Three projects in the north of the county will benefit from millions in funding as part of a scheme to help the nation's economy recover from the Covid crisis.
A carpet recycling plant near Higham Ferrers, a cultural centre in Kettering and a clean energy hub in Corby will share more than £6.5m from the government’s new £900million Getting Building Fund.
The funding, announced today (Tuesday), is for local, ready to start, infrastructure projects and is designed to stimulate jobs and support economic recovery across the country. The South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership (Semlep), which covers Bedfordshire, Milton Keynes, and Northamptonshire, has been allocated £27.3m of the pot. All the projects are due to start in December and be completed by early 2022.
The biggest cash boost has been handed to GLaM (Kettering Gallery, Library and Museum) who have been given £3m to revitalise and extend the project by creating flexible work/exhibition space, engaging with educational institutions, and developing a programme of events to strengthen community links.
Cllr Scott Edwards, portfolio holder for community and leisure at Kettering Council, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be awarded this funding .The Gallery, Library and Museum (GLaM) are, combined, a tremendous asset and resource for Kettering borough and beyond. This award will revitalise and extend GLaM to become a creative and cultural anchor for north Northamptonshire, helping us make even better use of the buildings and collections and enhance and integrate the services on offer there.
“The investment will enable the development of a programme of events and activities to strengthen community links and support creative businesses. GLaM will harness local passion, creativity, innovation, skills, ideas and develop local talent to grow the economy through culture-led regeneration, building on a century’s worth of cultural investment and making it fit for the next 100 years.”
Innovate Recycle in East Northamptonshire has been awarded £2.35m to support breakthrough technology, recycling end of life polypropylene carpet, enabling around 4,400 tons of waste carpet that would otherwise have gone to landfill to be recycled in the UK’s first plant to be developed in Northamptonshire.
Joe Eccleston, chief executive of Innovate Recycle Ltd, said: “Our company mission is to solve the problem of carpet recycling in the UK, create a circular economy in carpet production and retrieve reusable polypropylene for application in a wide range of industries.
"I’m delighted we’re part of today’s funding announcement and my team and I look forward to working with Semlep to finalise the funding and to bringing new investment and jobs to the Semlep area.”
And the Rockingham Clean Energy Hub in Corby has been given a £1.195m boost.
This project will provide state-of-the-art clean energy assets to provide power to the Rockingham Automotive Logistics Hub, supporting the UK's first large-scale energy EV logistics hub and position the Semlep area as an exemplar of clean, renewable energy management and electric vehicle distribution.
Nick Bolton, co-founder of Electric Corby and the Rockingham Energy Hub, said: “Support from the Getting Building Fund is terrific news and couldn’t be better timed.
"It means we can now match and leverage investment from private partners to create the UKs first clean energy electric vehicle logistics hub and deliver a template for clean vehicle logistics, positioning the Semlep region and Corby in particular at the forefront of EV management and distribution.”
Hilary Chipping, Semlep chief executive, said: “We are delighted to have secured more than £27m from government to support the economic recovery from Covid-19 in this area. These projects will support key priorities including skills for young people, the green recovery and innovation, which all generate jobs.
“Last July we published our local industrial strategy, laying out the priorities and interventions we needed to invest in to realise innovation, further improve connectivity and achieve sustainable growth. These Getting Building Fund projects meet these priorities and the needs of the local economy as we strive to recover economically from this pandemic.”
A further £1.2m in funding will be used to relocate and refurbish NN Contemporary Art (NN), an internationally recognised art space in the centre of Northampton’s Cultural Quarter.
Semlep will carry out due diligence on each of the projects this year and it is at this point that funding will be officially approved and funding agreements signed.
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