Council puts office plans on public display

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The county council is showing its plans for a new office for its Northampton-based staff in a public exhibition.

A showcase of six potential designs for a new office development aimed at saving taxpayers millions and giving Northampton town centre a major cash injection will be unveiled at a public exhibition next week.

Northamptonshire County Council announced last year it planned to centralise its Northampton-based staff out of an existing stock of 12 ageing HQ buildings into one energy efficient, low-carbon building helping to avoid up to £54m in future building costs.

At the same time it is estimated the new building – which is planned for the Angel Street site currently used for council staff parking – would help boost town trade by up to £12m by moving more than 2,000 employees into the town centre.

Six companies are now competing to win the contract to design the new building – currently dubbed Project Angel – and next week each of them will be displaying their initial designs at an exhibition in Northampton’s Central Library.

Leader of the county council Jim Harker said: “This project is so critical not only to helping the council rise to its significant financial challenges but also helping to give real support to Northampton town centre’s economy. I am therefore delighted that already we are at the stage to be able to look at some designs of what this development may look like.

“This will give local people the chance to come and see the designs and also give their views on what they like or conversely what they don’t like. This feedback will go to cabinet and also will be forwarded to the winning design team once they have been selected.”

Cabinet member for strategic infrastructure, economic growth and public protection Andre Gonzalez De Savage said: “This is a crucial step in making this ambitious and exciting project a reality. The exhibition will show what are called design ‘intents’. These are outline ideas at what this building could look like and how it might function.

“To select the right design team the council will be following a rigorous selection process. This will include examining each of the design teams’ experience, fees and design proposals. The designs will be evaluated against various criteria testing affordability, deliverability, safety, design within its context and community benefit.”

The exhibition will be based at Central Library in Northampton from Tuesday, June 25, until Friday, June 28. The designs and opportunity for feedback will also be available online at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk