In the county of Hampshire on the south coast of the country lies Basingstoke, an affluent, low-unemployment and well-to-do town. Basingstoke is an old market town in north east Hampshire. The town has a population of over 83,000 people. Basingstoke resides around 16 miles away from the city of Reading. The town of Basingstoke expanded in the 60's to accommodate overspill from London.
Basingstoke is now seen as an economic centre and many businesses have their UK head offices in the town. Companies include Game, Motorola and Sony Professional Solutions, amongst others. The town of Basingstoke creates many jobs in the electronics, IT and communications industries and a large number of employers are centred on these industries within Basingstoke.
Basingstoke is a popular retail destination and its main shopping centre, Festival Place, was built in 2002, boosting the town's economy considerably. It has a variety of shops, as well as food establishments and a cinema on site. Basingstoke also has two other shopping areas, the Malls and the Top of Town, which contains local shops within the heart of Basingstoke. The retail industry creates a large number of jobs in the town.
Basingstoke's nightlife is concentrating around the area known as Festival Square and the town has four nightclubs along with bars and restaurants. Basingstoke has its own concert Hall, the Anvil as well as theatres including the Haymarket Theatre and the Proteus Theatre. Basingstoke also has a variety of sport and leisure facilities for residents of the town including an ice rink, a bowling alley and a large indoor swimming pool, The Aquadrome.
Basingstoke is often nicknamed "Doughnut City" or "Roundabout City" because of the number of large roundabouts. The passageways of Basingstoke's shopping centre, Festival place featured on cult BBC2 show Top Gear. Jeremy Clarkson and mystery driver The Stig turned the shopping centre into a racetrack to test-drive two new hatchbacks.
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