Main construction work begins on Kettering's GLaM regeneration project

Culture and tourism

21 July 2021

Groundbreaking ceremony for the GLaM project in Kettering

The construction phase of the GLaM project - which will see a new two-storey extension connect Kettering’s Alfred East Gallery with the Library is now underway. 

This North Northamptonshire Council scheme secured £3million from the Getting Building Fund, administered by SEMLEP with match-funding from the council. 

Judith Barker, SEMLEP’s Director of Programmes and Governance said: “Our ambition is to make the South East Midlands a place where people want to live, entrepreneurs build businesses and communities visit. The GLaM project not only creates a creative and cultural anchor for North Northamptonshire, but enhances the town, the life of residents and support our visitor economy. We’re proud to support the development of the extension.”

The project, will provide the community with new and upgraded facilities, including a new café with outdoor terrace, a new events space with views across the Manor House gardens to the Museum, improved Gallery facilities and ground floor flexible workshop/events space.

The revitalised buildings will also provide a dedicated business support centre (BIPC) to expand the existing British Library led Business & IP Centre Northamptonshire, which provides entrepreneurs and small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) with free access to a wide range of support. 

The building is due to fully re-open late Spring 2022. 

Whilst the extension is being constructed, the Museum will also receive some maintenance to the external elevations and roof. The service remains closed to allow the Museum team to review and document the collection with a view to engaging the local community on curation of future exhibitions and programming at a later date. 

Cllr Helen Howell, the council’s deputy leader and executive member for Sport, Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said:

I’m delighted to have been on site to see the start of this very important project for Kettering town centre.

The GLaM scheme will bring a great deal of enjoyment for residents as well as supporting the local economy.

Cllr Jason Smithers, Leader of the council, said: “Regeneration projects like this can help revitalise town centres and I’m delighted to see work starting on this flagship scheme for Kettering.”

Carl Wiltshire, Framework & Preconstruction Development Manager with the building contractor GF Tomlinson, said: “The improvement works to Kettering’s Gallery, Library and Museum represent a significant investment for the town. We are proud to be starting works on site to create a cultural hub for local residents and visitors to enjoy, complete with new and upgraded facilities and additional events and workshop spaces. 

“Through the Pagabo framework, the GLaM project will help to deliver North Northamptonshire Council’s wider vision of regeneration for Kettering town centre, and this facility will provide a vibrant creative, educational and recreational space at the heart of the local community. We are looking forward to seeing works progress over the coming months.”

William Assheton, Partner and Heritage Lead at GSSArchitecture, said: “As a firm on architects based in Kettering for over 140 years, we are very thrilled to have been working on this project having designed the original art Gallery over a hundred years ago. 

“This complements our designs for the Northampton Art Gallery and Museum which opened just a week ago. We hope that GLAM will provide a stimulating venue for the people of Kettering to enjoy for another hundred years to come.”

The project was given planning approval in January this year. GSSArchitecture is leading on the architectural design to transform the facilities, which will improve a valuable visitor destination for Kettering.