural centre, providing the main services and facilities for the wider population of Northamptonshire. It has been recognised as a location for growth, and it is anticipated that its population will continue to grow to approximately 240,000 by 2026, mainly through sustainable urban extensions. A programme of regeneration projects is also under way to revitalise the town.

Key facts:

  • Location: 108 kilometres north west of London, 16 kilometres north west of Milton Keynes, on the M1.
  • 2011 Census population: 212,069, in 88,731 households.
  • Local authority: Northampton Borough Council. Planning at a more strategic level is led by the West Northamptonshire Joint Strategic Planning Committee (a partnership of Northampton Borough, Daventry District, South Northamptonshire and Northamptonshire County Councils).
  • Local Plan status: Northampton Central Area Action Plan (adopted 2013). West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy (adopted 2014).

New Town designation:

  • Designated: 14 February 1968.
  • Designated area: 8,081 hectares.
  • Intended population: 260,000 (population at designation: 133,000).
  • Development Corporation: Designated to provide homes and jobs for Londoners and to help relieve pressure on restraint areas and areas of undue pressure in the South East. Development Corporation wound up 31 March 1985.

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

Council website:

Information about regeneration:

Local museums and archives:

Northampton Museums:

Northamptonshire Archives:

Photo credits: Carolin Brown