WORK on an exciting £1m development which promises to revitalise Worksop’s industrial heritage and create at least 45 jobs for the town is under way.
Ambitious plans will see historic buildings like the old fire station, carriage house and printing shop off Canal Road turned into office units.
The first phase of restoration work, which will create 18 units, is set to be completed by October, almost two years after the plans were first unveiled.
Bassetlaw Council is hopeful the village will attract creative businesses such as craft workshops, graphic and fashion design, animation and video production studios.
Cabinet member and portfolio holder for community prosperity David Pressley said there is a high demand for the office space.
“We have already spoken to a number of people who are interested in moving in to one of the units,” he said.
“It’s a worthwhile project which will not only protect the area’s important history but bring it into the modern age.”
“We are hoping it will attract people from over the Canch into this part of the town. We want to make it a nice area to visit.”
The council intends to restore an old footbridge at one end of the site to allow people to walk from the Canch to the new village.
“We are very excited about the project,” Coun Pressley added. The first phase of development has been helped by a £641,800 grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
The council has contributed around £350,000 and is in the process of securing a further pot of funding from the ERDF for the second phase, with work scheduled to start in the summer 2013.
Economic development manager Robert Wilkinson said he was hopeful the village will be in fully working order by January 2014.
“We did a study a couple of years ago which said there was a demand for at least 50 units,” he said. “We are confident it will be a fully occupied site and we are confident about the success of the project.”
“It will not be a money maker but it will wipe its feet. It will not cost us. We will make a little bit and hope to bring in £30,000 a year.”
“The second phase of the project will be less creative industries and more general use. We are hopeful of attracting a cafe and having a food court.”
He added: “There will be an element of disruption while the second phase is being completed. But the long term benefits far outweigh the short term issues.”