A competition has been launched offering a £10,000 cash prize to anyone who can come up with an idea that makes Northampton a more attractive and successful place to live.
The "Cambridge to Oxford Connection" competition is looking for architects, economists, policy-makers, planners and urban designers - or just ordinary residents with a clear vision - who want to have their ideas for the future of their area heard.
Judges are looking for proposals that bring together infrastructure and housing while protecting the area's unique environment to put their part of the world on the map.
The top four entries will be awarded £10,000 in cash to put their project into action.
The competition has been organised by the National Infrastructure Commission, who says the 'growth corridor' that links Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Northampton and Oxford is failing to thrive because of insufficient or unsuitable housing, meaning skilled workers cannot move there.
Chairman of the National Infrastructure Commission Lord Adonis said: “The economic potential of Northampton and these three other areas in the growth corridor is huge, offering real benefits to the success and prosperity of the country as a whole.
“But the area needs to adapt and change if it has any chance of achieving this, of attracting the brightest and best and of competing on the world stage.
“Today, I’m calling on leaders in architecture, economics, policy-making and planning, as well as local residents, to help shape that future, and put forward ideas that will make this Growth Corridor an attractive place to live and work for generations to come.”
A spokeswoman for competition organiser Malcolm Reading said: “The competition offers a rare opportunity to imagine new and enlarged communities, to shape their character. This is all about creating inspirational places that encourage social and creative exchange within a high-quality environment.”
Full details of the competition, which is run by Malcolm Reading Consultants, including team and submission requirements and the detailed brief, are available on the competition website. The deadline for entries is 2pm on August 3.