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The Vulcan Works, Grade II Listed Building Conversion, Northampton

Engineers at BSP are drawing up detailed designs for a major refurbishment project in Northampton to create a leatherworking centre of excellence in the town’s cultural quarter. The multi-million pound transformation of the Vulcan Works – an historic former ironworks – is being undertaken by Northampton Borough Council in conjunction with the University of Northampton. The building has been largely empty since the late 1970s.

The development will create an Institute for Creative Leisure Technologies and a Leather Conservation Centre and is expected to cement Northampton’s place as a global powerhouse for leathercraft. The project is part of the council’s £13 million development of the cultural hub, with £5 million being used for the leather works centre. A second phase will create managed work space, supporting around 60 businesses and create up to 200 new jobs.

BSP is the civil and structural engineer for the redevelopment of the site, and detailed designs are currently being drawn up ready for work to start on site later in the year.

BSP director Carl Hilton said: “The former Vulcan Works, a Grade II listed building, is a fascinating site historically and this development will open up a new chapter.

“It is a really interesting scheme that has almost every type of project rolled into one – new build, refurbishment of historic buildings, tight town centre site, industrial processes, party wall matters, together with multiple end clients. Our engineers have responded to these challenges and we are all looking forward to seeing it move to the construction stage soon.”

Once the development is completed, the University of Northampton will transfer its Institute for Creative Leather Technologies and the Leather Conservation Centre, both currently on its Park Campus, to the Vulcan Works site in Guildhall Road.

Managed workspaces, ranging from 23 to 79 square metres in floor space, will be available to new and existing creative businesses. The 49 flexible units are expected to create up to 300 jobs over 10 years within creative professions such as advertising, architecture, design, arts and crafts and software design services.

The redevelopment has secured partial funding from the Local Growth Fund grant, administered by South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (SEMLEP).

Role

  • Civil Engineering
  • Structural Engineering

Client

Northampton Borough Council

Contractor

Wates Construction

Architect

Purcell

Project Description

A refurbishment project in Northampton to create a leatherworking centre of excellence in the town's cultural quarter

Value

13m

Duration

18 Months

Completion

2018

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