Time to channel Northampton’s independent spirit and embrace change

By Mark Mullen
Operations Manager, Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District

Nobody can argue that the past 12 months has been a difficult period for our town centre, with so much work taking place simultaneously across Northampton. It’s been a challenge for business owners, residents and visitors alike. But the old adage ‘no pain, no gain’ certainly rings true here and we are now rapidly approaching what we all hope is a bright new era for our town.

As the voice of businesses in Northampton, the BID has kept a close eye on progress on works to reimagine our Market Square, sharing the concerns of retailers and liaising with partners throughout the project. The end is now in sight, with the design now taking shape and the computer-generated images we all saw at the start becoming a reality.

It’s a new beginning. An opportunity to start afresh. A chance to create something the whole town can be proud of.

Northampton is a town steeped in heritage, with a proud history of resilience and independent spirit. But that doesn’t mean we should always hanker over the ‘good old days’. Instead, we need to channel that pride and embrace change, using this work as an opportunity to make Northampton a trailblazing town centre for the 21st century.

The changing face of retail means town centres are evolving. The days of department stores dominating our high streets are gone, with visitors now demanding a more experience-led offering. Northampton is meeting that demand with the STACK development coming to the old Market Walk shopping centre. This mixed-use venue featuring entertainment, food and drink alongside retail and residential is going to transform that part of the town centre and is arguably the most exciting development in Northampton for decades.

A number of businesses are choosing to make Northampton their home. From high quality independent cafes and boutiques to professional services companies, we are seeing an encouraging upturn in new business launches. Commercial lawyers EM Law this week returned to the town having left its previous base in Milton Keynes in favour of Spencer Parade – a sure-fire sign that Northampton is once again an attractive option for business owners.

Add to that the commitment shown by existing businesses investing in their current premises (Michael Jones Jeweller, Northampton Town Centre Hotel etc) and we are seeing the green shoots of what promises to be a fantastic future for our town centre.

Things are looking up.

If you’re a business based in Northampton town centre and want to find out more about the BID’s work please get in touch by emailing info@northamptonbid.co.uk

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