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Monday 15 September 2014

New Ark river boat restaurant opens

Cllr David Mackintosh and Cllr Tim Hadland with the owners of The Ark at the official opening

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, attended the official opening of The Ark river boat restaurant in Becket's Park.

The restaurant is situated next to the Skatepark off the Bedford Road with adjacent car parking spaces and a view across the River Nene.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said, "It is great to see another Northampton Alive project complete and Becket's Park and Midsummer Meadow vibrant with lots of things for people to do in the area. As the University moves into the area, it will be great to see people enjoying the area with lots to do including the Skatepark and the town's Cycle Connect bikes."

For more information about The Ark restaurant visit


Thursday 11 September 2014

Helping hardworking taxpayers own their own home

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, has welcomed new figures showing that the Conservatives’ Help to Buy scheme is helping families to achieve their dream of owning their own home.

In total 371 people have been able to access an affordable mortgage and get on the housing ladder in Northampton.

Overall, over 50,000 people have been able to buy their own home thanks to Help to Buy, with 82 per cent of those helped first-time buyers. 94 per cent of sales have been outside of London and the scheme is supporting responsible lending, with the average price of a house bought about £187,000, well below the national average.

Help to Buy is also giving builders the confidence to build, with the Equity Loan part of the scheme directly supporting demand for new-build homes. Since the scheme was launched, private sector housebuilding has increased by 34 per cent while house building orders are at their highest since 2003 with workers being taken on at the fastest rate for 17 years.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, said, “Labour’s record on housing was truly appalling. Their Great Recession led to a collapse in housebuilding and it became nearly impossible for people to achieve their dream of owning their own home.”

“That’s why the Conservatives, as part of our long-term economic plan, launched Help to Buy so that more people could get an affordable mortgage and get on the housing ladder. Since this scheme was launched a total of 371 families in Northampton have been able to buy their own home.”

“Thanks to Help to Buy, thousands of families and first-time buyers across the country are now able to achieve their dream of owning their own home where they can enjoy security and a better quality of life.”

Wednesday 10 September 2014

New location for Delapre Tea Rooms

Cllr David Mackintosh with Friends of Delapre Abbey at the site of the new tea rooms

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has announced a new location has been agreed with the Friends of Delapre Abbey for the popular tea rooms.

The future provision of a refreshment facility has been secured after agreement between Northampton Borough Council and the Friends of Delapre Abbey.  The new permanent location will be within the 19th century stable block.  

Every year thousands of people visit the historic abbey and the current Friends of Delapre Abbey tea room has provided a place to sit and relax in the beautiful walled gardens.

Northampton Borough Council is committing over a million pounds into the restoration of the abbey, and has secured grants from both Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage that will see more than £5 million invested in preserving our history. This work will mean that over the next few years the Abbey will not only be protected for future generations but plans are in place for it to become a regionally significant attraction with a refreshment facility being part of the offer.

The next step will see work start on converting the 19th century stable block with new kitchen equipment and facilities to serve drinks and snacks to people visiting Delapre Abbey.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council said "The tea room is a popular part of any visit to Delapre Abbey. It is a place to grab a bite to eat and find out how the Council and Friends of Delapre Abbey are working together to restore the building.”  

“The restoration will help us to open up more and more of this fascinating building to visitors. Working with FoDA we have found a way to ensure that a refreshment facility will continue to be part of the experience as people explore the building and grounds.”

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Start-Up Loans supporting new businesses in Northampton South

Cllr David Mackintosh meeting with local businesses

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, has welcomed new figures which show the Government’s Start-Up Loans scheme has so far supported 29 people in Northampton South with the ideas and determination to start a new business with £176,840 of loans to help them get going.

This is helping create jobs in Northampton and is in addition to the Business Incentive Scheme which was introduced by the Conservatives running Northampton Borough Council.

Across the UK more than 20,000 Start-Up loans, worth over £100 million, have been awarded to help new businesses get going.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, said, “This is great news. It shows the Start-Up Loans scheme is giving people in Northampton with the ideas and determination to start a new business - who have struggled in the aftermath of Labour’s Great Recession - the finance they need to kick-start and grow it."

