Scaffolding to be scaled back at fire-hit bar in Bridge Street

COMPANIES in Northampton town centre have welcomed the news that the scaffolding outside the former Angel Hotel in Bridge Street is to be scaled back off the road.

Part of the town centre road has been reduced to one lane for the past two years after a fire – later found to have been started accidentally by roofers – ripped through the Grade Two listed building in January 2012.

The Fat Cat Cafe Bar chain, which occupied half of the fire-scarred building, went into administration in April 2013 but an application for listed building consent to start refurbishing the site was submitted by the building’s owners in June last year.

Councillor David Mackintosh has now negotiated with the building’s owners to get the scaffolding moved back off the road onto the pavement so traffic can travel in both lanes of Bridge Street.

Councilor Mackintosh said: “It has been frustratingly slow trying to get things moving in Bridge Street since the fire in January 2012 but we have been working with the companies involved.

“It has been very complicated with all the insurance matters but now finally we’ve got an agreement with the companies to move the scaffoldng back. This is really welcome news that we can get Bridge Street back to normal as soon as possible. It will really help with access to the town centre and is really positive news for the town.”

Councillor Mackintosh said he hoped the building’s owners would be able to “get on with” rennovating the building as soon as possible.

Balloon Bar, which was also affected by the fire, was refurbished and expanded and opened again in July last year. Nearby businesses in Bridge Street have reported that their takings have decreased since the scaffolding was erected.