Mr Lenthall on the objectives of a New Town
Mr Lenthall talks about the success of Stevenage as a new town, and its financial merit for the government
Interviewer: So would you say that Stevenage has achieved the aims and objectives of the New Town concept?
Mr Lenthall: Yes, yes, I would think Stevenage is a very good example. Financially of course it’s been a very successful investment by the nation, and to build a New Town you have to make a very heavy investment, and perhaps only governments can afford to do it. But Stevenage was only given money on loan to build the town. It wasn’t given any money by the government. It was all on loan, on sixty-year loan, and all has to be repaid, with interest, and for many, many years the New Town, when I was working for it, was sending back not only its interest repayments, but something like quarter of a million pounds each year clear profit, and I think it was very clear after New Towns had been operating for some years, that they were very good long-term financial investments. So I think from that point of view the government’s enjoyed the benefit there.