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High hopes for £64.5 million bid to Levelling Up Fund (LUF)

Business, licensing and regeneration

02 September 2022

Design proposal showing the potential layout of the £45.1 million Weston Favell Community Hub

Funding bids worth a total of £63.5 million have been submitted to the government’s LUF by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC).

The first bid features the £45.1 million regeneration of the centre of Weston Favell. WNC has agreed to fund the project with £25.1 million if successful in its bid to the LUF for £20 million.

While a second package of bids totals £18.4 million with matching funding and includes:

  • Close to one of the most deprived areas in the country the restoration of 19th century stables at Delapré Abbey will create a wellbeing hub that increases access, awareness, education, empowerment, knowledge, and control over decisions about health - both physical and psychological - and will be matched funded by the Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust (DAPT) with £1.1 million.
  • The establishment of cancer care centre at Northampton General Hospital, match funded with £1.1 million from the charity Maggie’s, will provide third sector support to the Integrated Care System with an evidence-based programme of psychological, social and practical support to patients and their families which has proven to improve mental health, well-being and practical outcomes.
  • And a £8.6 million bid to build a new animal welfare unit at Moulton College will allow new courses and greater capacity to support the growth of the workforce in key sectors whilst creating more pathways to employment for students of all backgrounds.
Cllr Dan Lister, WNC’s Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth, said:“These projects enable a shared approach to tackling our local challenges and maximising benefits. For example, Delapré Abbey’s Life Kitchen will support patients accessing Maggie’s, and Moulton College’s construction students will gain experience through Delapré’s renovations, developing specific heritage construction skills against a severe national shortage. The diversity of the projects provides multiple access points and interventions; improving community participation, creating new jobs and fostering pride in place– ultimately delivering measurable improvements to the quality of life for residents and supporting economic growth.”

Revealed in July, plans for Weston Favell include: a new swimming pool, cinema, library, and a new home for health and social services. This includes the consolidation of several outdated community buildings: Lings Forum leisure centre, Weston Favell health centre, Olympus House (adult services), the Forum (children’s services) and Weston Favell Library.

The Moulton College project will see the replacement of the existing, outdated facilities with a new animal welfare training centre, allowing the college to deliver high quality education whilst increasing capacity and expanding training opportunities in both animal welfare and construction.

Corrie Harris, Principal and CEO of Moulton College said:“We are delighted that our ambitious plans to transform our Animal Welfare Training Centre and Construction workshops are part of the LUF bid by West Northamptonshire Council. These projects have the potential to make a big difference to the many young people and adults who want to gain the skills and knowledge they need for a career in these sectors.”

A new, purpose-built Maggie’s centre at NGH will support cancer patients and their friends/families to deal with the psychological and practical impacts of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

The impact of cancer on the local population, and its ‘knock on’ implications for the economy, are significant. In Northamptonshire, over 4,000 people receive a cancer diagnosis every year, and 50 per cent of the 880,000 residents expect to be diagnosed in their lifetime.

Dame Laura Lee DBE, Maggie’s Chief Executive said:“Maggie’s Northampton will be a purpose built centre next to Northampton General Hospital’s oncology unit. From a beautiful and relaxing environment, Maggie’s will offer a programme of psychological, social and practical support for people with cancer and their families and friends.”

Restoration of the 19th century stables at Delapré Abbey will build upon pilot activity within the community to include a variety of accessible, complementary wellbeing services that supports self, community, and GP referrals. This includes a walking/cycling hub, creative arts, social prescribing, physiotherapists and an innovative kitchen classroom space.

Richard Clinton, Chief Executive of the DAPT said:“The Abbey originally existed to support the wellbeing of the Northamptonshire community over 900 years ago. We are hopeful that this step will help to ensure that the Abbey can build upon that purpose, and for many years to come. We are thankful for the opportunity to be included alongside a fantastic range of projects as part of this Levelling Up bid and we are grateful to the support of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and the Architectural Heritage Fund for the early project support, enabling the project to be considered as part of the proposals put forward by West Northamptonshire Council.”

A decision from the Government on successful LUF bids is expected to be announced before the end of 2022.

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