Arts. Heritage. Community.

Exploring Northampton and Corby’s New Town stories through intergenerational activities

In 1968 Northampton was designated a third-wave New Town. The town subsequently underwent a significant period of rapid expansion and migration extremely quickly. From the building of the Eastern and Southern Districts to the demolition of many loved historic buildings in the town centre, it was a period that changed Northampton forever. Corby’s New Town journey began 18 years earlier when it was designated a first-wave New Town in 1950.
 Through intergenerational arts, heritage and community activity across multiple strands, 60 Miles by Road or Rail champions our largely untold New Town stories, exploring their legacy on our lives today as Northants once again faces great transformation and uncertainty.
60 Miles by Road or Rail Poster by Adam Blakemore Strelka
It feels essential to be delivering an intergenerational project that places Northamptonian experiences at its heart. Our New Town heritage has played a complex yet fundamental role on the makeup of our town and its identity, and yet we rarely talk about it. It was a period of sudden expansion, mass migration and political upheaval.

Fifty years later Northampton once again finds itself in a hugely pivotal moment. With the success of both the Future High Streets Fund and Town Fund from the Government to develop another masterplan, alongside the changing of our local government structures following the County Council’s bankruptcy in 2018, the echoes between the town's past and present feels stronger than ever. Following our Northampton-focused pilot project in 2018, we're very excited to start exploring Corby's unique New Town story.

Whilst the project unashamedly prioritises our local experiences, I believe it will capture many of the moods and rhythms of large towns up and down the country attempting to regenerate.

We're thrilled to be collaborating with this remarkable team of local theatre-makers as they tell this story of their hometown, drawing upon the stories of hundreds of local people to create a rich theatrical portrait of Northampton's recent history. After a year of isolation, 60 Miles By Road or Rail will bring communities from across Northampton together again to celebrate our town.
James Dacre, Artistic Director of Royal & Derngate

Arts, heritage and community activities in Northampton and Corby, championing our New Town stories.

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