A highways project which will help boost Northampton town centre’s regeneration has taken a significant step forward after receiving a vital cash injection.
The Northamptonshire County Council initiative has been awarded £981,000 from the Growing Places Fund money secured by Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership.
The project is seen as key to creating the infrastructure for unlocking three town centre schemes:
• The St John’s hotel development
• The University of Northampton’s new student accommodation
• Project Angel town centre office complex
The work will involve widening Swan Street so traffic can flow in both directions – making access to the new developments easier. It is expected that this, along with work to the Plough Hotel gyratory, will help ease traffic pressures in this part of the town. Work is due to start in early October.
It is also anticipated that the improved infrastructure will bring forward private sector investment earlier than expected and make other important developments such as Northamptonshire Waterside Enterprise Zone more accessible.
In addition there will be wider direct benefits from the highways improvements in creating a more attractive environment and pedestrian links into the heart of the town.
Cllr Jim Harker Leader of Northamptonshire County Council said: “This is exactly the sort of scheme for which the Growing Places fund was developed and I’m delighted that we are now in a position to move forward with this.
“This bottleneck would have been a real obstruction to development in this part of the town and would have made bringing these key capital projects to fruition very difficult.
“It’s encouraging that even during this hard economic period this regeneration work is continuing and laying firm foundations for future growth and prosperity.”
Paul Southworth, Chairman of Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership, said: “This is great news that will continue to support ongoing economic development within the town and beyond.
“Three key projects will be unlocked by this funding, and it is also set to support significant additional private sector investment to the area earlier than may otherwise have been delivered.”
The project is part of the £5.9 million Growing Places Fund that the Government allocated to Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership in February 2012.
Funding is for otherwise viable schemes that are unable to proceed due to capital constraints which, in turn, have halted the flow of investment to the region and the associated development and jobs creation this brings with it.
The programme is intended to operate on a revolving basis, so funding invested in projects will be returned within agreed timescales so that it can be re-invested in future projects.
For more information and details on how to apply please visit www.northamptonshireep.co.uk