Contractor set to be appointed for Vulcan Works project in Northampton

The former Vulcan Works site will be transformed
The former Vulcan Works site will be transformed

A contractor is set to be appointed to oversee the £9million development of Northampton’s Vulcan Works project.

The borough council is due to appoint a contractor at its cabinet meeting next week, and it is likely to prove one of the final hurdles for the scheme.

The council had agreed ‘in principle’ back in June 2014 to redevelop the former Vulcan Works into a ‘creative industries hub’, to provide new business space for those in the creative and digital sector.

Demolition work has already taken place at the former Amalgamated Tyres site at the junction of Fetter Street and St John’s Street, where archaeological work is set to be carried out.

Once complete, the project will provide a total of 59 lettable units of variable sizes for creative industries. During its first ten years of operation, Vulcan Works is expected to support up to 100 businesses, creating around 300 jobs.

The project has been boosted by £3million of funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), which has been added to £6million of funding from SEMLEP. But the ERDF funding risks being lost if it is not spent in the 2019/20 financial year.

Should the scheme not proceed for any reason, then the costs incurred from May 2014 to date of approximately £2.5million for design and enabling works would still need to be accounted for.

But the borough council is keen to press ahead with the project as it cannot afford to progress it without the ERDF funding, and on Wednesday, January 16, the cabinet will also likely confirm receipt of the funding.

Once construction is underway, an external operator will be sought to run it on behalf of the council.