Plans for innovative food and leisure space in Northampton given the go ahead

Posted 21st March 2024

Plans to transform the vacant Market Walk shopping centre in Northampton town centre have been given the go ahead by West Northamptonshire Councillors at the Strategic Planning Committee this week (19 March).

Leisure developer STACK’s planning application will see the creation of an exciting and innovative entertainment hub with independent street food outlets, bars and a dedicated space for interactive games. The scheme also includes a main stage, which will be used for live music and entertainment.

The facility is set to be the first in the Midlands and will enhance the town’s vibrancy and vitality, supporting both the daytime and night-time economy and complementing the adjacent ongoing transformation of the historic Market Square and public realm of Abington Street and Fish Street.

STACK completed on the site in August 2023 and the planning approval takes it one step forward, license approval is still pending but once granted the design development can be progressed to the next stage.

The scheme is being supported by the council, which is providing up to £4.2m investment through the Towns Fund, with a further £8m investment from STACK which will enable the space to be transformed into a new leisure, entertainment, and social community hub.

Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth at West Northamptonshire Council, said: “I am delighted that plans for STACK’s first facility in the Midlands have been given the go ahead and look forward to seeing works begin to set up this innovative entertainment space in the heart of Northampton town centre.

“STACK offers something truly unique for our town centre and will see footfall increase significantly, attracting more families and people who might not normally have visited the area.

“Together with our other regeneration projects, the leisure economy in Northampton is set to rocket and provide a diverse mix of entertainment, food and drink, and retail opportunities which will benefit residents, local businesses and traders.”

The plans for a STACK in Northampton are the latest in a number of announcements made by the company as it rolls out its master plan to become a nationally recognised brand.

Neill Winch, CEO of STACK said the company was delighted to have been granted planning permission. He said: “We are thrilled that we can now start to move forward with our plans to bring STACK to Northampton and to create an exciting leisure destination for local residents and visitors.”

“STACK will play a vital role in the plans to regenerate the Market Square area – of which Market Walk Shopping Centre is a part – and which will make a massive, positive difference to the local economy.”