Exciting new plans to expand Towcester town centre were announced today (Friday 4th December 2009) by South Northamptonshire Council, West Northamptonshire Development Corporation (WNDC), and Northamptonshire County Council (NCC). This is part of their vision to preserve what is special, and enhance the character of South Northamptonshire.
The ‘masterplan’ shows a vibrant, modern town centre with a new community library and registry office, improved leisure facilities – including a new hotel, restaurant, cafes and bars – improved car parking, and additional shops. This is focused around the restored Bury Mount and opening up the Watermeadows to the public.
Towcester’s community, together with historical and archeological experts, has played a key role in shaping the new development plans which aim to enhance Towcester’s reputation as a great place to live, work and visit. Many existing buildings and structures will be refurbished, protecting the area’s rich heritage for future generations.
The development will be in keeping with the local environment, using local materials and the highest quality design and architecture. As part of South Northamptonshire’s status as a designated growth area, this project has benefited from significant central government finance.
SNC’s Councillor John Townsend, who oversees the project, said:
“We are creating an environment that local people will be really proud of. The regeneration of Moat Lane will strengthen the town centre in advance of the significant expansion destined for the town over the coming years. We need it to be strong enough and large enough to meet the needs of the existing and future population, while keeping its own character and identity.”
Peter Mawson, Chief Executive WNDC said:
“It is a very exciting time for Towcester. WNDC has committed over £7 million to the future regeneration of the town centre, and work is already underway on the restoration of Bury Mount. The masterplan details how the town is preparing for the future by building on its many strengths and providing new places for people to work, shop and spend their leisure time.”
Cllr Andrew Langley, Northamptonshire County Council, said:
“This is an excellent development which will be pivotal to the expansion of Towcester over the coming years and I am delighted that we can play a role in ensuring the success of this project. This is further evidence of what can be achieved through strong partnerships and I look forward to seeing the masterplan take shape in the near future.”
The Moat Lane masterplan will be submitted as part of an outline planning application to the WNDC during the Spring of 2010. Permission has already been granted, and work begun, on two aspects of the project – the restoration of Bury Mount, an ancient fortification, and the Water-meadows, area of Grade II* registered parkland and formally part of the Hesketh Estate. Both elements, which will be opened to the public in Spring 2010, will contribute significantly to quality of the greenspace in Towcester. The Bury Mount restoration project has been short-listed for a Milton Keynes South Midlands Excellence Award.
The project, which is being delivered in partnership with WNDC and NCC, has received investment from the East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA), and Northamptonshire Enterprise Ltd (NEL), as well as WNDC, NCC and SNC itself.