Archive for year: 2013

David Mackintosh

Steering group for Northampton 2014 anniversaries

Organisations from across the community are coming together to plan how to commemorate the number of significant local and national anniversaries of 2014 in Northampton.

A steering group with members from Northampton Borough Council, The Royal British Legion, Friends of Northampton Castle, Royal & Derngate theatres and Northamptonshire County Council will meet regularly to plan how to mark landmark dates for the town in 2014 which include the 825th anniversary of the charter being granted by Richard I to make Northampton a borough, the 850th anniversary of the trial of Thomas a Becket at Northampton Castle and the 750th anniversary of the first Battle of Northampton.

The working group will also plan and organise events to mark the really significant national anniversaries of 2014 – the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One and the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, will chair the steering group. He said: “There will be a number of important local and national anniversaries in 2014 and we want to make sure that we all come together in Northampton to mark them all in the best way we can.”

“Many people will remember the 800th anniversary of the Charter in 1989 and we want to make next year a big celebration for local people to mark a milestone in our town’s history.”

“Our town is growing pride and changing for the better and our heritage is a very important part of that. We want to make sure that people across the borough are able to learn more about our history and significance.”

A website has been set up as the one-stop-shop for 2014 events and for people to leave suggestions on how they can be marked. You can find it at www.northampton.gov.uk/2014

David Mackintosh

Think tank says Northampton making best economic recovery

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, has welcomed news that a leading think-tank has listed Northampton as making the best recovery from recession in a report published today.
 
The Centre for Cities monitors the performance of the 63 largest towns and cities in the UK. Their latest annual ‘Cities Outlook report’ charts the recovery of each town and city since 2008. The report looks at how the recession has affected individuals and businesses by examining; job creation, average wages, numbers and size of businesses in the area and house prices.
 
Of all 63 locations, Northampton makes the largest leap, as the town recovers from recession. In 2008 Northampton had been among the worst affected places, rated 61 out of 63. But in the last three years our town has leapt into the top ten, now rated as 7 out of 63.
 
This places Northampton above Milton Keynes, Cambridge, Leicester, Birmingham, Manchester and Nottingham. Of the six towns and cities above our town, each started in a stronger position and none have made the same progress Northampton has since 2008.
 
Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said” “This is yet more recognition that the confidence in our town is well deserved. The report makes interesting reading, and it shows just how far we have come.”
 
“Through Northampton Alive we have been able to highlight all of the progress being made across our town. As well as lots of exciting Northampton Alive projects, we also have an Enterprise Zone which is making it easier to do business in our town.”
 
“This does not mean we are immune to the wider economic climate, but, it does show how the steps we have taken are making a difference and that we are in a much stronger position than we were in 2008.”
 
The 2013 Cities Outlook has been published by the Centre for Cities is available online: http://www.centreforcities.org/outlook13

David Mackintosh

New hotel plans announced

Cllr. David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has today announced plans for a new 104-bedroom Premier Inn hotel and restaurant at Albion Place in the Enterprise Zone in Northampton.
 
This site, which sits within the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone, is an important development for the town’s cultural quarter given its proximity to nearby theatres, cinemas and shops and will contribute to the regeneration of the area.
 
The new hotel and restaurant will be developed on council owned land and will create approximately 50 new jobs on opening. It will be situated close to the Royal & Derngate theatres and the new independent cinema currently under construction.
 
Terms for a long ground lease have now been agreed and a planning application is expected in early 2013. If the application is approved by the council’s Planning Committee, work will start on-site by autumn 2013 with the hotel expected to open a year later in autumn 2014.
 
Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said, “The site is vital to help us promote Northampton’s cultural offer. This is yet another example of the confidence the private sector is showing in Northampton at a time when other areas of the country are struggling.  A new hotel in the town centre will be great news for the theatres, the new cinema, shops and other nearby attractions.”
 
“This is the latest in a string of Northampton Alive projects which are transforming our town, from student accommodation at St John’s and the new Bus Interchange which are already under way, to the impending redevelopment of Northampton Railway Station.”
 
