28 April 2022
Suppliers wanting to do business with West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) are being invited to events which will explain the procurement process, dispel myths, and provide tips on how to win contracts.
The WNC Suppliers’ Event is free to attend and takes place between 9am and noon at the Icon Centre in Daventry on Monday, 9 May and at The Holiday Inn at Grange Park in Northampton on Wednesday, 18 May.
Cllr Lizzy Bowen, WNC’s Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, said: “There are lots of misconceptions about the way the council goes about procuring goods and services needed to support its work.
“Council procurement is one of the most highly scrutinised things we do and it’s not just about the lowest bidder, we are obliged to find the very best value for money for the taxpayer.
“So being local doesn’t guarantee you the business but understanding our processes and our obligations can help get your foot in the door."
In addition to WNC Leader Cllr Jonathan Nunn, attendees will be able to hear from those who manage the following council services:
- Adult care services (specifically facilitators of local community support groups that provide a neighbourhood service)
- Property services
- Agency staff organisations
The event will also be an opportunity to hear from other support agencies such as the Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses.
Reserve a place via Eventbrite:
26 April 2022
A West Northants business on the cutting edge of materials technology and a second providing parents with eco-friendly options, have both received a 2022 Queens Awards for Enterprise.
Diamond Hard Surfaces at Caswell Park just outside Towcester produces high performance, high endurance diamond-based engineering materials and coatings for the aerospace and electronics sector. They have received an award in the International Trade category.
Chris H Walker, CEO and Director, said: “We are delighted to have been recognised for exceptional growth over a three-year period which has been significantly challenging given the background.
“We have put international trade at the heart of our business from its inception and are proud that our small team have built up a ‘blue chip’ customer base in over 20 countries."
An award in the Sustainable Development category was won by Bambino Mio in Brixworth, which is reducing single-use plastic waste through making reusable nappies the first choice for parents, through accessibility and education.
The award citation said Bambino Mio has grown from a local, family run initiative in 1997, to one that now employs 103 people, serves 50 countries and is “a truly industry-leading company."
Cllr Lizzy Bowen, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, said: “West Northants has a wonderfully strategic location, but as always it is the people that make it truly special.
"It’s businesses like these that drive our economy forward by providing salaries which are spent locally, and by employing nearby suppliers and services.
"But most of all they are a demonstration of what success looks like and can be a driver for others to achieve the same.
"I congratulate both companies, you are an asset to our area, and I am thrilled to see that both winners in the county were from West Northamptonshire."
Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, with winning businesses able to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards Emblem for the next five years. The 2023 Awards will open for applications on 1 May 2022.
27 April 2022
One of the UK's finest collections of vintage Star Wars toys and original cinema posters is going on display at Northampton Museum & Art Gallery from Saturday, 30 April.
‘May the Toys Be With You’ features toys and collectibles never exhibited before and is a celebration of the highly collectable vintage toy line and the iconic design work and art of the Star Wars movies.
For little kids and big kids alike, this is an unmissable opportunity to view rarely seen treasures such as the fantastical designs of X-Wing Fighters and lightsabers, which have fired imaginations and stamped their place on the cultural landscape.
Cllr Adam Brown, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, said:
“Star Wars is an enduring cultural phenomenon. The trilogy has stood the test of time and continues to capture the imagination of children and adults alike.
“The exhibition has already broken visitor attendance records at a host of museums around the country and we’re very excited to be bringing it to Northampton. We anticipate that it will be one of the most popular exhibitions at the museum since its reopening.”
When the movie Star Wars broke box office records in 1977, no one could have predicted that the merchandising would go on to earn even more than the film itself. From 1977 to 1985 an estimated 300 million action figures were sold, allowing children to re-enact the adventures of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and Han Solo.
Collection owner and exhibition curator Matt Fox said:
“A wise man once said, ‘collecting is a sickness and sharing it is the only cure’. If that’s true, then I’ve been infected with the Star Wars bug for nearly all of my life. I encountered the film as a wide-eyed five-year-old and purchased my first figure, Darth Vader, soon after.
“I’m very pleased and honoured to be able to share my collection at Northampton Museum this summer, it’s an amazing venue and the exhibition is going to be unmissable for fans of the movies!”
Matt Fox will be at the museum on Saturday, 30 April to mark the opening day of the exhibition by giving a talk on the untold story of how Star Wars was made, while sharing trivia and his collecting secrets.
