Transport and Travel
Stevenage provides a highly accessible location to London, Cambridge and Oxford. Stevenage is located between J7 and J8 on the A1 (M) and provides great connectivity north and south. Its excellent transport links enable you to reach London within just 20 minutes and Cambridge within 37 minutes.
For International travel, Stevenage boasts 3 international airports, all within 45 minutes’ drive. The town also benefits from a comprehensive cycle route network with a mixture of segregated and grade separated pedestrian and cycle routes.
Stevenage has had a long association with the motorcycle; the Vincent Motorcycle factory was located in the Old Town from 1928 to 1955 and the old factory now forms part of the Thomas Alleyne Academy in the High Street.
Production grew from 1936, with the most-famous models being developed from the original designs after the War period in the late 1940s. The Holy Grail for collectors is the world-beating racer the Vincent Black Lightning, of which only 30 or so were made.
Technology and Innovation
Stevenage is the UK’s first New Town, a pioneering location, with innovation at the heart of its economy.
Stevenage is home to a number of global giants including; Airbus Defence and Space, MBDA, Fujitsu and GSK. Activities resulting from the Stevenage Biosciences Catalyst and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult have placed Stevenage at the heart of the UK’s Bioscience and Life Science capabilities. As a result, Stevenage has been designated as one of six Life Science Opportunity Zones by central government. Stevenage is also at the forefront of the UK’s space industry, as home to the ExoMars Rover, with key activity aligned to the Mars mission, as well as the Solar Obiter programme to investigate the Sun.
Stevenage also offers a high quality of life, with a superb green environment and has been awarded 5 green flags for some of the best green spaces for visitors to enjoy. This includes Fairlands Valley Park, which provides 120 acres of beautiful parkland within the heart of Stevenage.
There are 72 areas of natural and semi-natural open space spread throughout the town. Stevenage has two countryside heritage sites, one regionally important geological site and 37 other designated wildlife sites.
The vision is to increase Stevenage’s biodiversity by conserving, restoring, recreating and reconnecting wildlife habitats to increase awareness and appreciation of Stevenage’s wildlife.
Stevenage’s wider business community benefits from a highly supportive entrepreneurial environment, with sustained investment in its innovation facilities to support both start-ups and mature companies.
Stevenage boasts one of the largest town centre regeneration programmes in the East of England and will provide 1,800 new homes, along with 53,000 sq ft of bars, restaurants, new health facility and library to support current and future generations of residents, businesses and visitors to the town.
Stevenage offers a diverse range of retailers, both nationals and independents, in its bustling town centre, Indoor Market, Community neighbourhoods, quintessential High Street in the Old Town and retail parks, to provide the discerning customer with a unique shopping experience to support fashion, home and beauty products. The town centre is home to Westgate Shopping Centre and Queensway.
Culture and Heritage
The original Roman Way, which is now the Great North Road, passes through the town and alongside the Six Hills, the largest surviving Roman Barrow group in England and a scheduled monument. Stevenage Old Town dates back to the medieval period with many old coaching inns, and latter buildings dating from the Victorian era. It also home to Vincent Works, where the famous Vincent Motorbikes were made between 1928 and 1961. Stevenage also has a heritage of public art (primarily sculpture) commissioned and installed in the late 1950’s as part of the New Town development. Artwork includes work from Henry Moore (relocated inside Barclay School) and the Franta Belsky Joy Ride in Town Square, in the town centre.