Prime Minister David Cameron has said the construction projects happening in Northampton make it part of “the beating heart of the British economy”.
On a visit to Northampton to promote the Government-backed Help to Buy housing scheme, Mr Cameron visited the Cherry Orchard housing estate in Weston Favell and the NatWest bank in The Drapery.
It was his first trip to the county since his visit to Tata Steel in Corby during last year’s by-election campaign.
He arrived by train at the developing railway station and passed several other construction sites that will become key parts of the town, such as the new bus station and the Innovation Centre.
Mr Cameron said: “What I like is the ambition.
“Towns like Northampton are the beating heart of the British economy and we need them to be success stories.
“The Government is playing its part through the Enterprise Zone and through the development of the railway station, but what’s so exciting about this is the amount of good work that the borough is doing alongside the Government initiative and the private sector is coming forward and developing it.
“If you take it all together – the Enterprise Zone, the railway station all the projects I saw on the Northampton Alive map – and also the fact that one day the university might want to move and free up more sites for development and change where it is in the town, all of that is ambition, it’s drive, it’s exciting and it means Northampton can be a success story.
“I think you are pretty far forward compared to other towns.
“What strikes me about it is that it is a whole town plan rather than just a bit of development taking place in one part, you are not just relying on the Enterprise Zone.
“There are great projects taking place in the town centre itself.
“There are exciting developments taking place in other towns but Northampton seems to be going for it with some ambition, which is great.
“I think you should be proud. This what the British economy needs bringing together economic development, new housing new space for businesses and bringing all that together.
“It makes Northampton a more attractive place to live.”