'Significant progress' made at £14m Vulcan Works creative business space in Northampton
Operator expected to be appointed in summer for town centre project described as 'great opportunity'
Significant progress has been made on the £14 million Vulcan Works creative business workspace project in Northampton town centre, according to the council.
A total of 59 lettable units aimed at start-ups and growing businesses are being built in derelict industrial buildings between Guildhall Road, Angel Street, Fetter Street and St John’s Street, plus two new buildings.
The search is now on for an operator with an appointment expected in the summer, according to Northampton Borough Council.
Member for regeneration and enterprise, Tim Hadland, said: “This scheme will make a very exciting addition to our Cultural Quarter which is going from strength to strength.
“The extended and the revamped museum is set to open in the coming months and by the end of this year, we will be opening the creative hub at Vulcan Works.
“Add to these the theatres and Northampton Filmhouse at Royal and Derngate, NN Arts Collective, the Rennie Mackintosh house at 78 Derngate, and the Guildhall and you have the makings of a regional cultural attraction.”
Steelwork is completed and the façade is well underway at the Angel Street element, where a topping out ceremony will be held today (Wednesday, January 29).
Work is also almost complete on the replacement roof for the Fetter Street buildings, with just a skylight left to install, while foundations for the new St John’s Street building are in place with steelwork started.
However, work on the Guildhall Road part of the development has proven more challenging than anticipated with some of the roof structure in a very poor state but work is progressing well here too, a council spokesman said.
South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) has contributed £6.3 million to the scheme from Local Growth Fund with the council covering the remaining costs.
SEMLEP chairman Peter Horrocks said: “Northampton has an incredibly strong entrepreneurial business culture and the success of local creative businesses sits at the heart of this.
“By investing in the Vulcan Works development, we are creating high-quality space for business in the creative industries to learn up and support each other and grow their businesses.
"This is a great opportunity for local employers, local people and the local economy.”
Small businesses wishing to find out more about accommodation options at Vulcan Works – with units measuring between 16 and 104 metres squared – should email [email protected] or call 01604 837504.