Proposals for cultural quarter are re-launched

Plans to create a ‘cultural quarter’ in the heart of Northampton have been re-launched, nine years after first being suggested.

Proposals to create a ‘cultural mile’ running from The Racecourse to St John’s car park were first revealed in 2004.

Laumch of Northampton's Cultural Quarter

Laumch of Northampton's Cultural Quarter

Since then, the scheme has dried up, but this week, the leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh (Con, Rectory Farm) joined artists from the town to kick-start the project.

He said: “The creative economy will play a key part in what we’re trying to achieve in Northampton. The sector is critical to encouraging investment and growth and we want to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by businesses already in our cultural quarter and support others to come and set up there.

“Northampton is alive with world class culture and enterprise and we’re serious about making the town a place where creativity can flourish.”

The new cultural quarter will include Derngate and Guildhall Road. To mark out the quarter, signs will be put on buildings in the area.

A cultural forum will also be created to push forward the quarter. The forum will be made up of groups including the Royal & Derngate theatres, 78 Derngate and the Arts Council England.

Original plans to create a ‘cultural mile’ running through Northampton were proposed in April 2004. The project was due to be completed by 2006.

Proposals for the scheme included opening a botanical garden at The Racecourse and building a restaurant on top of St John’s car park.

The more realistic new plans are due to be approved by councillors next week.