The Cherwell District in North Oxfordshire is a predominantly rural area providing an excellent environment in which to live and work. There are three urban centres – Banbury, Bicester and Kidlington – which together contain 65% of the population. Cherwell continues to change, with a population currently totalling 138,800 projected to increase to around 164,000 by 2033.
Cherwell Council is working to implement its four main priorities in order to benefit the residents and business of the District:
- A cleaner, greener Cherwell
- Cherwell, a district of opportunity
- A safe and healthy Cherwell
- Cherwell, an accessible value for money council
A pleasant and historic town of over 45,000 inhabitants, Banbury is famous for its Cross and Cakes. Banbury provides the main market and shopping centre for a wide area, and continues to expand rapidly to meet these growing demands. A major town centre redevelopment scheme has recently been completed. Partly pedestrianised, the town centre combines the best of old and new, retaining its historic atmosphere in an attractive shopping environment. With direct access to the M40 motorway and considerable investment in new housing and commercial property, Banbury’s future as a centre of importance is assured.
The ancient market town of Bicester has witnessed rapid growth in recent years and now boasts a population of nearly 30,000. Centred around the Market Place, the shopping area retains the historic character of the town, and its pedestrianisation scheme has ensured that Bicester’s role as a commercial and industrial centre continues to flourish. With easy access to the M40 motorway, Bicester continues to attract development and now offers a wide range of business and industrial properties, complemented by extensive new housing and the Bicester Retail Village. The planned eco development of 5,000 homes was designated a national eco town in 2009 and has attracted significant central government funding.
Situated just north of Oxford, Kidlington is now home to around 13,400 residents. A 1930’s Garden City built around an old Greystone village, Kidlington offers a thriving community with a village atmosphere. Most of the residential development has occurred since the prestigious Oxford Spires Business Park. With the added attraction of the Oxford Airport on the parish boundary, boasting facilities for executive travel and helicopter services, the sometime ‘largest village in England’ looks set for continued growth and prosperity.
About South Northamptonshire
South Northamptonshire is a mainly rural district with a growing population of about 91,000 people in 35,168 households. The district covers a large area of 250 square miles, with 96 villages and 78 parishes. There are two historic market towns – Brackley (with 13,450 people) and Towcester (with 9,500). 62.7 percent of the population of the district is of working age.
We estimate around 5,000 new homes will be built in the district between now and 2021, with 2,500 to 3,000 of those envisaged for Towcester. The Highways Agency has already identified capacity issues for the A43. This level of development will only be possible if all the right infrastructure is built to support it including an A5 bypass for Towcester, and new employment opportunities are provided. The Government has identified the areas covered by Towcester, Daventry and Northampton as important areas for growth that will attract new investment from the private and public sectors.
The district has always had a high employment rate. We currently have the highest employment rate in the country at 90.1 percent of the population in employment, although many people (around 47 percent) currently leave the district to work in other places.
This means it is essential to expand suitable local employment opportunities. The good road and rail links make it easy to travel to work in Northampton, Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Oxford and London. 75 percent of people, who work, travel to work by car.
There are a number of major employers in the district, although many people work outside the district. Silverstone Circuit is at the centre of an internationally important group of high-technology motor-sport industries, which includes household names like Honda and Force India Racing Teams. There are also several technology companies, like Radstone Technology and Variohm, with an international reputation for research and development. Other large businesses in the District include Direct Legal and Collections and Deboers.