Corby is a former steel-producing town, which used to have a huge steelworks exploiting the local iron ore resources; many of those working there had come down from Scotland, hence there is still a large Scots community here. However, the steelworks was closed in 1979, causing significant unemployment locally at the time, though a steel tube manufacturing plant employing nearly 1,000 people remains.
The town benefited from Enterprise Zone and Assisted Area status in the 1980s and has now succeeded in establishing a diverse industrial and service economy involving hundreds of companies. It has also been chosen as a centre by more than 80 businesses from 16 overseas countries, not least because of Eurohub, a road-rail interchange which allows mile-long trains carrying 300 cars at a time to travel all the way from Corby to Paris.
At first sight, the socio-economic statistics indicate that this is natural Labour territory: at 60%, it has a disproportionate number of manual workers and the number of council house tenants exceeds the national average by 10%, with owner occupation 5% below the English average. Indeed, the industrial town of Corby itself has mainly voted Labour; but the rural areas have very much tended towards the Conservatives.