Police could join council’s Project Angel plan

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Talks have been held about the possibility of Northamptonshire Police’s headquarters moving to Northampton town centre.

Discussions are at an early stage about the idea to move the headquarters from Wootton Hall to the Project Angel site in Angel Street, or to another part of the Enterprise Zone.

The former police headquarters building, built in 1901, still stands in Angel Street.

Northampton Borough Council leader, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm) has spoken to new Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds about the issue, and further meetings are in the pipeline.

The Project Angel scheme will see Northamptonshire County Council staff move out of County Hall and a dozen other council buildings and relocate to Angel Street.

The authority says the extra influx of people in the town centre will provide an estimated £12 million boost to the town’s economy.

Councillor Mackintosh said: “I think it is a very exciting possibility of bringing more workforce back into the town centre. We will be looking at the Project Angel area, and other areas in the Enterprise Zone.

“One of the great things about Project Angel is that it has become a catalyst for other people to look at opportunities for moving into the town centre.”

Peter Heaton, interim assistant commissioner for engagement, said: “The process of looking into it is literally just beginning. It is not a five-minute job. The first step is to look at the property estate, see what is here, what needs to be in a headquarters. Then we can start to look at the options as to where things could be located.”

The county council unanimously agreed the first raft of funding for Project Angel at a full council meeting last Thursday.

The authority has set aside £5.012 million to take the project through the procurement and business case stage, and to complete the delivery of the project.

Councillor Andrew Langley (Con, Irthlingborough), cabinet member for local government shared services, said: “This is a great scheme. This paper seeks the first tranche of spending, getting us to the point of starting to build.”