Mansfield Business Improvement District (BID) has launched a new project to assess how historic buildings in the town centre could help attract funding.
The project is focusing on the Market Place and Bridge Street Conservation Areas, with a particular look at the Beales building (formerly the Co-op), Old Town Hall and the Town Mill.
The project will begin with an initial evaluation of the heritage assets within the two conservation areas and their potential for inclusion in future funding bids that could help to restore parts of the town centre and give a welcome boost to the economy.
Mansfield BID will be working closely with relevant officers and members of Mansfield District Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, managers of town centre venues and local business owners to develop the project.
It is also expected that there will be discussion with funding bodies to assess the potential for bids of up to £2m under a range of grant programmes.
This initial phase, which will be completed by the end of September, is being put together by the highly-experienced Denis Hill, a former heritage and tourism development officer who has expertise in similar projects.
Sarah Nelson, manager at Mansfield BID, said: “Mansfield has a lot of heritage which we may not be making the most of. For example, do people know that within just a few hundred yards of the Market Place there are at least 75 buildings that pre-date the Victorian period?
“We’re delighted that Denis is on board for this project and that we can utilise his skills, knowledge and sheer passion to help capitalise on our heritage assets.”
Denis said: “The aim is to ensure we have a register of what Mansfield has and what can be done; a draft plan for the future. The town centre really is a hidden gem, with a fine collection of historic buildings.”
This initiative has been funded through a £20,000 grant from the Economic Development Committee at Nottinghamshire County Council.
Diana Meale, the Mansfield County Councillor who chairs the committee, said: “This exciting project will help to protect and conserve heritage within Mansfield and it is likely it will also help bring more of these heritage assets into productive economic use.”
For more about the BID, visit www.mansfieldbid.com