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Contracts exchanged on former British Homes Store in Northampton town centre

Business, licensing and regeneration

30 September 2022

Artist's impression of what the former BHS store in Northampton will look like once redeveloped into residents

West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is pleased to announce that today it has exchanged contracts on the former BHS and Clinton units in Northampton Town Centre, marking the next jigsaw piece in the town’s regeneration.

Work will now begin on the transformation of the former M&S unit at 41 to 45 Abington Street and the adjacent property, the former BHS and Clinton buildings at 35 to 39 Abington Street.

WNC will work with a development partner to deliver the project, which will involve the demolition of the existing buildings and the creation of new mixed-use building consisting of residential on the upper floor with modern retail and leisure units on the ground floor.

Through the provision of additional residential, the scheme will bring increased footfall into the Town centre to support the existing retail offer within the wider town centre.

The first phase of the project on the former BHS property will see the large central building, measuring approximately 57,087 sq ft / 5,303 sq m undergo a full internal strip out and the removal of any asbestos containing materials.

This will ensure that the building is safe and secure and enable the council to bring forward the exciting regeneration project at the earliest opportunity.

These works form part of the Northampton Town Centre Masterplan (2019). The wider regeneration of Northampton Town Centre includes the Market Square redevelopment which will see this area become a cultural hub for the town centre, and public realm works in Abington Street and Fish Street which will see the area transformed with new paving, improved seating, lighting and landscaping, and public art installations.

Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth at WNC said: “We are delighted to celebrate this milestone in the regeneration of Northampton Town Centre.

"Ensuring that Northampton is a place where residents and businesses can thrive is a significant priority for us as a council, and the redevelopment of 35-45 Abington Street will transform this area for our communities.

"We look forward to completing on this building and beginning to shape the future of this area of the town, ensuring that it offers opportunities for businesses and residents alike."

Brendan Bruder, Abbeyross Property Consultants Managing Director and Northampton Forward board member, said: “This is a key site which will allow the delivery of more much-needed residential development in Northampton town centre.

“As respected businessman Sir John Timpson has said, ‘it is about providing new hubs and reimagining town centres, that’s the direction we should be going and not looking at how we can save what people call the high street today’. And he’s right.

"People’s shopping habits have changed drastically and the department store model is clearly no longer in demand. We need to do something much more creative with these spaces. Adding homes in mixed use schemes energises the town, creates places for people to live, shop, socialise and find the services they need in a sustainable way."

The acquisition of this building has been supported by the £9.7 million from High Street Fund which WNC secured from Central Government towards the wider regeneration of Northampton town centre.

To find out more about the regeneration of Northampton town centre on our website, visit our regeneration page.

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