'Give them a reason to come into Northampton': Town should now combine heritage and retail options, says Labour

Northampton's Boot & Shoe Quatre attracts thousands of international visitors every year but shoemaker bosses say more should be done to keep tourists in the town centre.
Northampton's Boot & Shoe Quatre attracts thousands of international visitors every year but shoemaker bosses say more should be done to keep tourists in the town centre.

One vacant site in the town centre could become a showcase for Northampton's shoemakers and leather goods in a bid to boost tourism and shoppers.

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

1,000 pairs of shoes are handmade in Tricker's factory in The Mounts every week by 96 Trickers employees.

1,000 pairs of shoes are handmade in Tricker's factory in The Mounts every week by 96 Trickers employees.

The scheme recommends plans to revamp a vacant site in the middle of town to showcase and sell shoes and leather goods from the county's finest cobblers, which will, in turn, bring tourism into the main shopping streets.

The call from councillor Gareth Eales for Northamptonshire's comes almost two weeks after the Chronicle & Echo's campaign 'Save Our Sole'.

Speaking after the meeting councillor Gareth Eales (Labour, Spencer): said: “We know we have a number of visitors coming to the town and county to visit our outstanding shoe manufacture factory outlets. We know that people enjoy shopping.

"What we want to do is give them a reason to come into Northampton and make it easy for them to view and buy from all of our manufactures in one place.

The proposed plan by Labour, which won cross-party backing at full council on Monday, is to boost the town's cobbling history by combining shoe heritage and shops to make Northampton a world-renowned shoe-shopping destination.

The proposed plan by Labour, which won cross-party backing at full council on Monday, is to boost the town's cobbling history by combining shoe heritage and shops to make Northampton a world-renowned shoe-shopping destination.

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.

"We need to celebrate and be proud that this county still makes the best shoes in the world. We could combine the heritage and the retail options to make this something to be very proud of, enhancing the town centre and increasing visitor numbers,” he added.