Hotel ‘dragons’ give boost to charities as they look to give back

Posted 30th January 2024

Full bedroom suites, office furniture, reception desks and coffee tables will all be donated to charities across Northamptonshire as part of the renovation of a town centre hotel.

Work has already begun on the transformation of the Northampton Town Centre Hotel and senior management were keen to ensure as many of the fixtures and fittings as possible were given a new lease of life elsewhere rather than ending up in landfill.

The hotel assembled a panel of ‘dragons’ to hear from a number of local charities about how they could work with them to repurpose the furniture and make a difference to the local community.

Among the charities set to benefit is The Hope Centre, who will be given the contents of a whole floor of bedrooms at the hotel – which is due to transform into the town centre’s first four-star venue this summer when it falls under the Mercure brand.

Mind Northamptonshire will work with the hotel and a network of other good causes to ensure two whole floors of bedrooms are reused in local centres while also benefitting from a range of surplus items to be sold in their charity shops.

Other furniture will be donated to The YMCA to help with the development of their new centre in Derngate and Armed Forces charity SSAFA, based at the barracks in Clare Street.

The Spring Charity, based just yards from the hotel in Spring Boroughs, will reuse lounge chairs and coffee tables to revitalise their family room while Higham Ferrers based Ailsa’a Aim will use end-of-line toiletries and discontinued notepads and pens to go into their packs for cancer patients and their families in hospitals across the country.

General manager Simon Smith said: “We want to establish ourselves as a real asset to the community, building close links with charities to see how we can work together for the good of the town.

“We’ve already been able to donate the pool table from our bar area to a local church hall and it was brilliant to hear directly from the charities about how we can help so many people in so many different ways.

“The last thing we want to happen is to see all the furniture end up in landfill. That’s just a total waste. We are looking forward to seeing it re-used and re-purposed for the benefit of the community. We’ve now got a lot of exciting projects lined up over the next few months that will give our fixtures and fittings a new lease of life.”

The hotel, in Silver Street, is being upgraded to four stars as part of a seven-figure refurbishment that will see it become a 146-room Mercure later this year. Parent company Accor announced the deal last year and said the revamped hotel will see a real focus on the ‘market town’ history of Northampton, celebrating both the history and future of the Market Square.

The hotel is also looking to work with two charities on a longer-term basis to make a difference in the local community, with the potential for staging charity balls, workshops and work placement programmes.

Among the other charities pitching for support from the dragons were Cynthia Spencer, The Air Ambulance and St Andrew’s Healthcare.