Have a look inside £14m Vulcan Works creative hub as work completes on Northampton town centre project

'We were insistent on an extremely high standard of finish and that’s precisely what we’ve got'

By Jack Duggan
Monday, 6th September 2021, 2:39 pm
Updated Monday, 6th September 2021, 2:42 pm

Work has completed on the £14 million transformation of the old Vulcan Works in Northampton town centre into a hub for creative businesses.

The collection of grade II-listed, derelict structures between Guildhall Road, Angel Street, Fetter Street and St John’s Street, plus two new buildings, have been turned into 68 lettable units for start-ups and growing firms.

West Northamptonshire Council cabinet member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth Lizzy Bowen said: “The project has delivered a collection of buildings that I know small creative businesses will want to call home.

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The new Vulcan Works creative hub on Fetter Street, Northampton

“We were insistent on an extremely high standard of finish and that’s precisely what we’ve got.

"The transformation of this collection of buildings, some of which were in a terrible state of repair, is absolutely startling.”

Designed by architects Purcell UK, the project involved the refurbishment of the old iron stone work factories along Guildhall Road, the refurbishment of the former museum store and the creation of a new three-storey building, as well as constructing a brand-new block on Angel Street to create the new office, studio and managed workshops.

SEMLEP has contributed £6.3 million towards the development through the Local Growth Fund, and a further £3 million is being provided by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government from the European Social Fund.

Inside the new Vulcan Works creative hub in Northampton town centre

The town centre scheme is expected to support up to 100 local businesses in its first ten years of operation, creating around 300 jobs for the local community.

Builders Stepnell started to transform the 146-year-old building in March 2019 and worked throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Stepnell regional director Adrian Barnes said: “We are delighted to have completed Vulcan Works – a tremendous achievement for everybody involved.

"We are extremely proud of everyone who has had a part to play in bringing this historic building back to life, providing an exciting space for new businesses to grow and thrive, while still retaining some of the original features and characters of the former factory.

Inside the new Vulcan Works creative hub in Northampton town centre

“As with all heritage projects we had to overcome a number of challenges, especially with its town centre location requiring the use of a tower crane for material movement.

"As the project consisted of listed elements as well as new build, the interface between the elements had to be carefully considered and sequenced to ensure we got it right.

"Due to its diverse nature of work and historical importance, the project required more than 70 specialist contractors to deliver the build and we are delighted with the end result.”