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Banbury Area Guide

Fine Lady upon a White Horse Statue, Banbury, Oxfordshire Image courtesy of Flickr user Jim Linwood

Banbury is a parish and town located in Oxfordshire. Its location in Cherwell Valley, on the river of the same name, makes it a relatively hilly place.

The town has been twinned with the French town of Ermont and the German town of Hennef since the early 1980s.

Formerly a market town, you could argue that Banbury is better known today as being the location of Kraft Foods' UK factory - a huge contributor to the area's incredibly low unemployment rate.

Demographics

The 2011 census showed the population of Banbury to be 46,853 and even in currently difficult economic times, the unemployment rate in the town remains one of England's lowest. The jobless rate is just 1.5%, which stacks up incredibly well against the national average of 7.7% at the time of writing.

81% of the population is white British and there are many other white non-British residents. The low unemployment and subsequent high demand for workers led to a large influx of Polish immigrants when Poland's position in the EU allowed its residents to work freely here and in other EU countries. The Banbury Polish Association estimates that there are over 5,000 Polish residents in the small town.

In the 2011 census, 8.39% of the population stated that they had arrived in the UK in just the last 10 years.

Education

Banbury sits in the Oxfordshire LEA, in which there are 6 primary schools and 1 secondary school rated excellent by Ofsted. Despite this, however, the LEA's GCSE students performed ever so slightly under the national average in 2012. While nationally, 58.2% of GCSE students achieved 5 A*-C grades or better, this figure for the Oxfordshire LEA was 57.4%.

On the other hand, Banbury's own North Oxfordshire Academy achieved 59%, just above the average. Not far from Banbury at all, the independent day and boarding school for boys, Abingdon, boasted 96% of students achieving that feat in their GCSEs.

For Higher Education, look no further than nearby Oxford's globally renowned university. You'll need outstanding grades to get in, though!

Transport

Banbury has its own train station with regular services to London, Birmingham, Kidderminster, Guildford, Bournemouth and others. You can get directly from Banbury Rail Station to London Marylebone in just under one hour and ten minutes. You can get to Bournemouth in around two and half hours.

Within the town itself, Stagecoach runs a number of local bus services getting people around the town.

Banbury certainly isn't the most conveniently located town for major international airports, but it's not the most inconvenient either. The closest major airport is Birmingham Airport, which is 33 miles away, though there are some very small airports closer by.

Shopping and Amenities

The main shopping area in the town is Castle Quay, a shopping centre offering a number of well-known retailers, including M&S, Monsoon, the Body Shop and Next. There are also a number of cafes and coffee shops there.

On the High Street, there's a small shopping arcade known as 'White Lion Walk,' with some small shops within it and the town also has a twice weekly market. The market is held on Thursdays and Sundays from 9am to 4pm. Residents can buy anything from food to clothing on the market.

Banbury has its own Odeon Cinema showing new releases and you'll find bars and pubs located in and around the High Street as well.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact editor@primelocation.com

All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith.