Northampton Borough Council has announced plans to build 100 new council homes in Northampton that will boost the trades and help the local economy.
This major development would be built on land owned by the council and will be financed by selling a parcel of land in the area or with money received from ex-council houses sold under ‘right to buy’ legislation.
Councillor David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said: “This is a great opportunity for us to build a significant number of council houses in a very cost effective way.
It is part of a new era for social housing in Northampton, as we move towards an arm’s length management organisation that will give our tenants more say over the investments that need to be made in their homes and their future.”
The land has been the subject of development proposals for a number of years, and is identified as part of the Joint Core Strategy for West Northamptonshire as a site for housing, which would include schools, health facilities and community services for the local area.
The development plans would also take into account any changes to the highway infrastructure necessary to deal with any increase in traffic.
Cllr Mary Markham, Cabinet Member for Housing and Deputy Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “We have a real shortage of affordable housing in Northampton and I am pleased that we are able to find a way to provide 100 great new homes for families, together with schools and the other facilities that a community needs.”
December is proving to be a milestone month for the construction of the new Northampton Railway Station that will improve local infrastructure and boost the trades.
By the end of the festive period, a new footbridge will be in place, while the main structure will have started to rise. The £20 million station will be twice the size of the current building with improved facilities, including bigger and better shops, cafés and waiting areas.
Construction of the 2,500 sq m building started in August, with utility diversions and foundation works now complete. Work on the steel superstructure will start this month, alongside the construction of a footbridge, which will eventually be joined to the new station.
Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “A great deal of work has already been done on-site, preparing it for the construction work which will now begin.
“This new station makes a bold statement about our aspirations for the town and will provide a fitting welcome for visitors. It ties in closely with other important regeneration projects like the new bus station, St Peter’s Waterside and the innovation centre, which are also under way. Northampton’s star is rising and we are working hard to ensure it continues to do so.”
The new and improved station will open in summer next year and will be followed by the demolition of the existing building. Longer-term phases of the development potentially include a 1,270 space multi-storey car park, as well as a 28,000 sq m commercial development.
The University of Northampton has broken ground on its new Innovation Centre that will help small businesses to grow and create new trade jobs.
The University is delivering the £8.5 million project in partnership with West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC) with Northamptonshire-based Kier Construction appointed as the main contractor.
The new centre is expected to open in early 2015. It is one of several developments planned within the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone.
This includes a new and improved railway station opposite the Innovation Centre, as well as a proposed £330 million University of Northampton campus.
The new state-of-the-art facility will provide support from the university’s Inspire2Enterprise service, an advisory service specifically for enterprises developing their business in a socially responsible manner.
Terry Neville, chief operating officer at the university, said: “The Innovation Centre will be a flagship for the social enterprise sector and will specialise in business support for this sector, which is rapidly expanding across the UK and globally.”
The university has been internationally recognised as a leader in supporting social entrepreneurship and has recently been designated as a ‘Changemaker Campus’, a prestigious values-based award shared with only 25 other universities worldwide.
Welcoming the move, Councillor David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “Innovation centres offer businesses the best chance of surviving those early years.
“Many household brands are where they are today thanks to the vital start offered by such centres and this one is particularly important as it will support an industry which is still in its infancy.
“The University of Northampton is right at the leading edge of Social Enterprise in the UK and this investment will help cement that position.”