Eyesore jazz bar to be turned into flats

101 Club, Regent Square'Northampton 1971
101 Club, Regent Square'Northampton 1971

A neglected former jazz bar which has stood empty in the centre of Northampton for more than five years could soon be converted into flats.

The Black Cat Jazz Bar in Sheep Street closed in 2008.

Since its closure, the landmark purple building has deteriorated, with claims the structure is now an eyesore.

In a bid to restore the building, developers have come forward to convert it into five flats.

Plans submitted to Northampton Borough Council by Wootton-based planning consultant, Barry Waine, said the development would greatly improve the Sheep Street 

He said: “This building has been vacant for a number of years and is largely recognised as an eyesore.

“As such, it is considered that this proposal will enhance the character of the area and provide a visually improved focal point.”

The building has been a variety of pubs and clubs over the years, including the Cookie Club, Macbeth’s, Sinatra’s and The Regent.

It was once well known as the 101 Club and the ground floor of the building was also a bookmakers for a time.

Latest plans for the building would see it painted white and the currently blocked-in windows would be re-opened.

Inside, the building would be converted into four one bedroom apartments and one two bedroom flat.

Mr Waine said: “In addition to the visual improvements, the public benefit would be through the use of the building for residential purposes, providing new homes in the town centre.”

Since the Black Cat closed in 2008, the building has been advertised for sale but nobody has come forward to re-open it as a club.

As The Black Cat, the club was part of the Purplehaus group of venues, which at the time also included the Roadmender and the Soundhaus.

Officials from the Guildhall will decide in March if the flats plan should be given the go-ahead.