Name revealed for Kettering's £3.9m 'cultural gem' complex

What do you think of the new name?

By Sam Wildman
Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 5:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 9th March 2022, 9:34 pm

The new name has been revealed for a complex where Kettering's cultural buildings will unite after a £3.9m extension project.

Construction work started last year to transform the area of the town's Alfred East Art Gallery, library and museum in a scheme known as GLaM.

It's now been revealed that the complex will be called Cornerstone - reflecting how the old parts of the library and gallery buildings will connect as well as the site’s corner position within Kettering town centre.

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Work is ongoing at the site.

Cllr Helen Howell, the council’s deputy leader and executive member for sport, leisure, culture and tourism, said: “I’m delighted to introduce the new brand of Cornerstone - I do think it’s a fitting moniker for this flagship project which will breathe new life into this quarter of Kettering town centre, a major town within north Northamptonshire.

“By definition ‘cornerstone’ is a word which conveys the gravity of the project and reflects its importance culturally, economically and as a community asset.

“It’s also wonderful that the project is progressing and we’re starting to see the many elements coming together. Once complete it will be a wonderful addition to the town and also to the wider north Northamptonshire area.”

The groundworks are now complete on-site, the steel frame is complete for the new extension and the retaining wall is poured. The pre-cast concrete stairwell is in fabrication, the gallery wall linings and flooring have been stripped and redecoration is under way. British Library Business Intellectual Property (BIP) Centre construction and refurbishment is also substantially complete.

SEMLEP chief executive, Hilary Chipping, said: “We are very happy to be supporting the regeneration of such a valuable cultural asset via £3m from the Getting Building Fund.

“The contribution to local economic and cultural recovery through new jobs, learners, businesses supported and the creation of fantastic new facilities for visitors will be something of which Kettering and the South East Midlands can rightly be proud.”

Once complete, Cornerstone will provide flexible workspace and exhibition space supporting start-ups, with support provided by the British Library led Business and IP Centre (BIPC) Northamptonshire.

There will be increased engagement with schools and educational institutions, two new events/workshop spaces, a café and external terrace and improved public gardens on the site.

Cllr Jason Smithers, leader of the council, said: “I’m proud that we’re delivering this wonderful project which helps to deliver so many key objectives for the council.

“Creating a cultural treasure such as this will bring many benefits to the wider community and attract visitors, helping boost the local economy. I’m really looking forward to seeing it complete.”