Thursday, December 01, 2011

Northampton House, Kettering

This is Northampton House in Kettering, which I shall always remember fondly because it was from here that I passed my driving test. (I have barely driven since, but it proves I am a real man.)

As the second edition of A Guide to the Industrial Heritage of Northamptonshire explains:
It was built in 1910 as offices for James Pain, the iron ore magnate who had extensive ironstone quarries in north Northamptonshire during the 19thC and 20thC. The company still occupied Northampton House in 1927.
Backwatersman has photographed its recent dereliction and provides a link to the campaign to save it from demolition.


Chris Nelson said...

That little part of town has been let go to dereliction for some time now. That particular building is presumably still owned by the DSA, and closed when the driving test centre moved to the edge of town, but the building next door is owned by Kettering Borough Council.

That next door building had been used for many years by the "Kettering Centre for the Unemployed", who had used it for running education sessions and the like. In the good times, in 2007, the Conservative-run council rather short-sightedly evicted its charity tenants - for what some have suggested may have been political reasons (the charity is run by a prominent Labour ex-councillor and there's never been any sign of the building being used for anything else) - and the building has been a derelict, unused hunk ever since.

To be fair to KBC there are some longterm plans to redevelop that part of town as a "gateway" from the railway station to the Town Centre. But with the recession, the reduction in local government capital budgets, and the absence of s106 funding, it's difficult to see anything meaningful happening there for some years yet (but I'd be delighted to be proved wrong!).

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