07 April 2022
Our Cabinet will meet next week (Tuesday, 12 April) to consider two reports which could help maintain the momentum of Northampton town centre’s regeneration.
The first of these seeks approval for an outline business case for the former M&S and BHS sites in Abington Street, and the second proposes appointment of an operator for the Vulcan Works Creative Hub.
Abington Street Properties
Proposals for the Abington Street properties, which also incorporate a derelict property at the rear of the Grosvenor Shopping centre, involve conversion to residential.
Cllr Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “It’s vital that if we are to breathe life back into our ailing town centres, we introduce more people who will be ready-made customers for the fantastic businesses we have.
“A significant part of our strategy for the revitalisation of Northampton town centre is to introduce significant amounts of new residential development above ground level.
“We can then have catering and retail uses on the ground floor, and these will be supported by all of the new people living there.
“Town centres are suffering as a result of people’s changing shopping habits and we must evolve with the times.”
Vulcan Works Creative Hub
The Vulcan Works Creative Hub, a series of managed workspaces for creative businesses, is nearing completion and after a competitive process, a preferred operator has been identified.
At its meeting on Tuesday 12 April, Cabinet will consider whether to award this contract, which would see the company contracted for an initial three years, with an option to extend by two years.
Cllr Bowen said: “The Vulcan Works Creative Hub is an absolutely top-notch facility, and we need a high calibre operator to run it.
“The preferred bidder already operates a number of successful co-working spaces across the country, so would bring a huge amount of knowledge and expertise to the task.
“The vision behind Vulcan Works is that small businesses will be located in a cutting-edge facility, with shared spaces that allow them to collaborate and support each other.”