‘Mint in the Box’ will take place from 3-4pm and tickets can be purchased from the Northampton Museum’s website.
More information about the exhibition and the accompanying programme of Star Wars events and activities can be found on the museum’s website and social media channels @NorthamptonMuseum (Facebook) @NorthamptonShoe (Twitter / Instagram)
May The Toys Be With You runs until 4 September. Entry is free.
25 April 2022
Specialist bike trail contractor On Track starts work this week to create the Northampton Bike Park, providing mountain bike enthusiasts of all levels with an amazing new facility.
Vegetation clearance has already taken place at the former Hardingstone Nine golf course west of Brackmills Industrial Estate and work on the main development began today (Monday 25 April).
Once complete, the new free-to-use facility will comprise of:
- A multi-user green trail – an easy, dual-direction cycle route across the site, connecting Houghton Hill to the underpass for the A45
- Blue (moderate), red (difficult) and black (severe) off-road mountain bike trails for different abilities - dual tracks will allow head-to-head riding
- Five gathering spots where riders can meet to discuss the next section of track, and coaching can be provided
- A mountain bike skills area
Cllr Lizzy Bowen, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “This will be an outstanding facility and we know there are many people in the local area and the mountain biking community who can’t wait to see it up and running.
“On Track is highly experienced in delivering mountain bike parks and we’re really looking forward seeing what they’re going to deliver for us all.
“We’ve worked closely with British Cycling and Sport England to ensure this project is the best it possibly can be on the land we have available, and we’re really excited to get our contractors on site.
“This project continues our work to make Northampton a city fit for the 21st century, with opportunities for everyone in the area to live their best lives.”
The new bike park will be created on the former golf course, which was part of Delapré Golf Centre until around six years ago. Work is expected to be complete by late summer.
The site also includes almost 13 hectares of wildlife habitats which will be maintained as part of the council’s ongoing approach to sustainability.
British Cycling Head of Business Planning and Transformation, Andy Farr, said: “We’re incredibly excited by the plans in place for the Northampton Bike Park, which will provide first-class trails and facilities for mountain bikers of all abilities.
“Facilities like this are vital to sustaining the huge growth we’ve seen in mountain biking over recent years, and we’re incredibly thankful to our local partners in Northampton and the team at On Track who share our passion for getting more people on bikes.”
Charles Johnston, Property Director, Sport England, said: “Sport England are delighted to see this project moving forward and that there will soon be opportunities for people of all ages and abilities from the local area to use the cycling facilities.
“Supported by funding through the Places to Ride Programme, this work will be instrumental in improving cycling facilities throughout England.”
Parking would be at the nearby golf centre and the site is easily accessible by bike via the Norbital cycle route.
26 April 2022
Businesses across West Northamptonshire are being encouraged to play a key role in supporting local celebrations to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee this summer.
Plans are under way to organise a packed weekend of activities across West Northamptonshire on the extended bank holiday from 2 to 5 June, including a showcase Big Lunch event at Delaprè Abbey on the Sunday from 11am - 4pm.
The free event, which will feature live music and arts performances and the chance to watch the national jubilee celebrations live on a big screen, promises to be the place to be for families to enjoy the festivities – and businesses are encouraged to get involved through a range of fantastic sponsorship opportunities.
West Northamptonshire Council has put together a range of packages to help businesses wishing to promote their product or brand, network with potential customers, or secure high-quality product placement opportunities at the event.
To find out more about the sponsorship opportunities, visit our Big Lunch sponsorship page.
Councillor Lizzy Bowen, WNC’s Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “The Big Lunch at Delaprè offers an amazing opportunity for residents across the whole of West Northants to come together and mark Her Majesty’s jubilee and we’re pleased to invite our local businesses to work in partnership with us to celebrate this high-profile event.
“We are dedicated to working with our business community and creating opportunities to showcase the incredible employers we have in West Northamptonshire as much as possible.”
All 5000 tickets for the Big Jubilee Lunch event have now been allocated, so a large turnout is expected.
A brass band, the Step-By-Step Dance School and a host of other performers from across West Northamptonshire will take to the stage during the event, while the Jubilee Pageant taking place in London is set to be broadcast live on a big screen.
Audiences will also be entertained by The Masque Theatre and Living History re-enactment group who are set to give performances in the gardens of the abbey, plus the ever-popular Silent Disco will add to the party atmosphere!