Corby bidding for high street revamp millions

Corporation Street in Corby town centre was opened in the 1950s.
Corporation Street in Corby town centre was opened in the 1950s.

Corby will be throwing its hat into the ring to win some funding to give its town centre a new lease of life.

The town will be following the lead of Kettering and Northampton and be putting in a bid to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

There is a £675m national pot which town centres up and down the country will be bidding for a slice of to give their high streets a kick start.

At the overview and scrutiny meeting on Tuesday the council’s head of property Jonathan Waterworth said the council has been speaking to town centre owner Sovereign Land about putting a bid together.

An expression of interest has to be put in by March 22. There are then later rounds before the money is allocated with a top level of £25m per high street.

Mr Waterworth said: “We have had initial discussions with the town centre owners Sovereign in how we might take forward a bid and distinguish Corby from the others.

“Retailers just aren’t interested in having more stores. There has to be something else to get people into the town centre. Leisure is an option, and we have to move away from clone towns.”

Corby has had more funds spent on it over the past 15 years than neighbours Kettering and Northampton. Willow Place and the regeneration of the Corby Cube and the swimming pool area at Parkland Gateway has been a success which has increased visitor numbers.

But all three areas have lost out to the new shopping Mecca of Rushden Lakes. In its first year more than £4m people visited the retail destination.