A former block of stables in the grounds of Delapré Abbey is set to be transformed into a hub for social enterprise and wellbeing, through a mix of developments that include community spaces, retail, workshop and office spaces alongside new public facilities that include a Changing Places toilet for users of the site.
Delapré Abbey, a cherished Grade II* listed heritage site nestled in the heart of Northampton, is embarking on a visionary project that will breathe new life into its historic stables. The ambitious initiative, backed by The National Lottery Heritage Fund, is due for completion in the autumn of 2025, contingent upon securing additional funding. Collaborating closely with the Abbey team are leading architects Buttress, experienced project managers Currie & Brown, and heritage experts, Tricolor, who are providing project development support.
The project seeks to address pressing community needs and improve accessibility while safeguarding architectural heritage. The restoration work encompasses several buildings, ensuring that they stand as lasting testaments to Northampton’s rich history.
Once complete, the project aims to help improve the mental and physical health of local residents through a co-located model, building on programmes to date such as Delapré Wellbeing and complementing the existing visitor attraction.
The project will also aim to create 42 jobs and support a thriving visitor economy. The development of the site will allow investment through a social return model, working with partners and cementing Delapré Abbey as a key community asset in improving wellbeing.
The Abbey team is currently seeking small enterprises, from start-ups to artisans, who are interested in being part of this community within the stable’s characterful North Range. Interested parties will need to share the Trust’s passion for creativity and collaboration with the space set to become a hub for creatives and makers with wellbeing at its heart. This well-lit, modern space in a prime location will foster skill-sharing and creativity, revitalising this historic gem.
Richard Clinton, Chief Executive, Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust said:
“The transformation of these historic stables represents a significant step in our commitment to supporting community wellbeing through heritage. With the support of The National Lottery Heritage Fund and our dedicated partners, we are creating a space that not only restores our heritage but also improves the mental and physical health of our residents.”
Amanda Nicols, Head of Operations and Projects, Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust said:
“We’re excited to invite creative enterprises to join us in the North Range project. I encourage anyone who is asking if this is for them to get in touch, especially if you are passionate about creativity, collaboration, and wellbeing, echoing the spirit of Delapré Abbey’s rich history.”
Development funding of around £477,000 was awarded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund in 2022 to help Delapré Abbey Preservation Trust progress their plans, and to further engage members of the community and partners. The Trust is working towards raising the further funding required to deliver the full restoration of the site.
Early stages of the project, including feasibility plans and options appraisals, have been made possible through funding from the Architectural Heritage Fund’s Project Development Grant within the Cultural Recovery Programme.