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Northampton wins Getting Building funding

Published: Tuesday, 04 August 2020

Northampton Forward in partnership with NN Contemporary Art (NN) has bid successfully for part of the government’s new £900million Getting Building Fund (GBF).

The £1.2 million grant will be used to relocate NN – an internationally recognised art space – to new a Guildhall Road premises in the heart of Northampton’s Cultural Quarter.

The project will create a public gallery and a series of artists’ workshops for NN, and the rest of the building will be refurbished for cultural businesses and organisations including digital media and performing arts.

Essential repairs to the roof and façade of the building will be completed as part of the project.

Emer Grant, CEO of NN Contemporary Art, said: “We are delighted to be embarking on this expansion and capital development project in partnership with the borough council to establish a major new cultural destination for the region.

“A contemporary art space is a driver of progressive, positive change, that contributes to building diverse, sustainable communities.

“This project will bring exciting benefits to many and is much more than arts development or renovations.

“This is about recognising the pivotal role of culture in shaping not just new public spaces, but new creative, public futures.”

Northampton Forward is a public-private partnership including a range of organisations such as Northampton Borough Council, Northamptonshire County Council, the Northants Chamber of Commerce, Royal & Derngate and the South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP).

Cllr Anna King, Borough Council Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “We have been looking at how we can support NN Contemporary and this funding will enable us to do much more than just provide a home.

“It’s fantastic that we have found a way for this facility to remain in the Cultural Quarter, sitting directly alongside the newly-refurbished and extended Northampton Museum and Art Gallery."

SEMLEP, which covers Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, and Northamptonshire, has been allocated £27.3million of the pot for a variety of projects.

Hilary Chipping, SEMLEP Chief Executive, said: “Last July we published our Local Industrial Strategy, laying out the priorities and interventions we needed to invest in to realise innovation, further improve connectivity and achieve sustainable growth.

“These Getting Building Fund projects meet these priorities and the needs of the local economy as we strive to recover economically from this pandemic.”

SEMLEP will carry out due diligence on each of the projects this year. It is at this point that funding will be officially approved and funding agreements signed.