Northampton Forward submits £37.2 million Towns Fund bid to Government

Last year, Northampton was selected as one of 101 locations across England which were invited to develop proposals for a town deal worth up to £50 million in exceptional circumstances.

Northampton Forward, a board consisting of businesses, the community and local government partners was in place to co-ordinate this activity and develop a Town Investment Plan which would support the bid.

This needed to identify the opportunities and challenges in the town centre and create a vision that would guide future investment. A range of projects were selected in consultation with the local community and the plan set out the basis for the financial request being made.

Andrea Smith, Co-Chair of the BID, said: “The BID has worked closely with Northampton Borough Council on this application and fully endorse and support the proposal. We believe that this funding will make a significant difference to the prosperity of the town’s residents and its businesses and the results will be seen as an incredible return on investment for the government.”

Martin Mason, Managing Director of RE Tricker Ltd and Vice Chair of the Northampton Forward Board, said: “The board of Northampton Forward has made sure that our residents and employers have been given the opportunity to influence the future town development plans.

“As a major employer in the town, I am delighted that this submission reflects the views and local opinion in future planning, infrastructure projects and the aspirations we all have for the town and its future prosperity.”

The Town Investment Plan sets out an ambitious plan which would deliver:

  • 15,600 square metres of new and refurbished commercial floorspace (including shared workspace)
  • 24,900 square metres of new public spaces
  • 2,300 square metres of new or expanded cultural and heritage venues, including new space for skills facilities
  • Remediation and enabling works for key sites in the town centre to create new public spaces, new mixed-use urban quarters, and commercial facilities.

Cllr Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Enterprise and Northampton Forward Board Member, said: “A huge amount of time and effort has gone into producing the Town Investment Plan.

“It incorporates the results of our public consultation which identified some clear preferences for which projects residents felt we ought to take forward.

“There are some really ambitious plans here, which build on the work we’ve done with our Town Centre Masterplan and the bid to Future High Streets Fund, which we’re eagerly awaiting the results of.”

The ten-year vision will strengthen Northampton’s position at the centre of the Oxford-Cambridge Arc by providing modern spaces for creative businesses to capitalise on the town’s manufacturing and entrepreneurial passion.

It will also:

  • Build on our rich heritage and cultural offers to rejuvenate the town centre so it once again represents the aspirations of its residents.
  • Create high-quality housing, digital infrastructure and open spaces, enabling our communities to grow and flourish to meet economic, health and wellbeing, and environmental challenges.
  • Improve access to skills and training while promoting first-rate higher and further education opportunities.

To deliver this vision, we are seeking £37.2 million investment from the Towns Fund for the following projects, which will be supported by match-funding of £13.5 million from the Council, Enterprise Zone, Getting Building Fund and the National Heritage Lottery Fund and also unlock private-sector investment worth £156m.

  • Town Centre Public Realm
  • 41-45 Abington Street
  • 35-39 Abington Street
  • Marefair Heritage Gateway
  • Four Waterside
  • 24 Guildhall Road Arts Centre
  • Extension of 78 Derngate – The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Museum
  • Emporium Way
  • St Peter’s and the Old Black Lion
  • Skills and Social Enterprise
  • Market Square
  • Waterloo House

The bid was submitted to government on 11 December 2020 for a decision next year. Projects will then be developed in detail in 2021/22 involving further engagement with key members of the community, and partners.