Funding bid to help save Worksop town centre

Coun Jo White, who is keen to win more funding for Worksop's town centre.
Coun Jo White, who is keen to win more funding for Worksop's town centre.

The latest step to reinvigorate Worksop town centre has been made by ambitious Bassetlaw District Council.

For a bid has been submitted to the government for a slice of its £675 million Future High Streets Fund.

Coun Jo White, cabinet member for economic development at the council, said: “I am excited by our bid.

“We have been asked to be dynamic and to think outside the box in order for it to be considered.

“I believe we have risen to this challenge, which is essential because we are seriously determined to improving the future of Worksop town centre.”

The Future High Streets Fund was created after a report by retailer Sir John Timpson calling for more money to be given to local councils so that they could rejuvenate their ailing towns.

Town centres across the country have suffered a sharp decline in the retail sector, predominantly brought about by changes in the habits of shoppers and a major shift towards online shopping.

Coun White added: “The priority of this council is to deliver growth and investment. We have identified proposals that will help to bring about lasting change and to address some of the challenges that Worksop is facing.

“Because shopping habits have changed, we are seeing empty shops and major retailers, such as Marks and Spencer, abandoning Worksop in favour of larger cities.

“We want to make sure Worksop does not get left behind. Should our bid be successful, we will strive to turn around Worksop’s fortunes and arrest a decline in the town centre.”

If the council wins funding, the money could be used to transform the area between Victoria Square and Newcastle Avenue.

This could include reviving public spaces, more leisure and tourism attractions and additional bars and restaurants to boost the town’s night-time economy.