Corby is booming - and that’s official.
The town has been named as the fastest-growing place in the country outside of London.
The Office for National Statistics says the town’s population will increase by 16.7 per cent to 76,400 by 2024. That’s faster than any other borough outside of the capital.
It comes as no surprise to people living in the town who have already seen huge investment in the town centre in the past few years - with improving shops, a new cinema, new restaurants and bars and better leisure facilities including the swimming pool and Planet Bounce trampoline centre.
With a soon-to-be improved train line that already goes direct to St Pancras in an hour, the cheapest housing for miles around, and access to countryside, the town is an increasingly-popular place to live.
Housebuilders have restarted development at Priors Hall and Oakley Vale phase six is also in the planning. There are also two outstanding secondary schools in the borough.
Marilyn Andrews moved to Corby from Watford nearly two years ago. She said: “Our son worked here and suggested we look around the area. We fell in love with the place. It feels like it wraps its arms in a hug. The people are friendly and very helpful.”
Sam Morris, 27, moved to the town with her two children at the end of 2015. She said: “I am originally from Hertfordshire but I couldn’t afford anything where I wanted to live around there. I ended up sticking a pin in a map really! Corby has welcomed me and my family with open arms and it feels like home already.
“There’s plenty to do and the town is growing so fast. I wouldn’t live anywhere else now.”
Last week Marks and Spencer announced they are set to move into the town and a huge Wickes is being built behind Asda.
The borough council, which has driven forward the growth agenda alongside its private partners, announced at the end of 2015 that it had smashed its house-building targets. It hopes to double the town’s population by 2030.
A total of 257 additional homes were completed across the borough during April to Oct 2015, more than a 15 per cent increase to the 223 completed during the same period in 2014.
However, there are strains on vital services in the town - more schools are having to be built to cope with increasing numbers and health services are feeling the strain.
The “subnational projections” are issued by the Office for National Statistics every two years.
It is expected that the east end of London will see huge growth that will take the population of the capital to nearly 10 million by 2024.
But it is expected the north will see a fall in its population. Barrow-in-Furness in Cumbria is projected to have the biggest fall in population in England, declining by 4.3 per cent to 64,700 by 2024.
The ONS said: “The projected local authority population for each year is initially calculated by ageing on the population for the previous year, applying assumed local fertility and mortality rates to calculate the number of projected births and deaths, and then adjusting for migration into and out of each local authority.”