Newcastle-under-Lyme is a great place to live, work and visit and is known as the ‘Ancient and Loyal Borough.’
It is situated in North Staffordshire, to the west of the Potteries towns of Stoke-on-Trent and midway between Manchester, to the north, and Birmingham, in the south.
Located between junctions 15 and 16 on the M6 motorway, the Borough spans an area of 81 square miles that includes the two towns of Newcastle and Kidsgrove as well as several attractive rural villages, some of which date back centuries.
With its excellent communication links, Newcastle has become popular for significant inward investment in recent years, including major logistics operations.
Work is continuing on extensions to the Lymedale Business Park, where TK Maxx and Asda George have large distribution centres that service their retail outlets in the North and Midlands.
Keele University is fast becoming one of the leading regional centres for medical technology and the university now has a flourishing science park, which houses three innovation centres. A new teaching hospital is being constructed just south of Newcastle town centre while a new college of further education will open in spring 2009.
Newcastle has a vibrant cultural life with a wealth of listed buildings, a museum, a cinema and a wide selection of nightclubs, bars and restaurants. The New Vic Theatre, situated at Basford, has established a strong reputation as an award winning theatre-in-the-round.
With its wide pedestrianised streets and floral displays, the town centre of Newcastle is an attractive place to wander around or to shop and contains a wide range of familiar High Street stores. The focal point of the town is the historic Guildhall which dominates the town centre and forms the backcloth to ‘The Stones’, Staffordshire’s oldest open-air market.
The Newcastle constituency covers most of the urban area of the Borough as well as some of the rural villages.
The socio-economic profile of the constituency mirrors the UK average, although some urban areas are among the 20 per cent most deprived wards in the Government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation.
These areas have benefited from Government assistance through programmes such as the Single Regeneration Budget, the Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder and, more recently, the Renew programme, which has the aim of stimulating the housing market as a catalyst for the wider social and economic regeneration of the area.