Northampton businesses look to capitalise on increased numbers of Delapre Abbey visitors

St Leonard's Road, Far Cotton

St Leonard's Road, Far Cotton

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Up to one hundred shops and businesses in Northampton could combine to smarten up their local area in preparation for Delapre Abbey’s upgrade.

The businesses, in Far Cotton, have been invited to join an enterprise similar to the Brackmills and town centre ‘business improvement districts’ or BIDs.

If they agree to a draft constitution, one of their first tasks would be to spruce up St Leonard’s Road and make it appealing to Delapre Abbey visitors, whose numbers look likely to increase when the multi-million pound overhaul is completed early next year.

George Karayannis, of the Enotika off licence, who is establishing the group, said: “There are two things happening that are significant to Far Cotton businesses.

“One is the increase in students with the new campus and the other, which is more significant, is the abbey.

“Once that project is complete, it will attract visitors not just locally but regionally and perhaps nationally.”

Longer term, the group would hope to make sure Far Cotton is has an identity as a shopping area.

Mr Karayannis said he believed the area had never properly returned to the same bustling nature it offered since the Easter Floods in 1998.

He said: “Far Cotton has history and identity and that should be enriched.

“We’d want to integrate Far Cotton into the mosaic of the town, and gain recognition for Far Cotton as an integral district.”

The first meeting has been pencilled in for July 11.