Plans for £43 million Northamptonshire County Council office block broadly welcomed

Grosvenor Centre. Plans for new council HQ with Richard Beeby (Director of Project Angel).
Grosvenor Centre. Plans for new council HQ with Richard Beeby (Director of Project Angel).

Multi-million-pound plans to build a new headquarters for Northamptonshire County Council in Northampton were broadly welcomed when they were put on show to residents today.

More than 400 people visited a display in the Grosvenor Centre which showed what the £43 million new office block, dubbed Project Angel, would look like.

The programme director of Project Angel, Richard Beeby, said: “The feedback we’ve had from the public has been very encouraging.

“There have been a few negative comments, but mainly people are saying they think it’s a great opportunity to bring people into the town centre.”

Plans for the development, which would be at the back of County Hall in Northampton town centre, were first revealed in 2010.

The scheme would see 12 current council buildings spread across the county close, resulting in 2,000 council workers moving into the town centre.

The council has said the closure of the 12 ageing buildings would save £54m in future maintenance costs.

Mr Beeby said: “Some people have asked us where we’re getting the money from when we show them the plans, but when you explain how much money the new building will save us, they think it’s a good opportunity.”

The development would have 140 parking spaces underneath the office building.

Town centre resident Kathleen Mary, who viewed the plans on Friday, said parking was one of the issues she was most concerned about.

She said: “I think it’s exciting and the plans look quite nice.

“The only thing I worry about is if there will be enough parking. But it’s good that all those people will be in the town centre.”

Bozeat resident Brian Skittrall, who also went to the exhibition, added: “I’m not convinced by the look of it, but the overall plan seems quite good.

“The town centre was hard-hit when Barclaycard moved out, so moving 2,000 people into the town should help.”

An official planning application for the development is expected to be submitted to the Guildhall next month. It is expected the development will be completed by 2016.