The town is located in the borough of Hertfordshire. It lies around 30 miles north of central London and was designated a new town under the New Towns Act in 1946. It has a population of around 80,000, which has steadily risen in recent years. It is served by the A1(M) Motorway, junctions 7 and 8, taking traffic north and south. It is also connected to the southeast by the smaller A602. The Railway Station is a busy stop on the East Coast Mainline, meaning regular trains to London, Cambridge, Peterborough and other major cities are available.
The main shopping areas are around Queensway and the Westgate. At the south of the town there is a retail park called Roaring Meg, which interestingly takes its name from a stream that runs under it. The nearest university is the University of Hertfordshire, based in nearby Hatfield, which is just a short drive from the town. It has 11 schools of study with a multitude of courses at various levels of study.
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One of the most interesting employers in the area is the BioScience Catalyst, a unique science community created to house small biotech and life science companies and start-ups. Access to the expertise, networks and scientific facilities traditionally associated with multinational pharmaceutical companies. Thousands of people work at the site, which was a joint venture between government and businesses including GlaxoSmithKline. Plans are in place to expand it five-fold making it an important opportunity for employment in the area.
Medium and small businesses offer a wide range of employment opportunities here, and this is furthered by the Business and Technology Centre. It is a well-established enterprise and innovation centre providing flexible, quality facilities and business support to regional businesses. An extension in 2009 was opened, which was part of the Borough Council’s vision to improve business in the town. The £7 million investment is a great addition to the town’s economy. Smaller companies are looking to recruit people with a range of skills that will help the company grow. Make sure your CV emphasises all your skills, not just the ones they'll need for the post advertised.