£43 million Project Angel plans get the go-ahead at County Hall

Angel Street is going to be developed by Northampton Borough Council.
Angel Street is going to be developed by Northampton Borough Council.

Councillors have approved a blueprint for a major £43 million office complex in Northampton which should boost the town’s economy to the tune of £12 million.

Northamptonshire County Council approved an outline business case for Project Angel at a meeting of its cabinet today, a plan it says will save taxpayers millions of pounds by centralising staff out of 12 ageing buildings it owns.

The plans, which were first revealed by the Chron earlier this summer, will see 2,000 staff move into the town centre on the Angel Street site, which is currently used for county council parking.

It is estimated the extra influx of people will provide a £12 million boost to the economy.

As part of the plans, the county council is also looking to move out of buildings including John Dryden House, part of the current County Hall, Riverside House and Century House.

Addressing the meeting, Councillor Andrew Langley (Con, Irthlingborough) said: “This is the culmination of 18 months of hard work and I believe this is a comprehensive business case.

“This is a statement of intent. I think we can move swiftly with the timetable, to award the contract by next September and move in by November 2016.

“We are sending out a clear signal that Northampton is a great place to do business.

“The reason we are doing this is to save money. We can use our business to lead prosperity in Northampton.”

Councillor Langley referred to a similar project in Staffordshire, where the county council there moved from six buildings into one and increased footfall by 15 per cent.

He also said he “shared the sense of urgency” over the creation of a new car parking strategy for the town, to cope with the extra influx of vehicles.

Borough councillor Tim Hadland (Con, Old Duston) also spoke at the meeting to back the project.

He said: “It is very exciting for us to see it reach this stage. It is going to be of tremendous benefit to the economy in Northampton.”