Category: News from our Area

Councils Work in Partnership to Adopt Neighbourhood Plan for Neighbouring Parishes

East Northamptonshire and Rutland Councils worked with the parishes of Wakerley and Barrowden to successfully adopt the Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan.


The successful adoption of the Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan, (covering 2016 – 36) celebrates partnership working between neighbouring parishes and local planning authorities.


In December 2014, Barrowden Parish Council and Wakerley Parish Meeting jointly contacted Rutland County Council and East Northamptonshire Council, with a view to preparing a joint Neighbourhood Plan for the two parishes.


On 17 October 2019 the Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan 2016-2036 was passed at referendum.  The Plan was formally “made” on 9 December, once East Northamptonshire Council had passed the resolution, for the Parish of Wakerley; and following the referendum under delegated powers by Rutland County Council, for the Parish of Barrowden.


Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Steven North, said: “We worked with Rutland County Council to successfully adopt the joint neighbourhood plan for two adjacent parishes.


“Although initially this raised concerns about whether it would be possible to prepare a single Neighbourhood Plan that covers two local authority areas, we worked collaboratively to adhere to the relevant legislation and we’re pleased that both councils have adopted the plan.


“The plan will benefit both parishes and we look forward to continuing to work with Barrowden, Wakerley and Rutland councils.”


Councillor Oliver Hemsley, Leader of Rutland County Council, said: “Barrowden and Wakerley are only separated by a short distance. However, the communities being located in different local authority areas creates an added level of complexity when preparing a joint Neighbourhood Plan.


“The most important consideration throughout this process has been needs of the local residents on both sides of the boarder, for whom a single Neighbourhood Plan makes sense. I’m therefore pleased that Rutland County Council, East Northamptonshire Council, Barrowden Parish Council and Wakerley Parish Meeting have been able to work so effectively together, and that the final Plan was met with overwhelming approval by both communities.”


The Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan is one of very few Neighbourhood Plans that cover more than one local authority area and must have regard to two sets of strategic Local Plan policies; those of the 2011 Rutland Core Strategy and 2016 North Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy.


Despite these challenges, the Neighbourhood Plan was submitted for examination in November 2018, which was successfully passed on 17 October 2019; with 88% in favour, on a 39% turnout.


Further information about the Barrowden and Wakerley Neighbourhood Plan, or Neighbourhood Planning in general, is available through the following links:

Northamptonshire Traditional English Country Pub Scoops Top Food and Drink Award

A family-run pub known for its outdoor dining and welcoming atmosphere has won a major award, recognising its excellent service and high-quality menu.

 The Brampton Halt, located in Chapel Brampton, has scooped the Food and Drink prize at the prestigious Northamptonshire Business Awards (NBA).

The glittering ceremony was hosted by comedian Stephen K. Amos and took place on Thursday, November 7, at Northampton’s County Ground.

 The pub, part of the McManus Pub Company, was purchased in 2003. It fast became popular for its outdoor space and beautiful views, which prompted the McManus family to inject more than £1m into restoring and renovating the venue.the brampton halt

It has been run by husband and wife team Tim and Donna Leah for more than 15 years.

 Landlord Tim said: “We’re hugely honoured to have picked up the Food and Drink Award at the NBAs this year. But running a public house is truly a team effort and we would not have been winners without every single person who works here, either front of house or out the back.

“Over the years we’ve really grown the business into a place that caters for all ages. In the day we’re a family-run pub that welcomes kids of all ages. In the evenings we get lots of young people visiting, keen to meet their mates and have a few pints, as well as older people who might seek a quiet corner and a read of the paper.

“We’ve also become a popular venue for weddings and parties after we had our outdoor kitchen fitted. Our newly renovated patio has opened the space up, so we can cater for even more people who wish to visit us over the course of the summer. If you haven’t been to visit us before, then you’re missing out!”

More than 50 people are employed at the Brampton Halt and many of them have been extensively trained to ensure customer service goes above and beyond.

Gary McManus, who has been at the helm of the family business since 1989, added: “The Brampton Halt represents the epitome of traditional English country pubs. We have a passion for excellence, coupled with constant investment. We pride ourselves in serving quality, locally-sourced food and beverages, combined with first-class service.

“We’ve worked hard to ensure in the winter months, the Halt is the go-to public house to visit because of its cosy interior, which we’ve recently renovated. In the summer, we throw open the windows and crank up the BBQ as thousands flock to us, happy to take advantage of the country views, the beautiful lake and the huge outdoor patio space we’ve created.