“So far 29 loans, worth a total of £176,840, have been made in Northampton South to help people put their business idea into practice, supporting new businesses. This means more jobs and opportunities for local people."

“The Conservatives’ aim is to make Britain the best place in the world to start and grow a business. This is all part of our long-term economic plan. By backing businesses to create more jobs, it is ensuring that more people in Northampton South can have the security and stability of a regular pay packet, with a brighter future ahead of them.”    

Monday 08 September 2014

Cosworth building on track

David Mackintosh with Local Growth Minister, Kris Hopkins MP, at Cosworth in May 2014

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has welcomed an announcement today from Cosworth that the world-renowned performance engineering and manufacturing group, has confirmed that its flagship Advanced Manufacturing Centre is on target for completion in January 2015.

The building’s structure is complete and work is now underway to fit out the inside of the facility that will start fulfilling contracts with three global automotive vehicle manufacturers early next year. These partnerships will provide Cosworth with a projected order book of some £75 million.

The new state-of-the-art 38,000-square-foot facility, which is being developed with support from local and national government, will house an advanced flexible manufacturing system capable of producing complex machined components for high-performance limited production road vehicles.

Located in the Waterside Enterprise Zone in Northampton adjacent to Cosworth’s existing St James Mill Road site, the new facility will create around 70 new jobs and apprenticeships.

Cllr David Mackintosh, said "This new facility will help keep Northampton at the cutting edge of automotive manufacture. We take pride in our ability to help businesses flourish, particularly those which provide so many high-skilled jobs, and we will continue to work with any firms looking to expand in or relocate to the town.”

"Northampton is taking great strides forward. Our Northampton Alive programme of regeneration is going from strength to strength and our enterprise zone is one of the best in the country for job creation. Now we've built up such momentum, we're determined to maintain it."

Thursday 04 September 2014

Great autumn ahead with St Crispin's Fair, Fireworks and German Christmas Market

Cllr David Mackintosh with panto stars Linda Lusardi and Sam Kane and Heart Breakfast presenters Stuart and Natalie at the Christmas light switch-on in November 2013

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, has announced a great line up of seasonal events in Northampton.

Highlights include a German Christmas Market, the return of the St Crispin Street Fair and a spectacular firework display in partnership with the University of Northampton and supported by Heart FM on Bonfire Night – Wednesday 5th November - at Midsummer Meadow.

The St Crispin Street Fair will return to the town centre from Saturday 25th to Tuesday 28th October with some spectacular rides.

On Thursday 20th November the town will light up for Christmas with the annual lights switch on in the Market Square. There will be a full programme of festive fun, including entertainment from Royal & Derngate panto stars before the lights are switched on and the magic of Christmas begins.

One of the highlights of the switch on evening will be the launch of a German Christmas Market, which will set up along Abington Street to sell traditional food, drinks, gifts and crafts until 21st December.

A festival of Christmas songs and carols on the Market Square on Sunday 14th December from 4pm to 5pm is another event sure to bring a smile to people’s faces as they shop for food, gifts and stocking fillers.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said, “We’ve had a great year in Northampton with some brilliant events that have brought the crowds into town and our summer programme of street entertainment, which proved so popular during the school holidays, has now come to an end. I am pleased to announce this latest line-up of events that I hope will continue to make Northampton a popular destination for visitors.”

“Bonfire Night promises to be a great family night out and we are grateful to the University of Northampton and Heart for their support. As for Christmas, I think we are in for a treat. The trees, lights, carols, traditional markets and panto fun will bring a welcoming touch of cheer in the run up to Christmas.”

Cllr Brandon Eldred, Northampton Borough Council Cabinet member for Community Engagement, added, “This is a great line up that kick starts with the street fair in October half term. It promises to provide a lot of fun before November’s Bonfire Night and Christmas launch.”

