Kettering town centre unit to become community hub in Government pilot scheme aimed at tackling social and economic problems

48 High Steet next to Nationwide
48 High Steet next to Nationwide

An empty shop on Kettering's high street will be transformed into a community hub as part of a Government pilot scheme launched to address social and economic problems.

The Open Doors project was announced by communities secretary James Brokenshire MP in November 2018.

The two-storey Kettering High Street retail unit is 771 sq ft and was last occupied in 2014

The two-storey Kettering High Street retail unit is 771 sq ft and was last occupied in 2014

And after a successful application by the landlord, until next summer 48 High Steet, situated next to Nationwide, will become a space for people with community-focused ideas "that could make positive use of the space in ways that bring people together".

Rochelle Mathieson, the head of commercial development at Kettering Council, said: "We are extremely pleased that Kettering High Street has been selected as one of five areas to take part in the scheme nationally and would like to congratulate the landlord involved.

"We would now encourage all interested community groups and individuals to apply to use the space, which will be offered free of charge to those selected to deliver their projects.

"This represents a fantastic opportunity for local groups to test their ideas and deliver projects that bring a positive social change."

The two-storey Kettering High Street retail unit is 771 sq ft and was last occupied in 2014.

The other retail units taking part in the Open Doors project are located in Bradford, Fenton, Rochford and Slough.

Launching the project in November 2018, Mr Brokenshire MP said: "We need to be imaginative in tackling the social and economic challenges our communities face.

"This includes seizing the enormous opportunity before us to transform our high streets into vibrant community hubs where people work, live and shop.

"That is why I’m delighted to be launching the new Open Doors project that will see empty shops being opened up to community groups offering services to the most vulnerable in our communities."

Kettering Council encourages community groups to apply to use the space free of charge via the online application form.