Northampton invited to submit detailed bid for Government high streets fund

Published: Friday, 05 July 2019

The Government has today announced that Northampton has been shortlisted to submit a detailed bid for support from its Future High Streets Fund.

In March, Northampton Forward submitted expression of interest to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, one of three hundred submissions from across the country.

Following several months of sifting, Northampton’s proposal was chosen as one of those to be worked up in greater detail.

The Government will also provide a resource funding grant to enable this work, details of which are expected in the days to come.

A detailed bid will need to be submitted by the end of the year and an announcement on successful projects is expected to be made sometime next summer.

Councillor Jonathan Nunn, Leader of Northampton Borough Council and Chair of the Northampton Forward board, said: “Town centres are changing dramatically across the country, with the growth of online and out-of-town shopping, but in Northampton we are on the front foot because we have so many great assets in our town to respond to current changes. These include our cultural offer, our heritage, and our wonderful independent shops to name just a few things.

“We also have so many people committed to making the town the best it can be including the local councils, businesses, SEMLEP, the University, community groups, Northamptonshire Police and the many members of the public who have recently engaged with the consultation on plans for the future of the town centre, all of whom have played a part in this grant bidding process.

“So it’s my view that the Government have recognised that Northampton needs some support, but that it has huge potential to deliver re-invention, and that everybody here is seriously committed to making it a really great place.”

The Government is making a total of £620 million available and individual bids seeking up to £25 million are invited.

Northampton Forward has just completed a consultation on its outline plans for the town centre, attracting hundreds of responses.

Master-planning experts, 5plus Architects, were commissioned to compile high-level proposals for five key areas:

• Marefair and Gold Street
• Market Square
• Greyfriars
• Fish Street and St Giles Street
• Abington Street

These included general suggestions of how each area might be regenerated and how each approach would form part of a wider strategy for the town.

Northampton Forward will now await further details from the Government on how it can best devise and present a detailed bid in order to maximise its chance of success.

Northampton Forward is a public/private partnership which was formed earlier this year to create a vision for the town and drive forward a strategic programme of improvements.

Its board is formed of a wide range of partners including:

• Northampton Borough Council
• Northamptonshire County Council
• Northants Police
• Grosvenor Shopping Northampton
• Northampton Town Centre BID
• University of Northampton
• Royal and Derngate
• LiftNN (Community representative)
• South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP)
• Tricker’s
• Northamptonshire Chamber
• Community representatives