Visitors and shoppers are reminded that they can park for free in Northampton town centre multi-storey car parks every Saturday and for two hours on weekdays. Sunday parking is free in all borough council car parks and for the run up to Christmas shoppers will be able to park free from 3pm every Thursday from 20th November to 18th December to coincide with stores’ late shopping nights.

Wednesday 03 September 2014

Innovation Centre structure complete

Cllr David Mackintosh at the topping out ceremony of the Innovation Centre

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, joined the University of Northampton and Kier Construction for the 'topping out' ceremony on the roof of the new Northampton Innovation Centre today to celebrate the structural completion of the new building.

The £8.5m University of Northampton Innovation Centre is a flagship building for the Northampton Enterprise Zone. With 42 flexible office units, a cafe and conference space, the centre offers the opportunity for enterprises to grow in a supportive environment alongside like-minded businesses. With a wide range of services, the businesses located within the centre will have access to specialist University of Northampton business support.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said “This marks yet another milestone in Northampton’s regeneration. Innovation is what we’re all about, and I’m looking forward to the first businesses being welcomed into the centre next year.”

Wednesday 03 September 2014

Wellingborough Road improvements move step closer

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has welcomed a report that Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet will discuss on how it will support local businesses in setting up a Business Improvement District (BID) for Wellingborough Road and Abington Square with effect from 1st January 2015.

A BID for Wellingborough Road would encourage businesses to work together to improve their own trading environment, which would be funded by a small levy on their business rates that they would control and use to their joint benefit.

In October, around 400 businesses in the area will be asked to vote on proposals to set up a BID. If they vote in favour, all qualifying Wellingborough Road businesses would pay a proportion of their business rates to the BID to create a fund which will be used to attract shoppers and visitors to the area. Northampton Borough Council has also committed £20,000 per year to support the new BID.

Cllr David Mackintosh said "A BID for Wellingborough Road is a step in the right direction, as it will hopefully benefit the abundance of independent shops, businesses, restaurants and bars in the area as well as enhancing the shopping experience for visitors. At cabinet we’ll be discussing how we can support the move to a BID for Wellingborough Road and how this would have a positive impact on trade as well as bring changes and improvements to this shopping and leisure area of our town."

Wednesday 03 September 2014

Labour's plans for more unfunded spending

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, has condemned Labour’s pledges over the summer for £21 billion more unfunded, inefficient and ineffective spending.

New analysis has revealed this would cost working households £1,235 each – totalling a cost of £1.5 billion for working households across the East Midlands. This would all have to be paid for by higher taxes or more borrowing, making hardworking taxpayers, and future generations, worse off.

While Labour continue to struggle for credibility on the economy new figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that the recovery in the economy under this Government has been stronger than previously thought. Growth since 2010 has been revised up to 8.1 per cent, from the previous estimate of 7.0 per cent.

This faster growth means there are more businesses creating more jobs, so that more families can have the security of a regular pay packet, with a brighter future ahead of them.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Northampton South, said “Just as new growth figures – which show the economy has been growing faster under this Government than previously thought – confirms this Government’s long-term economic plan is working, helping more families achieve the security of work, it’s shocking to see Labour still haven’t learned its lesson.”

“In a string of speeches over the summer Labour pledged £21 billion worth of unfunded, inefficient and ineffective spending. That would cost each working household £1,235 – £1.5 billion across the East Midlands.”

“This means Labour would have to hit people in Northampton with more borrowing and higher taxes, making hardworking taxpayers worse off and putting the recovery at risk. We need to stick to the Conservatives’ long-term economic plan, which is delivering growth, getting the deficit down and cutting taxes - securing a brighter and more secure future for Britain.”

Wednesday 03 September 2014

Museum extension continues with building purchase

Artist impression of the Museum expansion

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, has today announced that Northampton Borough Council is to begin negotiations to buy the Gaol Block and Guildhall Road Block of County Hall from Northamptonshire County Council so that the planned new extension of Northampton Museum and Art Gallery can move ahead.

