The costings and timescales for the interior fit out of the Vulcan Works Creative Hub, required to ensure the building is fully lettable, will be presented to Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday, 24 March.
The hub, which occupies a large site between Guildhall Road and Fetter Street in the town’s Cultural Quarter, will contain up to 68 lettable units, co-working space, breakout areas and meeting rooms for start-up enterprises and creative businesses.
Works to progress the hub has continued throughout the pandemic, with new buildings on Angel Street and St John’s Street, which form part of the overall site, almost complete.
Refurbishment of the Victorian Workshops on Guildhall Road has seen many original features restored, including original wooden trusses, rooflights and brickwork, while the old stores on Fetter Street are now divided into spacious units with maple-boarded ceilings.
The fit out will include signage, furniture, carpets, kitchen white goods, fire safety equipment and a bespoke printing lab with 3D printers and a laser cutter, all funded with monies already ringfenced in the project development pool budget.
Councillor Tim Hadland, Cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, said: “Furnishing the Vulcan Works will be the last major step of this significant development, and a step which will allow us to rent out the units as soon as possible once the hub is completed.
“Supporting our expanding creative sector is absolutely vital as the town works towards economic recovery from the Covid pandemic. We also envisage that the hub will attract graduates and highly-skilled entrepreneurs, creating exciting new businesses and increasing activity in the town centre.”
If Cabinet agrees to release funds to cover the fit-out costs at its meeting on 24 March, a contractor will be appointed in June, and works are estimated to complete by October 2021.
A procurement process to appoint an overall operator for the day-to-day management of the hub is already underway, and it is hoped that the operator will be in place this summer.
For more information about the Vulcan Works Creative Hub, including images and an enquiry form, please visit the Borough Council’s website.