What we’ve heard so far for the future of Greyfriars, NorthamptonRegeneration
13 December 2023
Last week the regeneration of Northampton Town Centre took an exciting step forward. West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) launched the first stage of engagement to ask the community to help shape the future and revamp the vacant Greyfriars site.
One week into the engagement, more than 800 people have shared their views on the emerging vision. They have shared their ideas on the future of the area, ideas for temporary uses of the site while it is being developed, and many personal memories of Greyfriars in past years.
The 14 acre area includes the former bus station site, East and West Island, Mayorhold Multistorey Car Park, Belgrave House, Corn Exchange and Victoria Street Car Park.
Residents, visitors, businesses, and community organisations are being asked to provide their ideas for the future of this area and celebrate the heritage of the site through sharing their memories of Greyfriars from years gone by.
Feedback so far indicates that culture and craft should be at the heart of Greyfriars, with hundreds of ideas given about what form this could take. Some examples given include having workshops to rent, craft studios, music venues, independent retail space, and places for new artists and talent to start up.
Comments also suggest that it would be beneficial to have different generations living at Greyfriars, with multi-generational living including a mix of build-to-rent, build-to-buy, later living and student accommodation.
Landscaped park spaces, where people can gather, sit and relax are important to many who have responded to the survey so far. Play and playfulness form a core part of the vision. Hundreds of ideas have been shared about what this could look like, from interactive water features, art trails and outdoor games areas, to nature trails, outdoor gym equipment and play areas for children.
Walking and cycling routes, getting around the area, and making Emporium Way more inviting are key parts of the future of Greyfriars. The vast majority of respondents agree this is a priority within any suggested improvements in the area, to make it easier for people to get to Greyfriars. Some of these ideas include better lighting and signage, dedicated cycle routes and safer pedestrian access.
The online engagement launched on Tuesday, 5 December and will run through until Sunday, 7 January. Visit ampnorthampton.com to view the emerging vision to amplify the area and have your say.
Greyfriars is the largest brownfield opportunity within West Northamptonshire and represents a significant opportunity to deliver transformative change for the town. The site boasts a prime location at the heart of town, next to the ongoing transformation of the historic Market Square and redevelopment of the former Marks and Spencer’s and BHS units. The central location provides a unique opportunity to transform this part of the town centre and have a positive impact on the wider area.
WNC is working with consultation experts, Deetu and architects, Studio Egret West to develop the engagement and proposed plans for the future scheme. The emerging vision includes new high-quality homes offering multi-generational living, dedicated community space, a new park as well as exploring where commercial and leisure uses could be developed. A core element of the proposals is to improve connectivity within the surrounding area and provide enhanced walking and cycling.
The initial feedback collated from the first stage of engagement will be considered by WNC and a highly experienced multi-disciplinary team of architects, transport and commercial experts, to develop a vision by spring 2024 and launch a second stage of engagement.