A major extension of the Museum will double the size of the exhibition space to just over 2,300 square metres, and create new teaching facilities and commercial space.

Plans to be discussed by Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet propose that the Museum will extend into the Gaol Block, creating an imposing new entrance gallery on Guildhall Road.

Both the Gaol and Guildhall Road blocks of County Hall will become vacant when Northamptonshire County Council moves to its new building, due to be built in Angel Street.

Buying the buildings will give the Borough Council scope to develop the museum into an important regional facility focussed on history, art and shoes, which will anchor the emerging Cultural Quarter and attract visitors from further afield to make a major contribution to Northampton’s economy.

It is projected that the redevelopment, coupled with expected growth in Northampton, will see visitor numbers at the museum increase from 80,000 a year currently to 200,000 a year by 2018.

The cost of the extension and redevelopment of the Museum is estimated to be £14 million. The money raised through the sale of the Egyptian statue of Sekhemka – around £8 million – will all be used to pay for the redevelopment and the Borough Council will seek funding from other sources including European funding grants and commercial developers, to make up the shortfall.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said that the museum has the potential to play an even greater role in the cultural life of the town and county.

"Northampton’s ambition and innovation has been acknowledged at a national level and we are committed to the central part that our culture and heritage plays in our future growth and development. Abington Park Museum is extremely popular too, but we have not previously been able to restore the building to top condition so that it attracts people from a wider area. Our proposals would bring the building back to life as well as boosting visitor numbers."

"As the Leader of a local authority, I am very proud to be able to propose such a major investment in our museum service and it is a mark of our confidence in how the ambitious regeneration programme in Northampton is shaping its future. We are working closely with Northamptonshire County Council on this significant development for the cultural life of the county town."

At the same time, Cabinet will also discuss the restoration of Abington Park Museum. Proposals will be developed for a major redevelopment of the museum, which is housed in a Grade I listed building.

The museum currently houses the two regimental collections along with furniture, social history and geological artefacts, in displays that are very dated and have not been changed for around 20 years.

The earliest part of the house, formerly known as Abington Manor House, date back to the late 15th century and it was once the home of Shakespeare’s grand-daughter. It is proposed to focus on the historic house while continuing to operate the building as a museum and developing the popular Northamptonshire Regiments collection.

Appropriate commercial uses for the building, including as a venue for weddings or conferences, will also be explored.

Tuesday 02 September 2014

Conservatives deliver on more Wardens and Park Rangers

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, and with Cllr Mike Hallam with Neighbourhood Wardens and Park Rangers

Conservatives have delivered on their manifesto pledges as another Neighbourhood Wardens and two new Park Rangers have taken up their posts with Northampton Borough Council to help look after the town’s communities and green spaces.

Their recruitment is part of the Conservative administration’s ongoing commitment to making the town a better place to live and visit.

The new recruits bring the total number of Neighbourhood Wardens serving the town to 15 and Park Rangers to six. They are dedicated to working with communities to improve the areas under their care and ensure any issues raised by local people are promptly sorted.

Cllr David Mackintosh, Leader of Northampton Borough Council, said "We are committed to investing in safer and cleaner neighbourhoods and to improving our parks and green spaces. Neighbourhood wardens and park rangers are part of our commitment. By being out and about in our local communities, they help us to pick up on the issues that concern local people."

Cllr Mike Hallam, Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet member for the Environment said "Having a dedicated team of wardens and rangers working in our communities makes a real difference. It helps us to pick up on the issues that matter to local people, and means we can continue to improve neighbourhoods as well as the parks and green spaces that are loved by residents and visitors alike."

As well as the new recruits, the council has invested in a third vehicle to help rangers and wardens broaden the reach of the service they provide.

Monday 01 September 2014

David does the Ice Bucket Challenge

The picture shows Cllr David Mackintosh doing the Ice Bucket Challenge

The Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Cllr David Mackintosh, today took part in the Ice Bucket Challenge for the Northampton-based Motor Neurone Disease Association.

You can watch a video of David doing the Ice Bucket Challenge here.