A bid to convert part of a grade II listed former ironworks in Northampton into a £5 million centre for leatherworks will begin before the end of the year according to council officials.
Northampton Borough Council’s plans to transform the disused Vulcan Works in Guildhall Road into a “cultural hub” was originally meant to have been finished by mid-2016, but the scheme was delayed while plans were redrawn.
The refurbishment project, which is taking place in two phases, will first see part of the 19th Century building developed into an institute for creative leather technologies and a leather conservation centre.
Following that, the authority then wants to create a managed workspace for 60 businesses in the creative industry, which it says will create 200 jobs.
The council has confirmed it will begin enabling works to the leather centre “later this year”, with a completion planned for summer 2018.
No start date has been set for the managed workspace next door, though when completed, both would be run by the University of Northampton.
Cabinet member for regeneration at Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Tim Hadland, said: “We’re really pleased that works will begin later this year.
“The Vulcan Works is a key development within our burgeoning cultural quarter.
“Along with the new museum extension, and existing assets including the Royal & Derngate and the Rennie Mackintosh house at 78 Derngate, it is fast becoming a regionally significant destination.”
Director of student and academic services at the University of Northampton, Jane Bunce, said: “The Vulcan Works will be a place to celebrate the University and Northampton’s rich history of leathercraft, and set the tone for the future of the industry.
For more information about the project, visit www.northamptonez.co.uk