“This award is hugely deserved for the Brampton Halt team and we will continue to ensure it remains one of the most popular pubs in the county during all seasons.”

The NBAs are an annual awards programme which recognises exceptional businesses and business people across the county. All the winners are determined by an independent judging panel and they are scored against set criteria and marked through a bespoke software-based scoring system. On the night a total of 12 trophies were handed out.

Steeped in history, the Brampton Halt is located on the Brampton Way, the old railway line which ran through Northampton. The building is the former old stationmaster’s house and provides the perfect setting for fabulous BBQs, fireworks and family events.

The McManus Pub Company owns an estate of traditional pubs, country inns, sport bars and gastro pub restaurants in Northampton, Middlesex and Leigh-on-Sea.

New Deputy Managing Director appointed to Oxford Innovation

A leading light in the economic development of the Thames Valley has been confirmed as the Deputy Managing Director of the UK’s foremost innovation centre operator.

oxford innovation

Tim Smith MBE has joined Oxford Innovation in a new key role focussed on the day-to-day running of the company. Previously the Chief Executive Officer of the Thames Valley Berkshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Tim brings immediate knowledge and experience of the critical part that innovative start-up companies play in economic growth.


Between April 2015 and March 2019, he led the implementation of a strategy that created or safe-guarded nearly 4,500 jobs, assisted 1,500 businesses and helped to train and upskill over 3,700 workers.

Tim Smith, Deputy Managing Director of Oxford Innovation

Tim Smith, Deputy Managing Director of Oxford Innovation

Tim will support Oxford Innovation Managing Director, Jo Stevens, who is leading the organisation’s ambitious growth plans, which include the management of more than 40 innovation centres across the UK and Ireland.


Jo said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Tim, who has spent many years leading on programmes of economic development for the Thames Valley and beyond.


“Our clients are wrestling with many of the issues that have been at the forefront of Tim’s in-tray, notably how to ensure that the presence of great universities translate into local jobs and economic growth as well as how to develop and support the ‘harder-to-help’ towns of a region.


“Oxford Innovation’s work is about making places work better, through the delivery of successful and sustainable innovation centres, particularly for small business, entrepreneurs and for the innovation economy; we and our clients will greatly value his experience and leadership.”


Established in 1987, Oxford Innovation has grown to become the country’s largest provider of innovation centres; flexible workspace and support for innovative, early stage business.


So far this year, three new innovation centres have been launched; two in Oxford and one Essex, with additional centres in Newcastle, High Wycombe and Aylesbury to be launched in the next three months. Future plans include a centre in Haverhill, Suffolk and a first centre in the Republic of Ireland.


Tim Smith said: “I have been involved with the SQW Group for several years and have long respected the integrity, professionalism and expertise of Oxford Innovation and its sister companies.


“I am delighted to have joined the company and look forward to helping it realise its growth ambitions and supporting even more innovators in the future.”


To find out more about any of the services Oxford Innovation provide visit:

oxin-centres.co.uk or call 01865 261480.


Grub Club Leicestershire-Northants to launch at Warner’s Distillery

Grub Club Events is launching a new group – Grub Club Northants-Leicestershire. The new group will hold its first event on Tuesday 3 December, at the multi-award-winning Warner’s distillery in Harrington, Northants.

Falls Farm Botanical Garden

Falls Farm Botanical Garden

The new group is an expansion of the existing Grub Club Cambridge – a business networking group for foodies, and movers and shakers in the food industry. Its first Leicestershire-Northants event will include a delicious dinner and the chance to network with others in the food industry.


Grub Club was founded by Vhari Russell and Cat New of The Food Marketing Expert. Vhari said: “This is our first event in this area, and we can’t wait to connect more food and drink businesses, as great things happen over great food and drink.”

Cat New and Vhari Russell

Cat New and Vhari Russell

As well as dinner, the event will include a tour of the distillery, allowing visitors to sample some of the innovative gins that have made Warner’s one of the most successful of the country’s many up-and-coming gin distillers. Warner’s was founded on the family farm in 2012, since when it has forged a reputation for creating novel and great-tasting gins as part of its mission of “Saving the world from mediocre gin”.


Tickets for the event are available from Eventbrite [LINK: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/distillery-tour-and-networking-tickets-79972829887] or visit grubclubcambridge.co.uk for more information.