Council budget for historic Northampton building set to be exceeded by thousands of pounds

Craig Murphy from Underwood and Weston working on the restoration

Craig Murphy from Underwood and Weston working on the restoration

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Completion of a historic grade II listed building in Northampton is set to be complete early next year and will take the Borough Council thousands of pounds over budget, cabinet report papers reveal.

The Delapre Abbey restoration project will open it’s doors to the public for the first time in it’s 900 hundred year history but has since taken a delay to enable the “urgent” purchase of a service counter for the cafe.

The meeting which took place on Wednesday, December 7 highlighted that the restoration delay, which notes an increase to the capital budget, was given the green-light by the chief executive and is set to cost the borough council an additional £65,000.

Senior councillor, Tim Hadland said there is a good explanation that projects involving buildings of this age often experience problems and setbacks, resulting in costs which cannot be anticipated or predicted.

Councillor Tim Hadland, Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “Delapré Abbey will be a key asset for Northampton and we need to make sure we get it right.

“The building will help celebrate Northampton’s rich heritage and key role in some of the country’s most crucial historical events.

“Projects involving buildings of this age often experience problems and setbacks, leading to unforeseen costs.

“With work almost complete, this most likely represents the final stages of decades of work which will create a great asset for the town and for generations to come.”

Upon completion, the Abbey will offer residents of the town educational spaces, a shop and an exhibition space focusing on the War of the Roses, which was fought at Delapre Park in the fifteenth century.

As well as this, the opening is also set to enhance the usage of the public park, while attracting national and regional visitors to the town.

The council project, which was set to open last month, was awarded £3.6 million of Heritage Lottery Funding towards the overall cost of £6.3 million for the restoration works.

It is understood that a the building will now be open in time to welcome visitors throughout the summer.