Corby is a vibrant and rapidly changing place. The Borough, the 11th smallest local authority in the UK, covers 80 square miles, is situated in the heart of England with excellent road links via the A14 to the M1, M6 and A1 and a direct passenger rail service to London.
The Borough is expanding at a fast pace, growing by approximately 12,000 to circa 66,900 in the past 13 years. The Office of National Statistics has reported the Borough as in the top ten nationally for growth.
Until the 1930s, Corby was a small village however all of that changed with the opening of the steelworks by Stewarts and Lloyds. Corby grew quickly through the 1950s and 60s, with a huge influx of migrants seeking work, many of which were from central Scotland. Steel production closed in 1980, bringing with it around 11,000 job losses, increasing the unemployment rate at the time to over 30%. Corby’s Celtic ties remain evident today, the Borough is often referred to as ‘Little Scotland’ and is proud of its expanding diverse population.
In 2001 there were an estimated 22,006 households in Corby and this has risen to 27,689 in 2014. The Council currently owns and manages some 4,897 homes and despite the recent recession continues to be one of a small number of councils adding to their housing stock.
Corby is a significant employment centre and is home to many national and international brand names such as Tata Steel, Avon, Fairline Boats, Roquette, Joules, Weetabix and soon to move in Staples. Corby has developed into a major distribution hub and despite economic changes was named as the manufacturing hub of the UK in 2013.
Corby’s main ambition is around growth and regeneration and in recent years this has been evident through the construction of large housing developments as well as educational, leisure, business premises and investment in infrastructure to support the growth. Regeneration has clearly been significant, eg over 6,000 new homes built since 2001, primarily at Oakley Vale, Little Stanion, Priors Hall and major town centre developments have been completed, ie the Corby East Midlands International Pool, Corby Cube, Willow Place shopping mall and the Savoy Cinema; utilising both private and public funding.
Whilst improvements continue, it is clear that Corby really has seen some big changes and improvements over the past decade. With a lot of forward thinking and great ambition, Corby has come out of the shadows and is now firmly centre stage – not just as a leading community in Northamptonshire, but also in the Midlands