University of Northampton's Waterside campus receives £60m backing

Artist's impression of University of Northampton Waterside campus
Image caption The Waterside campus would be a "massive boost" to the local economy, it is claimed

Loans from the government totalling £60m have been secured towards a new campus for the University of Northampton.

Plans have been submitted to relocate the university from St George's Avenue and Boughton Green Road to a single town centre site at a cost of £330m.

The money will be split between the borough council and the county council to help pay for the project.

Vice chancellor Prof Nick Petford said it marked a "significant step forward".

The new campus will be built on the former Avon Nunn Mills site, alongside the River Nene, after the government approved a compulsory purchase order in May.

The money towards the building of the site will be made available over three years via the Public Works Loan Board, with £10m released this financial year, £26m in 2014-15 and £24m in 2015-16.

Should the projects fail to attract commercial funding, the government has agreed to step in to underwrite part or all of the capital spending.

The university, which has 14,500 students, says if plans are approved work could start in 2014, with the campus opening sometime between 2018 and 2020.

Jim Harker, leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: "This is excellent news for Northampton and the county as a whole.

"This is the sort of investment that we need in the town centre and essential as the economy continues to recover."

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