One of the oldest remnants of Northampton’s shoe industry could be brought back to life after plans were revealed to restore a derelict shoe factory in the town centre.
The Henry Harday factory in Regent Street, Semilong, has been empty for years and has been targeted by arsonists and vandals in the past.
The building is one of the oldest remaining shoe factories in the town and historians had feared it could either be demolished or simply be left to collapse.
But now, developer Mansha Syed has come forward with plans to restore the building and convert it into flats.
He said: “I’m Northampton born and bred so I’ve known many people who have worked in the shoe industry and I’ve seen the demise of it. I also know a lot of people who have bought other shoe factories and restored them.
“Obviously, this building can’t be turned back into a shoe factory because that’s not viable, but we want to keep the building and we want to be as sympathetic as possible with the restoration.
“It’s a very attractive building and we’re going to do our best to bring it back to life.”
Little is known about the history of the building, other than it was used by the Henry Harday company from at least 1850. If Mr Syed is given planning permission by Northampton Borough Council for the development, he plans to include a plaque commemorating the history of the factory in the development.