UPDATE: The project proposal is now online in full. Read all about it.
The friends of Northampton Castle have been putting together a business plan to regenerate the area surrounding the Castle site and Marefair in particular. This is a wide-reaching project which we strongly believe can have a huge positive impact on the town. We are having great successes with our business proposal and are due to have meetings in early January 2012 to gather even more support. We are actively seeking support from local authorities, heritage bodies and private business. We will update with news of these meetings in the New Year.
Below is an overview of our goals as outlined in the summary of our business proposal;
The main aim of the Marefair Heritage-Led Regeneration Project is to revive Marefair in West Northampton, into a thriving, living space that promotes the rich heritage of the town. Marefair lies within Castle Ward, an area which was not only the centre of medieval Northampton but also held a position of national historical importance as the seat of Parliament. Today Marefair is a busy thoroughfare providing access between the train station and town centre, however it is not an area where people stop to spend time; businesses along the street struggle to survive whilst the large office block Castle House has failed to attract tenants and has lain empty for the past few years.
Through this project we plan to inspire civic pride among residents of Northampton and stir the imaginations of visitors through accessible, community-based approaches to preserving and exploring the town’s medieval heritage. The numerous points of historic interest along Marefair are ideally suited to developing the street into a historic gateway leading towards the town centre from the train station and from the site of a number of proposed new developments, thus more effectively linking these developments with the traditional town centre. The project will bring together the local community with developers, local businesses and statutory partners in a redevelopment which will increase a sense of local identity, while promoting tourism and enterprise.