Government backing for University of Northampton scheme

An artist's impression of the new campus
An artist's impression of the new campus

The University of Northampton’s plan to move to a new campus has moved a step closer to reality.

The scheme is one of more than a dozen which the Government has agreed to guarantee financially.

An outline planning application for the university’s new £330m Waterside campus in the town centre was submitted to Northampon Council in September.

The proposed new campus on the 55-acre Avon Nunn Mills site will replace the university’s existing sites in St George’s Avenue and Boughton Green Road.

If approved, it is hoped groundwork on the site could start next year, with the campus opening in autumn 2018.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has announced today that the scheme is one of a number of energy, road and rail projects worth £33bn which have passed the first hurdle in getting a government infrastructure guarantee.

Forty projects are now at the stage known as prequalification, meaning they are eligible for the UK Guarantee scheme.

While further discussions, assessment and due diligence remain, the move could see them secure government agreement to act as a guarantor for a project, giving private lenders confidence they will get their money back if the project cannot pay.

If the government gave a guarantee it would be for a proportion of the capital value of the project, and the scheme is authorised to issue up to £40bn of guarantees in total.

Of the £40bn of guarantees available, the government has already awarded a £75m guarantee to power plant Drax for its £700m programme to partially convert the UK’s biggest coal power station to biomass.

The power station will produce seven per cent of the UK’s electricity with the biomass conversions set to be up and running over the next three years.

The new prequalified projects named today are:

The relocation of Northampton University from its current campus into Northampton Enterprise Zone

Helius Energy - Avonmouth biomass energy generation is a 100MW capacity facility in the South West expected to produce energy for the national grid, costing around £300m to construct and creating approximately 450 full time jobs during the construction phase

Islandmagee gas storage project in Northern Ireland worth £400 million which will be capable of storing up two month’s worth of Northern Ireland’s total gas requirement.

Two Intergen gas-fired power generation projects at Spalding in Lincolnshire and Gateway Energy Centre in Essex, the latter being an investment of £600m.

Countesswells mixed use development in Aberdeen, Scotland which will see 3000 new homes built alongside business spaces and retail outlets

Neart Na Gaoithe 450MW Windfarm in the outer Forth Estuary, Scotland

Able Marine Energy Park, a port facility to support the manufacture, assembly and installation of offshore renewable technologies on Humberside

Chinook Energy plants, producing renewable energy from waste at sites around the UK

Gasrec, a producer and distributor of new, low carbon Bio-LNG fuel for UK commercial vehicle fleets

University of Roehampton campus redevelopment in South London

Tilbury Green Power 60 MW waste wood fired power generation plant in Essex

Five Quarter Energy plant to process unconventional gas extracted from below the North Sea to create low-cost energy for British manufacturing and new jobs in the North East