Council commits £25.1 million to help fund new Weston Favell hub - as long as Levelling Up Fund application is successful

The plans include a leisure centre, cinema, dentist and GP surgery

Friday, 1st July 2022, 10:51 am

A new community hub in Weston Favell has taken a step forward as West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) commits to half the funding needed.

The proposals for the hub include a swimming pool, cinema, library and a new home for health and social services and have been in the works for more than a year.

During a full council meeting on Thursday, June 30, WNC said it would support the regeneration project with £25.1 million if it is successful with an application for £20 million from the Government’s £4.8 billion Levelling Up Fund (LUF).

The proposal for the Weston Favell hub.

Councillor Daniel Lister WNC’s Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth said: “It is right the public money should be invested where it is most needed, and this area was laid out when ideas on design and planning were very different.

"It will be very far from a like for like replacement, this will deliver genuine improvements to the access and quality of vital public services and its impact will be felt throughout the community in the east of Northampton.

"Improving the look and feel of the area is just the start, better health facilities mean better outcomes and a higher quality of life for those who need the most help.

"It’s about time the people of Weston Favell and the surrounding area have something at the heart of their community that they can be proud of and will enjoy visiting."

The plans would consolidate several outdated community buildings, including: Lings Forum leisure centre, Weston Favell health centre, Olympus House (adult services), the Forum (children’s services), Weston Favell Library and Weston Favell Police Station.

The catchment area for the hub includes 90,000 people and according to the council, extensive consultation and feasibility studies have already been undertaken which identified the facilities required within the new hub.

These facilities include:

-Leisure centre with a new swimming pool, learner pool, gym, exercise studios, sports hall, changing rooms and ancillary accommodation

-Library with quiet study areas, exhibition space, meetings rooms and staff areas

-A two-screen cinema

-Community hub with a lobby area, public seating, café, meeting and consultation rooms

-Adult services with office space, activity rooms, sensory rooms, function space and ancillary accommodation

-Children services with contact and family rooms, baby rooms, meetings and interview rooms, outdoor play area and ancillary accommodation

-GP practices with access to additional clinical space and minor operations room

-A dental practice

-Opportunity for additional services such as maternity and physiotherapy services

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Leader of the council Jonathan Nunn previously told Chronicle & Echo: “It’s exciting because we want the best for all of Northampton but particularly that part of town, which is not looked after well enough, and I think this is something we can move forward with.”

Other areas in need within Northampton are earmarked for future funding applications.

WNC’s financial backing for the proposals will be submitted alongside the LUF application next month with a decision from the Government expected late 2022.