12 Mar Preparation works underway to transform Northampton’s Market Square
The ground was broken at Northampton’s historic market square at the start of February. Over the last month, work has been underway to prepare for construction works to transform this area for our community.
West Northamptonshire Council (WNC) is working with leading construction firm Stepnell Ltd to carry out a multi-million-pound redevelopment of the area, to turn this into an area for communities, businesses, and traders to enjoy and be proud of.
Prior to construction works starting, investigations have had to take place to identify any potential risks and define clear strategies to address them. WNC and Stepnell have completed ground investigations using Danaher & Walsh and a leading geotechnical firm. This involved digging 15 trial holes and 12 boreholes in locations identified by the project team over a four-week period. The area must be carefully excavated, taking, and investigating samples that will inform how the market square is transformed. This is in addition to the ground investigations completed during the design development stage.
While this work has been ongoing an archaeologist has been ensuring the redevelopment does not cause harm to potential archaeology in the ground.
Cllr Dan Lister, Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Town Centre Regeneration and Growth, said: “This is an important project in the transformation and regeneration of the town centre, the market square is a site of historical significance, so it is vital that the essential investigations are carried out to ensure that works are delivered to the highest standard.
“With the necessary preparation works underway we look forward the next stage of the construction process that will be intensifying in the coming weeks.”
Following extensive research, the only viable location for the market to be temporarily relocated to while the extensive construction takes place was Commercial St Car Park, as other areas in the town, including Abington St which is due to begin works on the new public realm later this year, are due to be transformed in the coming months as part of the wider town regeneration.
Stepnell Ltd has been carrying out removal of structures, clearing vegetation, installing new security fencing, preparing for the installation of utilities and levelling the site for pedestrian and vehicular access; with the hoardings being erected this week.