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The local area guide to living in Northampton
Northampton, in Northamptonshire, lies on the River Nene. The town itself has dramatically grown since the 1960s, when it was designated as a New Town. Although unsuccessful in its bid for city status in 2000, it’s one of the UK’s largest towns offering amenities not dissimilar to what you’d find in a city. It also sits between London and Birmingham – which too have plenty to offer in terms of shopping and amenities.
For those that love sports, there are a number of great sporting hotspots nearby, including the Silverstone Circuit and Rockingham Motor Speedway. Within the town itself, there are fantastic leisure facilities, great shops, cafés and restaurants. While it’s quite a busy town, residents here are never too far away from Northamptonshire’s pretty, rural countryside.
Information about the local residents
Northampton’s population was recorded as 212,069 at the time of the 2011 census. This is significantly higher than other towns in the UK. The population here was a little younger than average too, with a median age of 36. Despite this, almost two-thirds owned or had a mortgage on their own property – which is likely to be related to the good employment levels here.
At the time of the census, just over two thirds of the population were economically active and just 4.6% unemployed. Residents worked in a wide variety of industries, including manufacturing, retail, and health and social work - the town’s main private-sector employers typically being in distribution and finance.
In terms of religion, 56.6% of residents described themselves as Christian. Other religions recorded included Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist.
When it comes to schools, there’s plenty of choice here in Northampton. The larger-than-average town boasts 50 primary schools and eight secondary schools – a number of which have received excellent ratings from Ofsted. The region also caters for those pupils with disabilities and learning difficulties with five special needs schools.
Whiteshill Primary School is rated one of the best in the region, along with Preston Hedges Primary School – another top-performing school according to Ofsted. Top secondary schools include Northampton School for Boys and Northampton School for Girls – both of which have performed well in UK-wide tables too. Further education can also be undertaken at Northampton College, which offers vocational courses, GCSEs and A Levels.
Whether you’re looking for good public transportation around the town or good links to other major towns and cities, Northampton has it all. Within the town itself, most people travel by car – but the local roads do tend to get busy on weekends. Those relying on public bus services will be pleased to hear that Stagecoach offers a comprehensive service in and around the town. The other main bus operator here is Uno.
For travel further afield, residents can take the train from Northampton Castle Station. Train services here are run by London Midland and Virgin Trains, and major destinations include London Euston and Birmingham New Street. There’s also a train service that runs to Gatwick – ideal for those catching a flight for business or holiday.
One of the best things about Northampton is its range of amenities. Even though it's a town, it offers amenities to rival that of many cities. For your weekly groceries, you’ll have the pick of all the major supermarkets – including Sainsbury’s and Asda. Alternatively, you can shop local produce at the market stalls on Market Square.
For all your High Street shopping needs, head to Grosvenor Shopping Centre, which sits in the heart of Northampton. The two-level mall is home to all your big-brand favourites including Topshop, BHS, and Superdry. Another popular shopping spot is Abington Street, which is the main outdoor shopping area in the town. Around these areas, you’ll also find plenty of restaurants, cafes, and tea-rooms, including chain restaurants like Nandos, Ask Italian, and Pizza Express.
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