Government Town Funds Grant: Repositioning Corby Town Centre – By Simon Phipps

23rd February 2021
In November 2019 Corby was selected to apply for a £25 million share of the UK Government’s total £3.6 bn Town Funds grant that was offered to a total of 101 towns across the UK. These towns are to be given the financial tools to design and deliver a growth strategy to drive economic regeneration for long term economic and productivity growth through urban regeneration; planning and land use; skills and enterprise infrastructure and connectivity.

Sovereign Centros have represented the owners of Corby town centre as key stakeholders on the Corby Town Deal Board. Working closely with Corby Borough Council and their appointed advisors Lambert Smith Hampton we are delighted to have had support from the Board to include two projects that have gone forward and are now included in the Towns Deal grant application that was submitted on 29th January.

The two projects are centred around promoting the introduction of a new educational facility and the redevelopment of a cleared site within Corby town centre.

The first project promotes the introduction of a new specialist 6th form college owned and operated by The Bedford College into an office building that has remained predominantly vacant for some 8 years. The upper two floors of this building known as Chisholm House, are situated right in the heart of the town centre. The Bedford College’s vision appreciates having such a prime position in the town will prove attractive to students and lectures alike, with all the Corby town centre has to offer from its retailing offer, its restaurants and its modern leisure facilities that include on site gyms, an international swimming pool and cinema.

The Bedford College Group are promoting a brand new state of the art educational training facility that will accommodate 399 students per annum by 2025/26, increasing to 600 per annum over the longer term. The Town Deal funding will allow the property to be converted into an ultra-modern building using environmentally sustainable construction techniques to produce a fully ‘carbon-negative’ building. It is recognised that having such a large number of students permanently located in Corby town centre stands to make a significant contribution to the local economy and will add to the diversity and future viability of the Corby town centre.

The second project concentrates on the redevelopment of a c1 acre site immediately adjacent and physically linked into the town centre. The vision is the development of a multi-purpose mixed use facility that will support the introduction of an arts and community centre as well as meeting the needs for creative and media. The project seeks to complete the wider vision for the site that will include residential.

The site is an important gateway to the east of the town centre and the development will balance the significant investment that is already well established to the west with the leisure complex and Council’s offices. A development of this scale will amongst other things, increase Corby’s town centre resident population and the number of shoppers using the town centre and importantly improve the town’s overall east-west permeability and complete the last piece of the large scale town centre redevelopment jigsaw at Corby.

More information about the entire Corby Town Deals Fund can be found via: https://corbytownsfund.co.uk/