Students want to see more coffee shops and entertainment venues in Northampton
Excited students and staff starting their new term at Waterside Campus have told the Chron how they think the town could thrive on their arrival.
With the face of the high street changing nationally Northampton is unlikely to return to the thriving retail hub it was years ago. But unlike most other town's and cities struggling with the closure of major high street brands - this town has a new opportunity to seize with both hands.
Although we may never see the likes of Marks & Spencer again - instead of wallowing in doom and gloom it's time to look into entertainment alternatives, more coffee shops and novelty cocktail bars that won't break the bank, third year advertising and digital marketing students say.
Emily Pearson said: "I came back to uni on Tuesday and the town has already changed quite a bit. I walked in from the Grosvenor Centre and I noticed there's lots of coffee shops. It's nice to not see so many empty shops.
"But I would like to see more coffee shops, cocktail bars and entertainment venues and just more places that are student-centric and friendly, especially now that we are closer to town.
"Fun things like mini golf and stuff that we can do in groups would be helpful for friends and societies.
"My friends who go to university in big cities always talk about the nicest places, which are often independently run. They offer good student discount or fun things that bring students in, for example, student nights, quirky themes and good vibes.
"They're usually fun places to hang out without having to go 'out out'."
Fellow third-year student Millie Whomes added: "It would be nice to see more student leisure activities like crazy golf and fun student friendly bars, which have cocktail pong or drinking games, a place where everyone can get together and meet new people during freshers."
Senior lecturer in marketing Kardi Somerfield hopes the town opens its arms to the new students and makes the most of their business.
"This campus was designed to bring the university into the town, which I think is an exciting prospect. Towns need to reinvent and here's an opportunity to do just that.
"One of the things that I'm passionate about is the uni's impact on the town. Having moved is a really big opportunity.
"My hope is that the local business community rises to the challenge of making the most of the students. The footfall is going to be key."