Northampton Power Station

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Northampton Power Station
Northampton Power Station 20100216.jpg
Northampton Power Station
Derelict turbine hall on 16 February 2010
Northampton Power Station is located in Northamptonshire
Northampton Power Station
Location of Northampton Power Station
Country England
Location Northamptonshire, East Midlands
Coordinates 52°13′52″N 0°53′09″W / 52.23116°N 0.88577°W / 52.23116; -0.88577Coordinates: 52°13′52″N 0°53′09″W / 52.23116°N 0.88577°W / 52.23116; -0.88577
Commission date 1920s
Decommission date 1975
Operator(s) The Northampton Electric Light and Power Company
Thermal power station
Primary fuel Coal-fired
grid reference SP761598

Northampton Power Station (also known as Nunn Mills Power Station) was an electricity generating station in Northampton, Northamptonshire, England, which began operation for the Northampton Electric Light and Power Company (NELPC) in the 1920s and generated power until closure in 1975.


The plant was located on the south bank of the River Nene just south-east of the town centre. It was also known as Nunn Mills Power Station being the name of a mill located on that part of the river, though none of the mill seems to remain.[1] Two large concrete cooling towers east of the main turbine halls were demolished shortly after closure. However, the derelict and graffiti[2][3] covered main buildings were still standing 37 years later in 2012. A large storage area for coal was located east of the generating plant and delivered by rail using a branch of the Northampton to Bedford railway line.


In 1926 the station was supplying electricity to the railway works at Wolverton, now part of Milton Keynes.[4]

The Electricity Act 1947 nationalised the electricity industry and set up the British Electricity Authority, which became the Central Electricity Authority (CEA) in 1955, controlled by the Minister of Fuel and Power. The Authority took over the NELPC and promoted efficient generation, transmission and distribution and cheaper prices in rural areas. It also standardised the system and electrical fittings and had 11 divisions and 12 area boards power station. NELPC became part of the East Midlands Electricity Board (EMEB). The CEA was in turn dissolved by the Electricity Act 1957 and replaced by the Central Electricity Generating Board (CEGB) and the Electricity Council.


The site was designated for redevelopment as housing[5] for several years but remained an eyesore next to the modern Avon Cosmetics offices.[1] In May 2012, the University of Northampton announced plans to establish a new riverside campus in Northampton town centre on the power station site.[6] The site would be within the Northampton Waterside Enterprise Zone (known simply as Northampton Waterside)[7] and is subject to planning approval. If approved, construction could be completed by 2020 and the existing campuses would be gradually closed.

On 18 December 2013, Northampton Borough Council granted outline planning permission for the £330m development of the town centre campus. An application for full planning permission was lodged in 2014 by the university, which has 14,500 students. The university's Vice-Chancellor Prof Nick Petford hopes the campus would open in 2018.

See also[edit]