Plan for leisure facility including bowling alley to be included in new £20million bid to regenerate Worksop town centre

Plans for a leisure facility including a bowling alley and canalside homes will form part of a bid for £20million to help regenerate Worksop town centre.

Wednesday, 18th May 2022, 12:21 pm

Bassetlaw District Council is preparing to submitted a bid to the Levelling Up Fund’s second round after missing out on the first round of funding last year.

If successful, the £20million would be used in the next three years on external works of empty units in the Priory Shopping Centre some of which would then be turned into a leisure facility, including a bowling alley, by a private provider.

The council is also looking to work with businesses to bring restaurants and bars to the area.

An image showing the area in Worksop town centre where the plan focuses on.

The money would also be used to create a footbridge over the Chesterfield Canal to Dock Road, a new footpath and towpath along the waterway and a public square on Bridge Place.

It would also go towards designing and gaining planning permission for new housing along the canal and the upgrading of neighbouring empty buildings.

Councillor Jo White, cabinet member for regeneration at Bassetlaw District Council, said the £20m would deliver the short-term vision, which she believes will then act as a catalyst for change in the town centre and unlock funding and investment to deliver projects and development.

Long-term 15 to 20 year plans include opening up the canal basin and creating a mooring area for boats outside the Priory Shopping Centre and developing a mix of offices, retail and housing.

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The bid has been put together after consultation with the public and businesses by a board with an independent chair that includes Bassetlaw District Council leader Simon Greaves, Bassetlaw MP Brendan Clarke-Smith and representatives from BCVS, The Canal and River Trust, Nottinghamshire County Council, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, North Notts College, Stagecoach and the Environment Agency.

Board chair and chief executive of BCVS, Andria Birch said: “It has been positive to see diverse voices of local communities and the voluntary and community sector considered fully and informing the proposals that are being developed.

"I look forward to the next steps and seeing a strong bid prepared and submitted as a result."

Councillor Greaves said the funding is key to the future of the town centre, both now and in the longer term.

"At the moment the town centre faces an unprecedented challenge, it really is now or never,” he said.

"Working with the partners on the Levelling Up board and with the support of our MP in Parliament we have a real opportunity to deliver on residents and business priorities. Levelling Up funding can begin the transformation we need and act as a catalyst for further investment.”

The council has launched a consultation to get feedback on the bid.

The bid will be submitted to the Government in July and a decision expected later this year.

Mr Clarke-Smith said: “It is important that the local community has an opportunity to shape the regeneration proposals for the area so I would encourage everyone with an interest in Worksop's future to let us know their views about the proposals so far."

Business drop-in sessions are at Café Neo on Thursday May 19, 7.30am to 10am and Melt Away on Thursday May 26 from 7.30am to 10am. A drop-in sessions is also at The Bridge on Tuesday May 31 from 9.30am to 4pm.

There will be an information stall at Worksop Market on Wednesday May 25 from 10am to 2pm; Friday May 27 10am to 2pm; Saturday May 28 from 10am to 2pm and Wednesday June 1 from 10am to 2pm.

People can also visit https://www.bassetlaw.gov.uk/levellingup to give their support and feedback.

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