Northampton development projects racked by delays

Greyfriars bus station demolition Image copyright Corrine West
Image caption The old Greyfriars bus station was demolished in about six seconds

The market town of Northampton is world famous for its shoe-making industry. But, as it undergoes major changes projects are being marred by delays and spiralling costs. The BBC looks at ten developments.

When the brutalist Greyfriars bus station went up in a pile of dust in March 2015, it was supposed to signal a new beginning for Northampton town centre, with new developments following soon after.

More than a year on, the site is still empty and Northampton Borough Council says talks with developers are still under way.


March 15, 2015

Date the old Greyfriars bus station was demolished

  • Three developers shortlisted for the new development - but no plans yet

  • Six seconds for the old bus station to be demolished

  • 40 years - the time Greyfriars bus station had stood in Northampton

Northampton's new railway station opened its doors in January 2015, following a delay of more than three months, but a 1,550 space multi-storey car park due to open at the end of last year remains unfinished.

Railway Station


Cost of the railway station development

  • 1,550 Number of spaces in the new car park facility

  • End of 2015 Date the project was due to be finished

  • Early 2017 New date for planning application

Northamptonshire County Council's new £53m headquarters - known as Project Angel - is on schedule to be finished on time later this year.

Project Angel


The cost of the county council's new headquarters

  • February 2015 Work commenced on the new HQ

  • End of 2016 Expected completion date of the project

  • December 2016 Full occupation of the building

The £6.3m restoration of Delapre Abbey is due to be completed by the summer, but will cost more than first expected. It will see an 18th Century stable block turned into a visitor and education centre.

Delapre Abbey


Original cost of the redevelopment project

  • £934,000 Additional costs incurred on the scheme

  • Summer Opening date for the project

  • 900 Years since the Abbey was last open

The £330m University of Northampton Waterside Campus will cater for 15,000 students and is due to open on time in September 2018.

University of Northampton Waterside Campus


Cost of the new campus

  • 15,000 Students will use the facility

  • 58 Number of acres of brownfield to be converted

  • September 2018 The completion date for the project

The Sixfields stadium project was due to include a conference centre, 100 room hotel, a gym and ten corporate boxes, increasing the ground capacity from 7,653 to 10,000.

A new plan for 8,500 seats and more corporate boxes was submitted in June 2014, but the work has not begun. New Northampton Town chairman Kelvin Thomas has promised to re-boot the project and seats have been installed in the East Stand.



The loan originally lent to Northampton Town for the project

  • 8,500 The number of seats planned for Sixfields

  • November 2013 When the original plan was approved

  • Nothing The amount of progress on the scheme and money left

A major redevelopment of the former Vulcan Iron Works site in Guildhall Road is taking place as part of Northampton's emerging Cultural Quarter and is due to open next year.

Vulcan Works


Cost of the Vulcan Works project

  • 100 Number of businesses that will use the redeveloped area

  • 400 Number of jobs forecast by developers

  • 1875 Year in which engineering company Mobbs & Co built the works

The borough council said it would still like to redevelop the Grosvenor Centre, but no news has been announced.

Grosvenor Centre


The cost of a planned expansion scheme that was scrapped in 2014

  • 1970s When the current centre was built

  • £50m Cost of the new Rushden Lake out-of-town development threatening shopping in Northampton

The expansion of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery is being funded by the sale of the ancient Egyptian statue, Sekhemka and is on schedule.

Museum and Art Gallery


Opening for the expanded building

  • 2014 When the musuem project was first announced

  • April 2017 When construction on the expansion will start

  • £16m The amount Northampton Borough Council sold Sekhemka for to fund the museum expansion

An office development described by former borough council leader and now town MP, David Mackintosh, as "the future commercial heart of the town" is due to be completed a year late.

Four Waterside

60,000sq ft

Size of the planned office development

  • 500 Forecast for number of jobs by the developers

  • 2017 The scheme was due to be completed this year

  • 20 years since Northampton's last major office development

Chris Drummond, a director at TDB Real Estate in Northampton, said there was a danger developments in the town "were focusing too much on the office sector".

Leader of the borough council, Mary Markham, defended the delay in some developments, saying they do "take time".

She added: "I'm extremely proud of what we have achieved."

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