“The development of Albion Place will help refresh a run-down area and build on the town centre’s vitality.”

David Mackintosh

Welcoming new Neighbourhood Wardens and Park Rangers

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, has today welcomed four new Neighbourhood Wardens and two Park Rangers who are taking up their posts with Northampton Borough Council to help look after the town’s communities and parks. This was a key pledge in the Conservative manifesto in 2011 to increase the number of Neighbourhood Wardens and Park Rangers.

Their recruitment is part of the Conservative administration’s commitment to making the town a better place to live and visit. The new recruits will bring the total number of Neighbourhood Wardens working in the town to 13 and Park Rangers to five.
 
The wardens and rangers will be dedicated to working with the community to improve the areas under their care. They will be the eyes and ears of the council to ensure any issues raised by local people are promptly sorted.

For the first couple of months the recruits will be undergoing training and learning about the town’s neighbourhoods and parks as well as meeting local residents, community groups and organisations they will be working with.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said “Having officers working in our communities makes a real difference and is a useful way for us to pick up on issues that matter to local people. These latest appointments show that we remain committed to our manifesto promises to invest in safer and cleaner neighbourhoods and improving our parks and green spaces for everyone to enjoy.”

David Mackintosh

New Cultural Quarter for Northampton

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, has today announced plans for a new Cultural Quarter for Northampton to linke the energy of Northampton’s creative and cultural businesses  more closely to the town’s growth and regeneration strategy.
 
The Borough Council and partners plan to establish a Cultural Quarter that will recognise the enormous contribution the sector makes to the local economy and the fact that creativity and innovation are at the heart of Northampton’s regeneration.
 
The Cultural Quarter will encompass the area bordered by Derngate and Guildhall Road and will mark the unique creative cluster that has grown up there. The Quarter will become a focus for future developments that will  attract creative and cultural enterprises and other complementary businesses.
 
Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said “The creative economy will play a key part in what we are trying to achieve in Northampton. The sector is critical to our overall strategy of encouraging investment and growth and we want to acknowledge the enormous contribution made by the businesses already in our Cultural Quarter and support others to come and set up there.”
 
“Northampton really is alive with world class culture and enterprise and we are serious about making the town a place where creativity can flourish.”
 
The plan include a new body – the Northampton Cultural Forum – to be set up to drive forward the development of the quarter. The Forum will be drawn from Northampton Borough Council, Number Nine (Northampton Arts Collective), The Royal & Derngate Theatres, 78 Derngate, Northamptonshire County Council, Creative Northants, the University of Northampton and Arts Council England.

David Mackintosh

One year on from Bridge Street fire

One year on from the devastating fire in Bridge Street, business owners in Northampton town centre have been invited to a meeting by the Leader of the Borough Council to air their views.

The fire at the old Angel Hotel on the afternoon of 2nd January 2012 severely damaged a historic listed building in Bridge Street which was home to two separate businesses. The historic listed building was so badly damaged that it was in danger of collapse.

Scaffolding has been supporting the building ever since and the protective hoardings mean that traffic flow in Bridge Street is reduced to one way.

On the first anniversary of the fire, Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council has written to businesses in the town centre to explain the steps the Council has been taking to encourage the building’s owners to repair the building as quickly as possible.

He has also invited business owners to a meeting to discuss progress on removing scaffolding from the damaged building and reopening the street to two-way traffic. Cllr Mackintosh said that he wanted to understand the issues that businesses are facing, so that he can see what further support the council can offer.

Cllr Mackintosh said “The fire was devastating for the bars based in the old Angel Hotel but it has also had a major and on-going impact on other businesses in Bridge Street who have lived with the disruption for a year now.”

“The building is in private ownership and the work is progressing but in some areas, not as quickly as everyone would like.  Our powers are limited but we are doing everything we can to press for a clear timetable for completion and the removal of the scaffolding.”

The meeting will take place at The Guildhall on 22nd January 2013.