Northamptonshire shopping village set to double in size with a new plant centre and more retail space by next year
A Northamptonshire shopping village with a Victorian courtyard is set to double in size with a new plant centre and more retail space by next year.
The ‘destination’ with a ‘quintessential British farm feel’ is home to many ‘unique’ family-run independent businesses.
Plans are progressing for the Heart of the Shires Shopping Village to build three new buildings for a new plant centre, extra retail space, and 46 additional parking spaces by Autumn 2024.
Jackie Hunt, The Heart of the Shires shopping village business partner and Whilton Locks Garden Village co-owner, said: “We are all family-run independent businesses. Our customers are the most important people. You get boutique-style shopping with fantastic service.”
The construction at the shopping centre on the A5 near Norton started eight weeks ago.
West Northamptonshire Council's Daventry area planning committee approved the Heart of the Shires' expansion plans in a meeting back on November 3, 2021.
“Because planning took a long time, we started building somewhere else and then we’ve come back to Heart of the Shires,” said Jackie.
The project is set to take more than a year and improve the shopping centre in two ‘phases’.
The team is hoping to have the plant barn and new toilet facilities up and running by March 2024 and the additional retail space operational by September 2024.
“What we’re trying to do is replicate the old farm buildings and the old feel of Heart of the Shires. We don’t want to lose the quintessential British farm feel,” said Jackie.
The plant barn is set to resemble a genuine barn while the U-shaped courtyard will be built like a stable.
“The businesses that want to be at Heart of the Shires are quite unique and they wouldn’t fit well in any town centre. They are based on independence.
“The customers that want to come to Heart of the Shires want the experience. They want to visit the farm-feel eatery. They usually come around for half a day. We are a destination really,” said Jackie.
Businesses can rent a shop unit at Heart of the Shires by contacting [email protected].