The University of Northampton is delighted to move a step closer to a new £330m Waterside campus on the Avon Nunn Mills site, after the planning committee of Northampton Borough Council supported a resolution to grant it outline planning permission at its meeting on 17 December.
This landmark development, close to the town centre is seen as vital to secure the University’s future as a leading higher education institution. It will offer state-of-the-art teaching facilities and accommodation to continue to attract students and prosper in what is becoming an increasingly competitive market.
The move would see the development of Northampton as a university town. It would also help to regenerate the Waterside and the town centre of Northampton as well as bring a huge economic boost to the area.
The decision comes following a pre-application public consultation held in June that saw strong support for the move.
Professor Nick Petford, Vice Chancellor of the University of Northampton said: “The University of Northampton is delighted by the Council’s decision. This is an ambitious project which is vital for the future of the University and the town. We have worked hard to create a campus development in the heart of Northampton which will have great facilities for our students, staff and the community of Northampton.”
“If the development progresses as we hope the campus would open in autumn 2018.”
Other benefits from the relocation include:
- Assuring improved student experience with state of the art facilities on campus, and easy access to town centre amenities
- Placing the University in the heart of the town, making it much more accessible, central and visible to the local community
- Enhanced opportunities for social enterprise and training and development with commercial partners
- Improved transport and accessibility – cycle and pedestrian links with the town centre and more feasible use of sustainable transport for students and staff
- Greater ability to expand capacity going forward
- The potential for commercial development alongside the University Campus creating a vibrant and integrated education, leisure and commercial scheme at this wonderful Waterside location.
- Cllr David Mackintosh, leader of Northampton Borough Council, said: “The move will bring thousands of students right into the heart of town, creating a fantastic opportunity for businesses of all kinds.
“Situating the university within the enterprise zone will also help place higher education at the heart of our business community.”
Peter Mawson, Chief Executive of West Northamptonshire Development Corporation said: “This decision is a watershed moment for Northampton. For several years, we have been using our investment and legal powers to secure a brighter future for this huge disused site. Not only will the new campus achieve that goal, it will help breathe new life into the wider town centre.”