Councillors back campaign to bring shoe manufacturers back to Northampton town centre

Chronicle & Echo library picture
Chronicle & Echo library picture

Councillors have backed plans to open a shoe and leather goods outlet in the town centre that would promote Northampton’s ‘world class’ boot manufacturers.

The scheme recommends the development of a vacant site in the middle of town to showcase and sell shoes and leather goods, and to invite interest from shoe manufacturers and leather good producers around the county.

It is hoped that the demand for high quality shoes and leather will make the outlet an attraction for visitors and increase footfall in the town centre.

The motion, proposed to Northampton Borough Council by Labour councillor Gareth Eales, won cross-party backing at full council on Monday evening (July 9).

Councillor Eales said: “We know as a council we need to support the regeneration of our town, to increase footfall and to stimulate tourism. Leather and our world renowned shoe makers can play a key role in this.

“I’m sure everyone wants a town centre that doesn’t just survive, but thrives.”

The motion was brought forward following recent announcements on retail closures such as M&S, and a campaign by the Northampton Chronicle & Echo calling on residents to submit their views on how the town centre could be improved.

The motion called on the authority to make ‘whatever concessionary offers are within our gift for a defined period’ and to play ‘an active role in the delivery of what will be a mutual heritage and commercial concern’.