Archive for year: 2013

David Mackintosh

Free parking for Christmas

Shoppers and visitors to Northampton town centre can park for free at prime times in the run up to Christmas.

There will be free parking in all of Northampton Borough Council’s town centre car parks from 3pm on Thursday 21st November for the Christmas lights switch on, which is at 6pm. There will then be free parking every Thursday in the run up to Christmas from 3pm to coincide with stores’ late shopping nights. 

Parking on Saturdays is also free in the Mayorhold, St John’s, St Michael’s and Grosvenor Centre car parks from 23rd November to 21st December. 

Sunday and Bank Holiday parking is free in all Borough Council car parks throughout the year, and there is no charge for parking for up to an hour in the Mayorhold, St John’s and St Michael’s car parks.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said,  “It is going to be a great Christmas in Northampton. We promised we would bring more parking offers in time for Christmas to entice shoppers and help businesses, and we have.”

“Convenient and reasonably priced parking is just one way we are bringing more people into town.  The annual Christmas lights switch on is a firm family favourite that kicks off this year’s festivities and is free for all to enjoy.   Great local shopping and fantastic festive events mean there is something for everyone.”

For the latest information about Christmas in Northampton and where to park visit www.christmasinnorthampton.co.uk.

David Mackintosh

Loan pledge provides boost for University campus plans

Funding for the University of Northampton’s new Waterside Campus received a boost this week following approval of two Government loans.

Thanks to applications by South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP) and Northamptonshire Enterprise Partnership (NEP), HM Treasury has approved Public Works Loan Board (PWLB) funding of £60 million, available through Northampton Borough Council and Northamptonshire County Council over the next three years.

University bosses were delighted with the news which comes hot on the heels of the Government’s pledge to act as guarantor on any loans for the project.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said, “The university’s plans are an integral part of both our Northampton Alive programme of regeneration and the future of the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone.”

“This news will be a huge confidence boost for private lenders considering investment in the scheme which would create a state-of-the-art campus right on the doorstep of our town centre.”

“The university has already submitted an outline planning application for the former Avon Nunn Mills site and remedial works are already under way. Northampton is currently outpacing the rest of the country in terms of its economic recovery and we will do all we can to ensure that trend continues.”

Cllr Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “This is excellent news for Northampton and the county as a whole. This is the sort of investment that we need in the town centre and essential as the economy continues to recover.”

“Northampton is an exciting place to be at the moment with a number of key projects coming online that the County Council has been instrumental in, including the new Northampton Castle Railway Station and our own Project Angel, which will bring a further boost to the town centre economy.”

Two separate applications were submitted, with SEMLEP being awarded £46 million and NEP being awarded £14 million.

The money will be made available in blocks over three years – £10 million in the current financial year, £26 million for 2014/15 and £24 million for 2015/16.

The university hopes to start groundwork at its new site next year with the campus opening sometime between 2018 and 2020

David Mackintosh

Supporting our Armed Forces at Christmas

Northampton Borough Council has teamed up with charity, Support Our Soldiers, to encourage everyone to support members of the Armed Forces by taking part in their Christmas Parcel Appeal.

The appeal aims to send shoeboxes of donated gifts to serving and injured soldiers who will be spending their Christmas overseas and away from their families.

People are asked to drop into The Guildhall’s One Stop Shop and donate items including sweets, toiletries and Christmas gifts. All donated items will be collected and put into shoeboxes, which will be sent over to the Armed Forces Personnel serving in Afghanistan.

The shoeboxes will be donated by local shoe making company, Church & Co.

Items must be left unwrapped and unsealed and must not include aerosols, alcohol, Christmas crackers, party poppers, lighters or matches.

Suggested parcel item fillers may include:

• Small toiletry items
• Sweets, biscuits & chocolate
• Crisps and snacks
• Pot noodles &  instant snacks
• Wet wipes & talcum powder
• Razors
• Christmas gifts: Santa hat, tinsel, pudding etc.
• Magazines & puzzle books

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said, “The Support Our Soldiers Christmas Parcel Appeal is a great way to show our support for the Armed Forces who do a fantastic job serving our country.”

