Yesterday, we submitted the detailed proposals for the first of two £25m pots of cash to regenerate our area. Last year we made it to the final round of bidding for this Future High Streets Fund (FHSF), and I also secured an additional £25m Town Deal that is aimed at improving the economy of the whole District. It's a big opportunity for Mansfield.
Whilst unfortunately I don't get to make the final decisions about what we bid for in the FHSF - my decision making power is at a national level rather than local - I have tried to offer as much insight in to Government's expectations as well as ideas to ensure that we are given the full £25m. I was also able to show the draft to Ministers this week for early feedback, which has lead to improvements that will give us more confidence in securing the full funding.
The proposal aims:
- to introduce new living space, including big regeneration plans the town centre, which will also help to deal with some of the antisocial behaviour in the town centre.- to support the new partnership between the college and Nottingham Trent University, which is delivering degree level courses including nursing in Mansfield from September, by introducing new student accommodation.
- to improve the Market Place and make it in to an area that is more attractive to spend time in, including encouraging different kinds of businesses there like cafes and restaurants.- improve access links for pedestrians and vehicles to be able to get to the town centre more easily.
- to re-purpose vacant properties and bring them back in to use.
This is just the first part of a bigger regeneration plan. I hope that the next phase - the £25m Town Deal - will include a new Leisure Centre for Warsop to replace Meden Sports Centre, improved public transport links and an opportunity to purchase key local assets in order to make improvements. I'm making the case to local decision makers to get things done.
The £50m investment from Government is a once in a generation chance to make changes and improvements, and to reinvigorate our area.