The South Midlands is a notional area of England. According to one definition, it is the southern portion of the East Midlands (Northamptonshire, south Leicestershire & Rutland) together with the northern portion of South East England (central Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes) and the western portion of the East of England (Bedfordshire), 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.
Milton Keynes and South Midlands growth area
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 Borough of Milton Keynes and Aylesbury Vale district) and may be understood to extend into neighbouring Harborough District in south Leicesteshire & Rutland and Rugby (borough). Until their abolition it straddled the boundaries of the Government Office Regions including 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."
- Amnesty International UK has a South Midlands region that stretches from Newbury, Reading and Bracknell in the south to Bicester and Bedford in the north; and from Wantage in the west, to Stevenage, Letchworth, Welwyn and Hatfield in the east.
- The Council for British Archaeology South Midlands region covers Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.
- Some Joint Industrial Councils defined the South Midlands as Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, and the Channel Islands, most of which would not usually be considered part of the area but sooner as south central England.
- The Pagan Federation South Midlands district covers Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire.
- The South Midlands League was formed by football teams from Bedfordshire and some adjoining counties.
- Milton Keynes South Midlands.
- Roger Tym and Partners, Milton Keynes and South Midlands Study: Final Report of the Study, Chapter 8: Conclusions.
- Amnesty International Volunteers, Amnesty South Midlands region.
- Council for British Archaeology South Midlands Region.
- The Pagan Federation, South Midlands.