The Wrekin parliamentary constituency forms a rural horseshoe around the east, north and west of the much more urban constituency of Telford, named after the Scottish engineer Thomas Telford. It is covered by two local government administrations, Telford & Wrekin Borough Council and Shropshire Unitary Authority.
Telford began life in 1963 as Dawley New Town and then, in 1969, was enlarged to provide for relocation from Birmingham and the Black Country and renamed Telford.
From a population of some 50,000 scattered among many villages and the market towns of Wellington & Newport and coal mining centres of Dawley and Oakengates, the new town population was projected to grow towards 240,000. It is currently 190,000. The land area of the Borough is nearly 80% rural and The Wrekin constituency is fortunate to be its steward, leaving the industrialised and heavily populated growth centre to Telford.
Originally it was one constituency but was divided into two constituencies in the 1990s, and extended to include Newport, Shifnal and Albrighton.
Landscape and History The Wrekin is characterised by contrasting and prominent beauty. In the southwest the pre-Cambrian volcanic rocks of the Wrekin hill, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, rises to over 400 metres (1,300 feet). To the north-east the Shropshire plain includes the Area of Special Landscape Character known as the Strine Levels. Interspersed between and around these features there is a tapestry of villages, farms and isolated settlements of huge historical interest.
Economy Despite its agricultural focus, there are significantly large manufacturing and employment centres within its boundary. The Hortonwood Industrial Park is one such centre and although there is the obvious agricultural connection, Dairycrest has its factory in the north. GKN and BAE Systems are on the very edge of the urban conurbation. A little further to the east there is MOD Donnington. RAF Shawbury is home to MoD helicopter training and RAF Cosford has the aerospace museum in its campus. The Harper Adams agricultural University is at Edgmond.