Northampton is a large town in the East Midlands with a population of around 189,000 people. Northampton is historically associated with the manufacture of shoes and leather goods. Manufacture has slowed down within Northampton and now only a few specialist shoe makers remain, such as Church's. The old shoe making factories have largely been turned into office spaces for growing businesses in the area.
Key industries for employment in Northampton are now within the finance and distribution sectors with employers including Barclaycard, Travis Perkins, Coca Cola, and Nationwide amongst many others. Northampton offers key employment opportunities in healthcare, and St Andrew's Hospital campus is the largest psychiatric hospital in the UK.
The University of Northampton is home to around 10,000 students and is also a key employer within the town of Northampton. It is renowned for its specialised courses in areas of fashion, leather technology and waste management which have all achieved Global recognition.
Northampton has excellent transport links with the rest of the UK. The train station provides regular links to London and Birmingham, and is a popular location for commuters because of this. Northampton is near the M1, A14 and A45 and is easily accessible by road. It has 3 airports, all within easy reach of Northampton; East Midlands, Birmingham and Luton Airport.
Northampton has two theatres; the Derngate Theatre and the Royal Theatre. The town also has a variety of music venues which host touring bands and artists all year round. The student population ensures that there is a large service sector including numerous restaurants, bars, clubs and cafes within the town centre. The Northampton museum and art gallery gives an insight into Northampton's industrial history, with historical footwear being one of the displays on offer to the public.