“In Northampton we’re committed to supporting our troops through the Community Covenant and charities such as Support Our Soldiers and the Royal British Legion. We hope everyone will donate some items for this appeal to help spread the festive cheer to those who are spending Christmas away from their families.”

David Mackintosh

Planning application submitted by The Saints

Northampton Saints Rugby Football Club have submitted the planning application to Northampton Borough Council which would see the long-awaited expansion of the North Stand at Franklin’s Gardens.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said, “The Saints are one of the biggest names in club rugby. Every week thousands of supporters travel into Northampton to watch our team which includes some of the best and most exciting players from around the world.”

“The expansion of Franklin’s Gardens is an important step in improving the stadium and facilities in line with the demands of regular top flight European and Premiership clashes against some of the best teams. Full details will be available on the Council’s website in the next few days, and I would invite everyone to take a look at the proposals.”

David Mackintosh

St Crispin’s Fair

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, today officially opened the St Crispin Fair. The Conservatives at The Guildhall brought back the St Crispin’s Fair in 2012.

Organised by fairground owner Albert Evans and supported by Northampton Borough Council, the event will run from Sunday 27th October until Tuesday 29th October and will be situated on Gold Street, Mercer’s Row, Market Square and Abington Street.

The fair opening times are Sunday 27th October 12pm to 10.30pm and Monday 28th and Tuesday 29th October 10.00am to 10.30pm.

David Mackintosh

Getting tough on rogue landlords

Rogue landlords in Northampton are being told to get their house in order or face prosecution.

Northampton Borough Council is launching a new hotline for people to report rogue landlords that do not care about their tenants, neighbours or the local community. The move comes as part of a tough new approach to dealing with irresponsible landlords which is already seeing Council officers taking to the streets in search of rogue landlords across the town.

A quick call to 0300 330 7002 is all that is needed to start an investigation that could result in enforcement action or prosecution.

A new team has been set up who are out and about in local communities looking out for properties that they believe are HMOs. The team is already knocking on doors to gather information and build up a picture of the number of properties in multiple occupation in Northampton and to make contact with the landlords to talk to them about their responsibilities.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) covers any property where three or more people live with no relationship to each other. Landlords who own these properties already have a number of responsibilities to their tenants to ensure they are offering a safe place to live with suitable amenities and is not overcrowded.

Northampton Borough Council is introducing a new set of regulations that will give rogue landlords no place to hide and force them to think about their neighbours and local communities or face legal action.  The aim is to improve neighbourhoods where there are numerous HMOs and to create safer conditions for tenants.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said, “A rogue landlord can not only make life hell for their tenants, but also an entire neighbourhood. Time and again people are telling us what a problem this where they live. I want people to know that we have listened, and are taking action.”

“We want to work with landlords to raise the quality of properties available in Northampton. We have a growing student population, and like other towns we are seeing more and more people renting while they save up for a mortgage.”

“So it is important that we send out a clear message that we are welcoming responsible landlords, and will take action to close down those that turn a deaf ear to the welfare of their tenants and neighbours. We now have a team of people out there in the community day in and day out to deal with any problems and this plus the hotline is just the first step, over the next few months we will be looking at what else we can do to raise standards across the town.”

David Mackintosh

Delapre Beer Festival to return

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, has announced that the popular Delapre Beer Festival is set to return next year for three days of the best local ales, food and music.

After the success of this year’s festival, which was run by Northampton Borough Council in partnership with The Wig & Pen pub, the council will be hosting the event again in 2014.

Around 8,000 people attended the festival back in May and enjoyed a variety of over 300 different types of beers and a full programme of live music.

Cllr David Mackintosh said, “This year’s Delapre Beer festival was a great success and we are looking forward to continuing the tradition of this popular event for the town in 2014. We hope that everyone will join us for three days at the end of May to enjoy local, national and international beers, ales and food as well as top entertainment from local artists.”

The Delapre Beer Festival 2014 will take place on Thursday 29th, Friday 30th and Saturday 31st May 2014.

David Mackintosh

Date set for Greyfriars demolition

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, has today announced that work to demolish Greyfriars Bus Station is to begin on 31st March 2014.

