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The South Midlands is a notional area of England. According to one definition, it is the southern portion of the East Midlands together with the northern portion of South East England and the western portion of the East of England, and just as there is no agreed definition for these areas, various organisations use the name South Midlands to refer to an area that is specific to their own way of dividing up the country. The term is not widely used and it is not one of the English administrative regions. One major usage is as a label for one of the areas identified by the Government for urban development.
The Government refers to an area centred on Milton Keynes as the 'Milton Keynes and South Midlands growth area'. This area comprises the whole of Bedfordshire, the whole of Northamptonshire, and parts of Buckinghamshire (the districts of Milton Keynes and Aylesbury Vale). It straddles the boundaries of the Government Office Regions and includes portions of the East Midlands, East of England, and South East England regions.
The main settlements are Aylesbury, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Rushden, Bedford, and Luton. A report in 2002 found that: "The most successful economies are those of Milton Keynes and Northampton. Bedford, Corby and the Luton/Dunstable/Houghton Regis area are in need of regeneration."