The University of Northampton’s plan to move to a new £330 million campus in the town centre has moved a step closer to reality.
The Treasury has announced today that the scheme is in line to be guaranteed financially by the Government, meaning private lenders could be confident their money would be safe.
An outline planning application for the university’s new £330m Waterside campus in the town centre was submitted to Northampton Council in September.
The proposed new campus on the 55-acre Avon Nunn Mills site within the waterside Enterprise Zone will replace the university’s existing sites in St George’s Avenue and Boughton Green Road.
If approved, it is hoped groundwork on the site could start next year, with the campus opening in autumn 2018.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said today the scheme is one of a number of energy, road and rail projects worth £33bn that have passed the first hurdle in getting a government infrastructure guarantee.
Forty projects are now at the stage known as prequalification, meaning they are eligible for the UK Guarantee scheme.
While further discussions, assessment and due diligence remain, the move could see them secure Government agreement to act as a guarantor for a project, giving private lenders confidence they will get their money back if the project cannot pay.
If the Government gave a guarantee it would be for a proportion of the capital value of the project, and the scheme is authorised to issue up to £40bn of guarantees in total.
The government has already awarded a £75m guarantee to power plant Drax for its £700m programme to partially convert the UK’s biggest coal power station to biomass.