Café, terrace and gallery extension for Northampton museum one step away from full approval

Artist's impression of the new gallery interior.
Artist's impression of the new gallery interior.

A plan to breathe new life into the Northampton Museum and Art Gallery by building a café and shoe exhibition has taken another step forward.

Developers want to extend the museum, in Guildhall Road, town centre, and create a link between the nearby former county council offices and the Old Gaol Block in Angel Street.

The Museum and Art Gallery in Guildhall Road.

The Museum and Art Gallery in Guildhall Road.

Now, Northampton Borough Council has "recommended" the proposal at a planning committee meeting on Monday (November 13), leaving it one step away from receiving full approval.

The plan includes converting a set of empty county council offices in Guildhall Square into 380 square-metres of gallery space for temporary exhibitions and in-house displays of shoes to celebrate the history and heritage of Northampton.

There will also be an outside terrace, a café and space for events and corporate hire.

It comes after part of the existing building was demolished to make room for the extension.

Speaking in October, councillor Anna King, cabinet member for community engagement, said: “A huge amount of work has gone into designing this link space, which will be the new museum’s hub.

“This is a major project, the kind that comes once in a generation, so we need to make sure it’s absolutely the best it can be.

“I’ve been very impressed with the approach to making sure this building is both functional and attractive, in keeping with the character of the surrounding buildings, but distinctive.”

The council is expecting to tender for the building contract in the new year.