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Work progresses to transform Northampton’s historic pub

22 June 2023

Work is well underway to regenerate the Grade II listed Old Black Lion as a public house, community asset and new home to the Churches Conversation Trust.

Over the next six months The Churches Conservation Trust will be working with Midland Conservation Limited and the Friends of St Peter’s Church, in partnership with West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), to transform this former derelict pub into a vibrant hospitality venue and community hub for residents in Marefair, and across the town.

Two months into the extensive construction programme, progress can be seen on the Northampton ironstone walls where modern masonry paint and cement mortar has been removed and replaced with lime mortar and, in places where the stone had deteriorated, new stone. The windows have also been repaired. These works require highly skilled stonemasons and joiners.

Enabling and demolition works took place last summer and now the main conservation repair works have begun; a third contract for fitting out the pub and offices will follow.

It was fantastic to visit the Old Black Lion pub on Tuesday to see first-hand the progress that has been made already to sympathetically bring this derelict former pub back into use for our local community. The building is a real focal point for the local area and once complete, this asset will form part of the wider gateway into the town, complementing the Marefair Heritage Park and deliver a hub for residents at the heart of the community.Cllr Daniel Lister, WNC’s Cabinet Member for economic development, town centre regeneration and growth
The aim of the project is to restore the Old Black Lion as a pub, open for business and once again serving the local community. The refurbished pub will provide hospitality for visitors and volunteers at St Peter’s Church, supporting the work of the Friends of St Peter’s Church and encouraging beneficial uses of the church for concerts, performances and events.Hannah Parham, Regeneration Project Manager, the Churches Conservation Trust

This work will be complemented by the Marefair Heritage Park once the redevelopment is complete, to fully celebrate and capitalise on the heritage of the area and the Northampton Castle site.

The project will cost £3.5m, of which £3m is capital expenditure. CCT was awarded a National Lottery Heritage Fund Enterprise Grant of £1,841,800 in 2016; in November 2022, this was augmented by £794,405, to reflect rising costs. Funding has also been granted by HM Treasury’s Towns Fund, West Northamptonshire Council, the Architectural Heritage Fund and West Northamptonshire Development Corporation.

The project has received £315,000 of Towns Fund support, and the delivery is supported by the Northampton Forward Board and forms part of the Marefair ‘Heritage Gateway’. WNC has provided £370,000 in match funding and S106 contributions.

The refurbishment should be completed by Spring 2024, with the publican opening the pub shortly afterwards. To keep up to date with the project visit the Old Black Lion Project page.

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