The 18-month project will transform a disused iron works and a collection of buildings between Guildhall Road, Fetter Street and Angel Street into a hub for cultural businesses.  

The existing 19th-century building will be refurbished and redeveloped as a managed workspace for up to 100 cultural business, creating and sustaining 400 jobs over ten years.

The project will be financed partly by money from the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Deal fund, which will be made available in the 2016/17 budget.
Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership will make a loan to Northampton Borough Council to allow the work to begin straight away, which will be repaid when the SEMLEP funding becomes available.

The council will also contribute £650,000 from its own resources to the project.

A report being considered by Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet on Wednesday next week (March 4), also updates on the wider Cultural Quarter area, which is undergoing a number of other improvements as part of the Northampton Alive programme of regeneration that is currently transforming the town.

A key part of the scheme will see Northampton Museum and Art Gallery redeveloped to double the amount of gallery space and create a restaurant and retail facilities.

It is hoped that the town’s Museum of Leathercraft will also be found a suitable space within the Cultural Quarter.

Council leader Cllr David Mackintosh said: “Northampton’s Cultural Quarter is built on the well-established attractions of the Royal & Derngate, 78 Derngate, the NN Gallery and our own museum.  
"I am proud that we have so many major new developments that are taking our cultural quarter forward to the next level and that are such an important part of the Northampton Alive programme of regeneration that is currently transforming the town.” 

Council debates plans for Greyfriars bus station site

A CONCEPT plan is to be put together to guide the development of the Greyfriars site after the demolition of the old bus station on March 15.

The four-acre site is a key location in the town centre and represents a significant regeneration opportunity that will complement the other developments taking place under the Northampton Alive banner.

Initiatives such as free parking, the Business Incentive Scheme and the opening up of Abington Street to traffic have already generated an increase in visitor numbers to Northampton.

The relocation of the University of Northampton and new public sector office space at Project Angel will also bring around 19,000 more people into the town centre.
A concept plan for the site will take into consideration the results of a public consultation carried out last year, which offered more than 300 ideas for cultural, retail, transport, residential, commercial and community uses.

Some work on the site has already begun and a feasibility study is already looking at the creation of a new, improved facility for coaches on the western island section. Northampton Borough Council is working with National Express to relocate evening coach services to the North Gate Bus Station later this year.

Council leader Cllr David Mackintosh said: “Greyfriars offers a stunning opportunity for future regeneration in the town centre as part of our ongoing Northampton Alive strategy, which has already brought a number of significant developments to the town.  

“We have already had interest in the site from a number of developers and it is important that we have expert advice on the options for the site so that we make the best possible decisions for the future.”

The commissioning of a concept plan will be discussed at Northampton Borough Council Cabinet’s meeting on March 4. 


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