Some decommissioning of the building took place in February this year, when fixtures and fittings were stripped from the former office complex and the overgrown roof-garden areas, once an architectural feature of the building, were cut down.

The new North Gate Bus Station will open at the beginning of March and the Greyfriars building will close completely. Hoardings will go up and the site will be prepared for demolition while a detailed plan of how to bring the building down, and make the site good, is put in place.

The physical demolition of the building will take up to 18 months to complete, after which the site will be ready for redevelopment that will regenerate this area of the town centre.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said, “The opening of the North Gate Bus Station gives us a wonderful and welcoming new facility in Northampton and also means that the Greyfriars Bus Station can finally be demolished, opening up an important town centre site for further development.”

“This is yet another huge step forward for the town as part of our Northampton Alive programme. Greyfriars is beyond repair and demolishing it allows for the kind of regeneration we are seeing elsewhere in the town.  The new bus interchange and the refurbished Grosvenor Centre will help revitalise the wider area and this site will be one of the cornerstones for a bigger and better town centre.”

Legal & General have also announced a £3million refurbishment of the Grosvenor Centre that will improve facilities for shoppers and traders and upgrade the entrances of the building in both the Market Square and Abington Street.

David Mackintosh

Sixfield Stadium expansion

Northampton Town Football Club has announced that it is set to submit a planning application to Northampton Borough Council which would see Sixfields Stadium’s capacity increased to about 10,000. The plans are expected to show a completely redeveloped East Stand.

The expansion of the stadium would mark the first stage of a multi-million pound redevelopment of the area which would support growth in the Enterprise Zone and bring forward more revenue streams for the Football Club. With additional planning applications expected later this year for housing and local retail facilities, and plans for a hotel to be submitted early next year.

The redevelopment of Sixfields Stadium and the surrounding area is part of a £12 million loan deal put together by Northampton Borough Council and Northampton Town Football Club.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said “Our sports clubs are an important part of life in our town and a real benefit to the local economy. And, as we have seen this summer the success of our teams can really put Northampton on the map.”

“Increasingly success in professional sports is as much about what happens off the pitch as on it. The expansion of Sixfields Stadium and the surrounding area is essential to giving our Football Club the solid foundation to build a strong team that can compete every match day.”

“We are committed to supporting the Cobblers, and helping the Club to take full advantage of the business opportunities of being located in our Enterprise Zone.”

Northampton Town Football Club chairman David Cardoza, said, “Once again, we cannot emphasis enough how helpful Cllr David Mackintosh and all at Northampton Borough Council have been. Things are moving forward at a pace, and the submission of these plans is a historic moment in the history of Northampton Town Football Club.

“These plans are the first part of the re-development, with plans for the West Stand to be submitted in due course. The East Stand will be transformed, and will include some superb conferencing facilities, executive boxes and more and improved seating for supporters.

“This will help secure the club’s future, making the club self sufficient with an infrastructure to help push us up the Football League, bringing positive coverage for the town, and bigger attendances attracting more people to the area. The stand and facilities will be a proud part of the town’s Enterprise Zone.”

David Mackintosh

Funding secured for Delapre Abbey

It was announced today that Northampton Borough Council has received a grant of £3.6 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund for the restoration of Delapre Abbey.

The project involves refurbishing parts of the main Abbey building, including rebuilding the conservatory and opening the south wing for events and public access, restoring the 18th century stable block into a new visitor and education centre, shop and exhibition space and restoring the Billiard Room and converting it into a restaurant and café for use by the general public and for special events.

Northampton Borough Council will provide match funding with an investment of £1.34 million, the balance coming from trusts, donations, a public appeal and volunteer time.

Delapre Abbey has seen over 800 years of events in Northampton, and the restoration of the Abbey is one of Northampton Borough Council’s key heritage projects. Over the centuries the Abbey has been a hub of activity in Northampton, among many significant events the building has hosted royalty and witnessed the Battle of Northampton.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said “Every year thousands of people visit Delapre Abbey and explore the grounds. The building is unique and part of our town’s rich heritage so it is important we invest in protecting and developing this asset for future generations to enjoy. Our successful bid has secured the funding to transform the Abbey and its surroundings, improving this key heritage site for Northampton and the wider community.”