Transformation of Worksop begins as councillors approve ambitious 'masterplan'
Ambitious plans to future-proof Worksop town centre for the next generation have been rubber-stamped by councillors, as work gets underway to transform the area into a ‘buzzing and lively’ community people want to live in and use for years to come.
The landmark Worksop Masterplan was submitted on the back off eight weeks of extensive consultation with residents, who gave their views on how Worksop can be ‘re-thought and re-worked’ as a destination for work, home and relaxation.
The proposals, which were given the green light at a full Bassetlaw Distrit Council meeting on March 4, look to 2030 and beyond- with improvements to homes, shopping, leisure, education and training facilities all lined up.
Councillor Jo White, cabinet member for Regeneration, said: “Worksop not only enjoys a rich history and heritage, it is also an ambitious town with a future full of potential.
"But Worksop Town Centre, like others across the UK, is facing up to considerable challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, ongoing changes in shopping patterns and how people choose to spend their leisure time.
“This ambitious, exciting masterplan has been created to provide us with the tools we need to ensure that over the next 20 years Worksop Town Centre is capable of positively meeting these challenges and but can develop and adapt to changing consumer demands, technological advances and climate change.”
The Masterplan is framed by these key concepts: ‘reviving a sense of community’, ‘life on the waterfront’, ‘active travel choices’, and ‘reconnecting people and history’.
The first draws on attracting and retaining visitors by enhancing the town’s green spaces, housing and transport connections- with the development of a new training facility at the former Bridge Court building already underway.
‘Life on the waterfront’ looks at how the presence of the River Ryton is both an asset and a threat to the town centre.
Through improved flood defences and waterside habiats it is hoped Worksop will enjoy new ‘water-themed spaces’ and ‘gateway features’, allowing the economy to grow.
Encouraging walking and cycling forms the undercurrent of ‘active travel choices’, with cycle lanes and bike hire points aiming to connect the suburbs, railway station, and leisure outlets along with onward routes to Clumber Park.
A multi-use and ‘family-friendly’ pedestrianised area has been earmarked towards the south of the town centre, with Old Market Square serving as ‘a key point’ of arrival for visitors by bus, foot or cycle.
‘Reconnecting people and history’ will take advantage of Worksop’s rich and multi-layered history, revealing the hidden heritage of the town centre.
The Masterplan seeks to make better use of the Castle as a historic location while also celebrating Worksop’s industrial and market town background.
Coun White added: “At its heart, the Worksop Masterplan is a comprehensive strategy for increasing the number of people who work, live, visit and enjoy the town centre.
"A new identity focussed around a rejuvenated community, will harness the potential within Worksop for innovative business growth, a distinctive commercial and leisure offer, new homes within vibrant neighbourhoods, the positive re-use of existing buildings, better walking, cycling and bus connectivity, and the introduction of extensive flood management and green infrastructure through its core.”
Further information on the Masterplan can be found on the Council’s website at: www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/worksopmasterplan