New university of Northampton campus in town centre approved by planning committee

Artist's impression of the new campus with bridge joining Becket's Park
Artist's impression of the new campus with bridge joining Becket's Park

Plans for the new University of Northampton campus in the town centre have been approved – paving the way for the start of the £330 million development.

Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee gave the go-ahead to the full scheme on Tuesday night through a unanimous vote.

Work to build the four new buildings and create a bridge from the future campus across the River Nene will commence later this year.

Speaking in favour of the scheme on Tuesday night, Councillor Matthew Golby said; “This is going to be a huge part of the future of our town.

“It’s a very exciting plan.”

Vice chancellor of the university Nick Petford said afterwards: “I’m delighted that Northampton Borough Council’s planning committee has approved the detailed designs for our academic buildings at the new Waterside Campus.

“These outstanding facilities will attract students from Northampton and around the world to study, work and live within the town.

“Later this year, construction work on site will get underway, with infrastructure and building works commencing and completion of the campus ready for students joining the University from September 2018.”

The main building at the new campus will be the six storey high Learning Hub, which will use combined heat and power generation and solar cells.

A five-storey Creative Hub will be used in various academic ways and contain a cafe that the designers hope will attract people from the wider area.

The Enterprise Hub will feature a line of columns to mark the entrance.

Sports facilities will also include two multi-use games areas and a floodlit sports pitch, as well as containing a fitness centre and an exercise and dance studio.

Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh, said: “The university’s relocation is a key part of our strategy for the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone, and one of the major projects in the Northampton Alive regeneration programme.

“In a few short years we’ve already seen massive progress across the town, and work on the new campus development starting later this year is a clear demonstration that there’s plenty more to come.”