The county of Northamptonshire is situated in the East Midlands. It is completely surrounded by eight other counties, including Cambridgeshire, Buckinghamshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Bedfordshire. A record of the county's name appeared in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in 1011 as 'Hamtunscire', with the prefix 'North' added later to differentiate it from Southampton.
The area is sometimes called the South Midlands. Its largest town is Northampton, which has a population of 212,000, followed by Corby with 56,514 inhabitants and Kettering with 56,225. The county is part of the Milton Keynes and South Midlands Growth Area, where 84,000 new jobs will be created and 100,000 new homes are planned for 2010-2020.
In the past, Northamptonshire was well known for its production of shoes and boots, and the Dr Martens brand, made by R Griggs and Co Ltd, still operates from Wollaston. Major employers in the county which have significant numbers of staff include Weetabix, Siemens, Avon Products, Barclaycard and Siemens. Recruitment agencies can be a valuable resource to connect interested job seekers with employment opportunities in the local area.
The county is also famous for its connection with the motor sport industry and international races are regularly held at Silverstone Circuit and Rockingham Speedway.