They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
And there is every chance that planning bosses in Northampton may have had one eye on a distinctive Corby landmark when announcing proposals for a new small business hub.
Plans for Northampton’s Innovation Cube were unanimously approved by councillors on Tuesday night – and as the artist’s impression shows, the building bears more than a slight resemblance to Corby’s own Cube.
The West Northamptonshire Development Corporation proposed the six-storey building, which will be built on land opposite Northampton railway station.
It has been designed as a home for small businesses and will cost £6.5m, with funding coming from a number of sources including the European Union.
By contrast, Corby’s Cube civic hub cost more than £40m to build and is home to the Core theatre, Corby Council and Corby Library.
The Evening Telegraph asked Corby residents if they thought Northampton was copying the Cube idea.
John McInulty, 73, of Chepstow Road, said: “I think it shows Corby has achieved something before a bigger town. It is nice to be copied for a change rather than copying.
“The Cube is a love-hate thing, I don’t think we will change that, but personally I like it.”
Halima Alexander, 47, of Fulwell Avenue, Gretton, said: “I would say it does look like they are copying it. I think maybe they are borrowing some ideas from it.
“Corby has developed really well and the Cube is a good thing because it has created some jobs.”
John McKenzie, 59, from the Lloyds estate, said: “I don’t think Northampton’s is so high-end looking. The symbol of the cube is like the pyramids – it is a sign of authority.”
Explaining the ethos behind the new cube, WNDC regeneration manager Paul Quinn said: “It says Northampton is ready and open for business and we believe it’s an important step forward for the economic regeneration of the town.
“It’s a bold proposal when the economy is at a low ebb, but we believe the time is right for Northampton.”
Corby Council deputy leader Mark Pengelly said: “The new American Embassy has already copied the iconic Cube and it looks like this is as well.
“You can’t blame them for copying something the people of Corby are really pleased with.
“It is good to see the lesser towns in Northamptonshire are now copying Corby.”