Vulcan Works, a serviced workspace hub for start-up businesses in Northampton, has won an award for innovation at the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards (NBEAs).

West Northamptonshire Council and the Vulcan Works centre management team were jointly presented with the Innovation Award for the innovative but sympathetic renovation of derelict council buildings to create an incubation space for start-up businesses in the creative and digital industries – sectors that were identified in data as important, growing sectors in Northamptonshire.

The £14 million construction project was also a finalist in the Land and Development Award category, which recognises a construction project that has had a significant impact on the Northamptonshire community or economy.

Judges praised Vulcan Works, which opened in the Cultural Quarter area of Northampton in February.

Comedian Rob Beckett reiterated this when announcing Vulcan Works and West Northamptonshire Council as winners of the Innovation Award. He said: “The judges were blown away by what the winner has done to support both local businesses and the community. They have fostered innovation and at the same time proven they are very good at what they do.”

Centre Manager at Vulcan Works, Garrick Hurter, said: “We were over the moon to win the Innovation Award against such stiff competition from other well-deserving innovators in the county. To be finalists in the Land and Development category too was just fantastic.

“The Innovation Award means a lot to us especially, as we are always looking for innovative ways to help new and growing businesses to flourish. The concept of Vulcan Works is a brave and bold one that has already had such an impact on our local business community and we have plans to do so much more.”

Cllr Dan Lister, West Northamptonshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, added: “I was delighted to see Vulcan Works win the Innovation Award at the Northamptonshire Business Excellence Awards.

“West Northamptonshire has a high number of new businesses starting up every year, which need support to nurture and grow their business. This led to the innovative idea to create and deliver the Vulcan Works. The space provides a home for businesses, with on-site support to help them thrive. To see these derelict but characterful council properties transform into a busy ecosystem for start-ups is hugely rewarding.”

For more information on Vulcan Works, see

Chartered Building Contractor Steele and Bray Ltd, based in Northampton, have been appointed by West Northamptonshire Council to carry out the second phase of improvement works to 24 Guildhall Road.

NN Contemporary Art and West Northamptonshire Council are working in partnership to transform this historic building into a major new cultural centre in the heart of Northampton’s cultural quarter.

The £4.7 million project will see the five-storey heritage building transformed into a vibrant creative community, with a contemporary art gallery, affordable creative studios and public space.

Through extensive regeneration, the building is being brought to life to provide a gallery and artists spaces alongside cultural-commercial opportunities. The second phase of works started on site in October and consist of installing new heating and electrical systems, improvements to the expansive upper floors and detailed refurbishment to NNCA’s space.

Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at WNC added: “We are delighted to be working with local based contractors Steele and Bray to carry out the second phase of work to deliver this ambitious project. Once open, 24 Guildhall Road will offer a unique cultural hub in the heart of the Cultural Quarter in Northampton, complementing the ongoing redevelopment of this part of town.

“Working in partnership with NN Contemporary Art and SEMLEP, we are able to combine our vision to regenerate this central building and offer a space for artists and entrepreneurs across our county and beyond. We look forward to continuing to offer local jobs as we enter into the second phase of redevelopment works, supporting our local economy.”

West Northamptonshire Council has confirmed that National regeneration developer, Cityheart has been announced as their preferred development partner to bring forward the Four Waterside and Marefair sites. Working in a joint venture partnership with West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) Cityheart will deliver a transformational and ambitious scheme for the town centre.

Situated at the entrance of the town from Northampton’s railway station, the Four Waterside and Marefair scheme is one of the largest brownfield developments in the county with two sites totalling five acres. Work is anticipated to start in 2025 to unlock this space, providing a new hotel, grade A office space for new and existing businesses, high-quality homes and improved paving and planting to elevate the area.

With nearly 20 years of experience, Cityheart works in partnership with councils across the country to rejuvenate towns and cities, including the £135 million Galleries town centre redevelopment in Wigan. This eight acre, highly sustainable mixed-use regeneration site providing a new market and hotel, high-quality homes, leisure venues, co-working space and events space.

This is Cityheart’s first appointment via the Pagabo National Framework Agreement for Developer Led schemes.

WNC has secured a £1.5 million grant from The Towns Fund and a further £7 million from the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone, to help deliver the project which will contribute to the wider transformation across the town. This funding will enable the development to be brought forward and have a significant impact on the local economy with a projected £130 million gross development value.

The Towns Fund is part of the Government’s plan for ‘Levelling Up’ the UK economy and the Council has secured £24.9 million to invest into transforming Northampton’s Town Centre.

Cllr Daniel Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “We are delighted to announce that we are working with Cityheart to deliver this significant development. Their expertise will be invaluable in transforming the two vacant brownfield sites and providing high-quality facilities to meet the needs of our local community and benefit our local economy.

“This area has stood empty for too long, and we are excited to now begin the relevant preparation before we start work in 2025. Once complete, this development has the potential to have a transformational impact upon Northampton town centre and beyond.”

Andrew Sanderson, development director of Cityheart added: “This superb site will open up the gateway to the town centre from the rail station and will be transformational for Northampton. It will deliver waterside residences and highly sustainable workspace, enhancing the living experience for people in the town centre. Cityheart is extremely proud to be appointed as preferred developer and we look forward to making a start on the project before the end of the year.”