Northampton Borough Council will consider giving half a million pounds towards of additional funding towards the renovation of Delapre Abbey.
The council’s cabinet next Wednesday (October 21), will consider improvements before the Delapre Abbey Preservation Trust (DAPT) takes over the building’s operation later next year.
A capital contribution of £525,000 would enable a number of elements to be incorporated into phase one of the project and be in place before it opens.
-Provision of additional car parking over and above the existing hardstanding
-The restoration of the Delapre Lodge, located at the main abbey entrance from London Road
-The fit out of the retail space and purchase of stock
-The fit out of the education space
-The installation of superfast broadband and IT hardware to enable conference room hire, and operational activities of the trust
-The installation and fit out of a commercial kitchen
The council said that any increase in car parking will need planning permission, and a “full, inclusive community engagement” will be carried out with local residents and other stakeholders ahead of that.
Councillor Tim Hadland, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This extra work is necessary to ensure that Delapre Abbey can open as a major local, regional and national heritage attraction.”
The council has also been working closely with DAPT to identify further enhancements regarding the operation of the abbey.
Cabinet is also set to provide £150,000 to enable the trust to buy equipment prior to opening as well as further loan facilities to cover possible operational losses in the first year after opening.
The Trust’s capital contributions towards the project remain as a requirement to fundraise £812,000.
Rod Giddins, Chair of the Trust, said “We are committed to delivering a compelling new visitor attraction for Northampton.
“The additional funding proposed by the council and the ongoing support for the Abbey will be enormously helpful.”