Proposals for a new indoor food hall in the heart of Northampton form the centrepiece of a multi-million-pound vision for the town’s future.
Northampton Forward will unveil its submission for the Government’s Future High Streets Fund in an empty unit at the Grosvenor Centre today, with a series of posters set to go up around the town in the coming days.
The group formed of council and business leaders is bidding for a £25 million share of the national funding pot aimed at revitalising town centres across the country.
The plans unveiled today show that town leaders in Northampton would use the money to transform Market Square – building a Borough Market-style food hall and creating a new ‘event space’ for entertainment.
Alongside this, the proposals promise a major overhaul of shop frontages, better walkways across the town, the possibility of a grassy park on the former Greyfriars site and a ‘workspace hub’ in the St Giles and Fish Street area.
Speaking about the plans yesterday, leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor Jonathan Nunn, said: “We felt with the market that more footfall can be driven there - and food halls are an incredibly popular thing at the moment.
“Hopefully this shows that we are talking about a vision for the town on a more ambitious scale than a bit of paint and some paving slabs.”
The proposals by Northampton Forward will now go out to a consultation phase.
Public exhibitions of the plans will be held on May 15 at the University of Northampton and between May 18 and 24 at the Grosvenor Centre, details of which are below.
The submission also talks of ‘shrinking’ the retail offer in the town so that it is less spread out - encouraging landlords of vacant units on the outskirts to consider repurposing buildings for office and residential use.
Improved walkways and better street paving will also enhance the “daytime café culture and evening leisure trade.”
The plans have already been submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities.
The town will find out whether it has been successful in summer - and if so will go through to a second round of bidding, where a more detailed plan would need to be submitted.
Where will the plans be on show?
15 May, 10.30am – 2pm - University of Northampton– Learning Hub
18 May, 11am – 3pm - Grosvenor Centre, Unit 23 Newland Walk
20 May, 11am – 3pm - Grosvenor Centre, Unit 23 Newland Walk
21 May, 11am – 3pm - Grosvenor Centre, Unit 23 Newland Walk
22 May, 11am – 3pm - Grosvenor Centre, Unit 23 Newland Walk
23 May, 11am – 3pm - Grosvenor Centre, Unit 23 Newland Walk
24 May, 11am – 3pm - Grosvenor Centre, Unit 23 Newland Walk