Council awarded over £6 million to transform Sutton town centre

The council has been awarded over £6 million to bring new life to Sutton town centre - with plans to transform Sutton Community Academy Theatre with a cinema and bar.

Monday, 28th December 2020, 9:21 am

Ashfield District Council also hopes to build a new a new entrance building - with new facilities making it a ‘public facing theatre’ with live music.

Other plans include a new business hub and ‘maker space’, converting vacant units on Low Street into high-quality apartments and a new community building on Market Square with apartments.

The council has been left with ‘tough decisions’ to make after receiving £3 million less than their original bid for £9.2 million to the Government’s Future High Streets Fund.

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Councillors Samantha Deakin, Matt Relf and Jason Zadrozny in Sutton Town Centre in Summer 2020 after posting the bid
Councillors Samantha Deakin, Matt Relf and Jason Zadrozny in Sutton Town Centre in Summer 2020 after posting the bid

However Matthew Relf, the council’s member responsible for regeneration, said: “This funding will help deliver a transformed town centre after generations of neglect and underfunding.

“I’m so proud that Ashfield District Council went on the front foot with our bid for this much needed money - while other councils dithered Ashfield got on with the job.

“It has been by working together that we have got the funding that will make a significant contribution to delivering a town centre that residents deserve.”

Ashfield District Council leader Jason Zadrozny said the money would ‘significantly improve’ the night time economy and boost the town as it recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

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He said: “When the Government announced the £675 million Future High Streets funding process in their budget of 2018 – I put our officers on red alert.

“This has been well over two years in the making and the partial success of the bid is down to the incredible hard work of officers and councillors on Ashfield District Council.

“This news is a vote of confidence for the work we do – day in, day out.”

Plans for the money include:

*Sutton Academy Community Theatre/Cinema

Transforming the existing Sutton Community Academy theatre with a new entrance building featuring a bar and cafe and new theatre facilities so that in the evenings and weekends the theatre can become a public facing theatre, cinema and live music venue

*Sutton Innovation Centre and Maker Space

Creating a new business hub and maker space. The maker space is for anyone who lacks the funds or space for tools at home to access woodworking, metalworking, sewing machines, 3D printers, laser cutters, etc, - in exchange for a small membership fee. This could just be for hobbies, a sense of community, learning a new skill or starting and building a business

*Low Street vacant units

The purchase and refurbishment of vacant rundown units on Low Street to give them a new purpose on the ground floor and convert upper floors as high quality apartments

*Fox Street popup food court and car park

Converting the vacant plot behind Lloyds Bank into a new car park offering welcoming connectivity between ASDA into Portland Square to attract more people into the town centre. It will also be used as a venue for popup food stall events

*Market Place new build

A new building on the Market Square that will provide space for community uses and high quality residential apartments

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.