Northampton given £25m by government to kickstart ambitious town centre rejuvenation plan
MP: 'This will make a big difference to the town's regeneration programme and give it the boost it deserves'
The government will give £25 million to help towards Northampton town centre's regeneration, it has been revealed as part of the budget today (Wednesday, March 3).
The Towns Fund grant will be spent on a range of projects, including the redevelopment of the old Marks and Spencer and BHS buildings.
Jonathan Nunn, leader of Northampton Borough Council and chairman of Northampton Forward, which submitted the bid, said 'to say I'm ecstatic is probably an understatement'.
“This money will allow us to progress a number of schemes across our town which will help us not only transform our high streets, but significantly boost our already compelling cultural offer," he added.
“I’m extremely grateful to all of the staff who worked tirelessly to create our submission, and to colleagues from Northampton Forward without whose support this would most certainly not have been possible.”
Budget documents say Northampton is among eight towns in the East Midlands to receive a share of £175 million from the Towns Fund, with just over £1 billion handed out nationally.
In 2019, the government invited towns to bid for up to £50 million from its Towns Fund for capital projects that meet a series of objectives.
Northampton Forward, a group made up of representatives from Northampton Borough Council, businesses and the arts created to lead the town centre's regeneration, submitted a bid for £37.2 million in December.
Around £12.2 million was earmarked to redevelop Market Square and Waterloo House but those schemes were removed from the bid, bringing it down to £25 million.
The Market Square project is being funded by the £8,442,730 granted to Northampton from the government's Future High Streets Fund and Waterloo House has been bought by a private developer.
Northampton Forward's 'town investment plan', revealed a month ago, outlines how the cash would be spent and how each scheme would improve the town after two years of consultations.
The funds will kickstart multiple projects around the town centre as well as 'unlocking' further private investment, according to Northampton Forward.
Northampton South MP Andrew Lewer tweeted: "Absolutely delighted that #Northampton has been awarded the full £25 million for the #TownsFund,"
"This will make a big difference to the town's regeneration programme and give it the boost it deserves. #budget2021"