Council leader holds ‘positive’ meeting with Legal & General over Northampton regeneration plans

Legal & General own the Grosvenor shopping centre
Legal & General own the Grosvenor shopping centre

The leader of Northampton Borough Council says that ‘positive dialogue’ has been taking place with Legal & General over the proposed regeneration of the town centre.

The Grosvenor Centre owners have been kept up to date by Councillor Jonathan Nunn, as he leads the Northampton Forward group which has been drawing up proposals that would transform the look of the town centre.

Ideas which went forward in a consultation included a new Borough Market style food hall on the Market Square, a new park on the former Greyfriars bus site, and a ‘workspace hub’ in the St Giles and Fish Street area.

Legal & General has struggled to redevelop The Grosvenor since the idea was first explored in 2000, with the last major attempt – a joint scheme with the borough council to extend the shopping centre onto Greyfriars – scrapped back in 2014.

Since then it has objected in vain to the development of Rushden Lakes, which recent figures suggest is starting to hit footfall figures in Northampton town centre.

But with the positive news that Northampton has been shortlisted for two £25million pots of government money aimed at regenerating town centres – the Future High Streets fund and the Towns Fund – Councillor Nunn is aiming to keep Legal & General in the loop.

In his monthly report to council, the leader writes: “The chief executive [George Candler], economic growth and regeneration manager and I recently met with representatives from Legal and General and Montagu Evans [commercial property agents] on the work that we have been undertaking in the last 12 months in the town centre.

“As Legal and General are a significant landowner in the town, not least as the owners of the Grosvenor Centre, I feel that it is particularly important that we keep them regularly briefed on the work that we are doing and how they can assist with both our short term and medium-term plans for the future development of the town.

“The meeting was positive and we have agreed to continue the dialogue over the coming months.”