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The first New Town turns 75

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the New Towns Act, which allowed the government to designate areas for development to relieve overcrowding in London and provide homes and jobs for servicemen returning from the war and their families. This means Stevenage, the first New Town, is about to turn 75! We have plenty of events planned to mark this amazing year in our history.

Stevenage became the UK’s first new town on 11 November, 1946. To much fanfare, alongside considerable local opposition to start with, the plan was to create a town where each of the initial six neighbourhoods would have all their own community facilities; medical centres, shops, schools, community centres, as well as green open spaces. It was also the UK’s first full pedestrianised shopping area.

The first houses were completed in 1951 in Bedwell, but many areas were still to be developed. Once the initial building plans were completed, in 1959, the town received a visit from HM the Queen, who toured the town centre and other neighbourhoods.

Celebrating the journey of the new town is important and timely. We have a series of exciting events for residents and visitors who have spent over a year complying with restrictions. We all welcome the opportunity to put on events in a socialised setting outside the home.

We are continuing to transform the town centre, build social and affordable housing, create opportunities for local people and businesses and encourage a safer, cleaner and greener Stevenage.

We are proud of our town and look forward to seeing you at one or more of our many events to mark this monumental milestone.

September events

Amongst the events in September will be a Bootcamp for girls, an informative guided walking tour of the New Town and the launch of a book celebrating the sporting stars of Stevenage.

Find out more details of the events taking place in September

October events

As well as other events, October will see the first round of the 75th Anniversary walks, the Pride of Stevenage Awards and Black History Month.

Find out more details of the events taking place in October

November events

November will see the second round of 75th Anniversary walks, the switching on of the Christmas lights in the New Town and tree planting to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022.

Find out more details of the events taking place in November

DISCLAIMER: All events are subject to change or cancellation in line with the current government guidance around COVID-19 that prevails at the time. Please use the contact details to make contact with the event/activity organiser to get the latest information.