The two bodies spearheading development in north Northamptonshire look set to merge.
The Catalyst Corby urban regeneration company (URC) is holding talks about joining forces with the cash-strapped North Northamptonshire Together delivery vehicle, which was set up last year to bring forward growth in the area surrounding the former steel town. The two bodies will meet next week to discuss the merger.
Catalyst is funded by English Partnerships, like the other URCs. But North Northants Together’s meagre recent financial settlement from Whitehall has left the organisation in limbo. It is relying on secondments from the area’s local authorities, including its interim chief executive Martin Hammond, for staff.
The merger is likely to please Whitehall, where minister David Miliband has been looking at the proliferation of overlapping bodies in his “stock-take” of the ODPM. It could herald a greater streamlining of delivery bodies in the growth areas. But local Conservative MP Philip Hollobone, who was elected on an anti-development platform in the last election, said the merger could prove controversial, as relationships between Corby and its rural surroundings are strained.
“Residents will be very concerned about a perceived Corby takeover of development in this part of the county,” he said.
A Catalyst Corby spokesperson confirmed that the two organisations were having discussions.