From bust to boomtown - the rise and rise of Corby

FLASHBACK: This is what the headlines were like before Corby's growth agenda was announced NNL-160527-160358001
FLASHBACK: This is what the headlines were like before Corby's growth agenda was announced NNL-160527-160358001
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The re-elected leader of Corby Council says a report that showed the ambitious borough was the fastest-growing outside of London is a ‘feather in the town’s cap.’

Earlier this week, the Office of National Statistics said Corby’s population would increase by 16.7 per cent to 76,400 by 2024.

Cllr Tom Beattie (right) viewing new houses being built at Boston Close, Corby

Cllr Tom Beattie (right) viewing new houses being built at Boston Close, Corby

Council leader Tom Beattie has marked his re-election as council leader by saying that he hoped the borough would go further than the estimates by doubling its population by 2030.

He said: “I am very pleased to see that Corby remains on course to achieve its ambition to double its population to 100,000 by 2030.

“We set off on this journey in 2003 to grow the borough and it looks like we are on course to achieve it.”

When the growth agenda began, Corby was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons. It had startlingly high unemployment levels, high teen pregnancy and drug use rates and crime was through the roof. There were negative headlines in the ET every day about trouble in the town.

But since then, it has seen investment in the town flourish. It has a new town centre, a new civic centre in the Corby Cube, a 50m swimming pool and a cinema. It has also seen a massive improvement in its schools and a huge buulding programme has seen new estates spring up at Priors Hall and Little Stanion, as well as on many brownfield sites around the borough.

Cllr Beattie added that, although unlikely, he would never rule-out Corby becoming a city. He said: “I’d never write that off. Growth brings with it major advantages and we have seen that with the regeneration of the town.

“It’s a very different town now than it was back in 2003.

“It’s nice to see the town in the headlines for the right reasons. It’s a feather in the town’s cap.”

But Cllr Beattie admitted that there are still issues that need to be tackled to help Corby’s growth along. He said: “We do need to attract investment in infrastructure and we need to bring jobs to the town. We need to make sure we have enough school places and that our healthcare is in place for the increasing population.”