1. ITV Report

Fears over future of Northants high street after opening of shopping centre

Rushden Lakes in Northants Credit: ITV News Anglia

Businesses in Northampton are concerned that the high street is suffering after the opening of a new shopping centre at Rushden Lakes.

The multi-million pound development opened for business in July 2017. Just last month Marks and Spencer announced plans to close their stores in Kettering and Northampton.

According to the British Retail Consortium in April nearly 1 in 10 shops in town centres across the country was vacant.

A branch of M&S in Northampton is earmarked for closure Credit: ITV News Anglia

I think with Northampton there's been a lack of investment over the years, which has stopped bigger companies opening or being able to sustain their business in the town centre, so naturally they close and people decide to shop elsewhere.

– Matthew Harrison, Business owner

Rushden Lakes is a shopping, dining and leisure experience like no other. With our stunning lakes and nature reserve, and leisure activities including canoeing, bird watching and nature walks, Rushden Lakes offers something deliberately different. This has attracted a great line-up of retailers, many of which have come to Northamptonshire for the first time, and we are really proud of our diverse mix of independent, premium and big name retailers. We believe the offer at Rushden Lakes complements other local towns and centres, and gives more reasons for people to visit Northamptonshire.

– Spokesperson, Rushden Lakes