Council announces plans for £1million grant to Towcester

Grant will contribute to improvements to Watling Street, Towcester
Grant will contribute to improvements to Watling Street, Towcester

Towcester has been granted more than £1 million for projects that could include turning a former library into a community hub.

South Northamptonshire Council has announced plans to divide the £1.4 million pot between improving road infrastructure in the area and a variety of community projects.

The ‘community infrastructure fund’ comes as part of financial contributions following a development of 82 houses in Belle Baulk, which was granted planning permission in 2011.

Following a meeting with SNC’s development control committee last week, the council has announced that up to £262,000 of the total will be spent on improvements to the Watling Street footpath and the A43, and a new pedestrian crossing and bus stop on Brackley Road.

Up to £131,000 has been allocated to specific projects, including:

£50,000 for the replacement of the Belle Baulk play area and installation a new outdoor gym

£35,000 to be split between for Towcester Vision Café and changing facilities at Towcester Football Club

£5,000 for the reinstatement of missing York paving stones on Watling Street

£1,000 toward new town centre Christmas lights.

The remaining £1million will be put into a single Towcester fund to be spent on a variety of local enhancements to be confirmed.

So far, these are set to include:

The purchase of the old library by Towcester Town Council for use as a community hub, plus a further £5,000 for the Towcester Town Council to develop a business plan to explore this

Secondary and primary school capital projects

New bus stops on Watling Street

Enhancement and maintenance of the Towcester Watermeadows

An expansion of the leisure centre car park

Councillor Rebecca Breese, SNC’s portfolio holder for planning and environment said: “This is a rare opportunity to provide grants to a variety of projects in Towcester that will directly benefit residents.

“In particular, it gives us the opportunity to explore the acquisition of the old library as a community asset, which has been an aspiration of this council, and is the direct result of the development of 82 houses on Belle Baulk.

“The immediate allocation of £5,000 towards surveyors and architects advice to underpin a business plan demonstrates our intent.“

“I also look forward to seeing the proposals Towcester schools come forward with in response to our invitation to fund interesting capital projects.”