Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd has been confirmed as the development partner for Towcester’s Moat Lane regeneration scheme. Fulfilling the vision for the historic market town, the scheme features a civic building with council offices, as well as retail and residential development.The wider scheme will see South Northamptonshire Council’s existing Springfields site redeveloped. This will provide a significant contribution to the cost of the new, energy-efficient civic accommodation at Moat Lane, which will have lower running costs, saving council taxpayers money.
Councillor Rebecca Breese, SNC’s portfolio holder with responsibility for the Moat Lane redevelopment, said: “The fact that we have been able to negotiate this development in the current economic climate is excellent news for Towcester. I hope everyone will join me in welcoming this move and looking forward to what it offers the town.”
Ernie Battey, managing director of Morgan Sindall Investments said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to partner with the council to fulfil their long standing vision for the regeneration of Moat Lane.
“Positioned at the very heart of this historic town, we understand how important this project is for the community and look forward to delivering this high-quality development with our sister companies Lovell and Morgan Sindall and developer Clayson Country Homes.”
The Moat Lane scheme will provide much-needed improvements to a neglected area of Towcester and attract more businesses to the town centre. With preparatory work commencing straight away, the scheme should be complete within four to five years. The civic building should be ready by spring 2014, providing the council with annual savings of £220,000 from lower running costs and income from rental and facility bookings.
West Northamptonshire Development Corporation has invested over £6.5m in the Moat Lane scheme. Peter Mawson, WNDC’s Chief Executive, said: “The development of Towcester town centre will create new jobs and support the long term prosperity of the area. The Moat Lane plans have attracted national design awards and are intended to showcase the historic core of the town alongside modern new facilities. As a key investor in the project, we are delighted that a development partner has been secured.”
The scheme features a proposal for an anchor store on the corner of Northampton Road complemented by a range of smaller retail units and a new civic building housing an improved town library, the county registrar’s office and a shared local authority customer contact centre.
Northamptonshire County Council will provide £3 million for the Library and County Registrar accommodation and as a grant contribution to the wider scheme.
Councillor Heather Smith, county council cabinet member for customer services, said: “I am pleased to see this exciting project take an important step forward. This is very significant development which will see real benefits for our customers by joining together a range of services and organisations under one roof.
“The building will be a superb setting for a new library in Towcester as well as a new home for the registry office, putting these services at the heart of Towcester’s community, encouraging more people and business into the town centre and helping it to thrive.”
The recently restored historic Bury Mount will be the centrepiece of the development and a further 28 acres of nearby water meadow will be brought back into public use for the first time in two centuries. A travel plan to encourage walking, cycling and use of public transport will also be produced to complement the scheme.