The Office of National Statistics released population projections on the 25th May 2016 that cover the period 2016 – 2039. The highlight of the projection is the increase in population over the age of 65. Whilst the overall population of South Northamptonshire is expected to rise from 89,000 currently to 101,000 by 2036, the working age population (15-64) is expected to remain at 55,000 for the next 20 years.
We can therefore conclude that the 8000 jobs claimed by Ashfield Land will not be taken up by residents of South Northamptonshire.
Over the same period, the population of Northampton is expected to increase from 224,000 to 263,000. The working age population is expected to increase from 147,000 to 162,000 by 2036, requiring the creation of approximately 15,000 jobs.
The current proportion of logistics jobs in Northampton is about 10%, reflecting the diversity of talent and vocation in the population. Not everyone wants to work in logistics.
Ashfield Land claim the 8,000 jobs are new. Adding 8000 jobs would represent a 55% increase in the Northampton logistics sector. If correct, then the project is of a scale that would provide over half of the required employment for additional residents of Northampton.
However, if the current preferences for employment are maintained, then less than a thousand of these jobs will be taken up by Northampton residents.
The balance of ca. 7000 will travel to Rail Central from further afield, probably in cars.
Where is the sustainability in that?
But if, as Stop Rail Central suspects, the 8000 jobs are not new, but are in fact relocated from the less shiny industrial estates North East of Northampton as companies consolidate their operations in RC’s massive sheds, then another picture emerges.
Northampton’s warehouses are spreading South, clearing the way for redevelopment of older, urban-edge industrial estates as housing for the full 40,000 extra souls they’ll have to provide for.