Jobcentre bosses say plans for a new shopping centre could be the biggest boost to the jobs market since the decline of the shoe industry.
The £50m Rushden Lakes development would bring a total of 1,630 jobs if it is given the go-ahead by East Northamptonshire Council.
Jobcentre bosses in Wellingborough and Rushden say the scheme would help employ the 3,387 jobless people across the two towns, and those further afield in Corby and Kettering.
Sonia Rea, manager of Wellingborough Jobcentre Plus, said: “This scheme could be the ‘shot-in-the-arm’ that north Northamptonshire has been waiting for following the demise of our shoe and leather industry.”
Alan Gordon-Smith, manager of Rushden Jobcentre Plus, said: “While the Rushden Lakes proposal is obviously potentially very good news for Rushden and Wellingborough, the positive employment impact on neighbouring Corby and Kettering should also not be understated.”