The opening ceremony of the new ICLT and Leather Hub at Northampton Waterside Campus took place on 18 September 2019 by David Laing, Lord Lieutenant of Northamptonshire.
The new facility, which costs £5.5m, will allow the ICLT to bolster its worldwide reputation for delivering technical excellence in education, training and research. The 27,000 sq ft two-storey building includes a leather innovation lab (tannery), testing and research labs, teaching space and rooms for commercial organisations to rent, with the tenants having access to the wider facilities.
Rachel Garwood, Director of the ICLT, said: “The ICLT’s new home at Waterside is a fantastic asset for both students and staff – and also the industry as a whole. These new facilities enhance our teaching, training and research, all of which are crucial in supporting the global leather industry. Our reputation for being a leading global leather institute can now continue to grow, which is something Northampton should be proud of.”
University Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford, said: “Northampton has been home of UK leather manufacturing since the Middle Ages and leather technology has been taught at the University, and its predecessor, Nene College, since 1978. We are now delighted to be able to build on this legacy as the ICLT continues its important global role in improving sustainability and environmental practice across the leather supply chain through research and innovation, as well as training the next generation of leather workers to the highest possible standards.”
The ICLT is a globally unique centre embracing the technical, scientific and creative elements of the leather value chain.
Beyond the core areas of Leather Technology, the Institute’s activities are linked to areas such as Fashion, Product Design, Podiatry, Environmental Science, History, Business and Marketing.
This disciplinary mix equips the Institute to work with industry from early concept innovations through to the whole design and production supply chain, from raw materials to end of life, recycling and reuse.