A beautiful sunny day to take to the sky and see the progress at the Waterside Campus, opening 2018.
A planning application has now been submitted which, if approved, will move forward the University of Northampton’s plans for an international centre of excellence for leather.
Northampton Borough Council and the University have worked closely on the application, the first phase of which will see the creation of an Institute for Creative Leather Technologies and a Leather Conservation Centre.
This will be followed by the construction of managed workspaces for small creative industries, which will act as an incubator for around 100 businesses during its first ten years, creating up to 300 jobs.
Jane Bunce, director of student and academic services, said: “This planning application, if approved by the Council’s planning committee, will enable the Vulcan Works to become a fantastic focal point to showcase the town’s rich heritage of leather trade and industry.
“The Institute for Creative Leather Technologies and Leather Conservation Centre will reinvigorate the town’s cultural quarter through the University’s academic activities, industry connections and the support available for those working within the creative industries.”
Work will commence on the £12.445 million facility in the new year.
The Institute for Creative Leather Technologies would be housed in the Grade II listed Vulcan Works building in Guildhall Road, featuring bespoke laboratories for the University’s leather technology courses.
It will include innovation, analytical, and research labs, and a microscopy room, alongside teaching spaces, offices and workshops.
The managed workspaces are designed to be an incubator for new and existing creative industries, with units between 13sqm and 85sqm available. These will benefit from a managed reception and shared kitchens.
Cllr Tim Hadland, council cabinet member for regeneration, enterprise and planning, said: “This is a big step forward for the project, which will help cement our Cultural Quarter’s place as a regionally significant destination.
“Northampton is a hive of creativity and this centre will become a focus for that activity, generating real benefits for the businesses involved, and our town centre’s vitality.”
Once complete, the leatherworking elements will be taken by the University on a long lease with an option to buy. The managed workspaces will be operated by the University on behalf of the council, which will retain ownership.
An outline planning application to redevelop the University of Northampton’s Avenue Campus on St George’s Avenue has been submitted to Northampton Borough Council.
The application forms part of the University’s wider development of a new £330m Waterside Campus at the Nunn Mills site in Northampton town centre.
The submission proposes to allow the redevelopment of the site for housing when the University’s relocation to the Waterside Campus has taken place. The proposals would see 200 homes developed on the existing site.
The Newton Building, a Grade II listed former school, will be retained by the University for Professional Services staff, alongside the visual preservation of the two pavilions at the front of the existing campus, which are locally listed. The existing student halls of residences will be kept in use for the short to medium term to provide our students with a range of accommodation options to suit all budgets.
The proposals also include improvements to access and traffic measures in the area; including the creation of a central main point of access for the residential properties, as well as the widening of the existing staff access road to two carriage ways.
Professor Nick Petford, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Northampton said: “This is another step as we develop our Waterside Campus, which is a hugely exciting for both the University and for Northampton.
“This is an outline planning application, with details submitted that cover the uses proposed across the site, the amount of proposed development and access points and heritage retention and preservation.”
The full planning application is available on Northampton Borough Council’s website by searching for application N/2016/0810
Here’s a view from the sky of the progress with our Waterside Campus.
You can now see the distinct shapes of the main academic buildings, as well as the student village.
Engineering works to install the main elements of the pedestrian footbridge have been taking place over the last few weeks. This footbridge will create a new pedestrian route from Northampton town, through Becket’s Park and the Waterside campus and on to historic Delapre Abbey.
Check out the time-lapse videos of the footbridge being installed: