Mansfield residents feel town centre is 'not the same as it was'

With town centre visitor numbers failing to return to pre-pandemic levels for the first quarter of 2022, residents feel improvements to Mansfield’s Market Place could increase footfall levels.

By Phoebe Cox
Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 8:43 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th July 2022, 8:43 am

The ‘need for variety on the market’ was a popular suggestion when residents were asked how to increase footfall in the town centre.

Nikkie O’Connor, of Mansfield, said: “The town centre needs more for young people.

“Empty buildings could provide more services and support for young people.

Neil and Michele Anthoney were all smiles on their flower stall.

“Or even an indoor market – the old Beales building could make a great indoor market for the winter months.”

One resident felt more could be done to regenerate empty buildings, instead of building new sites on fields. She suggested that the old Frankie & Benny’s restaurant on Portland Retail Park, would have been a prime location for a catering business or drive thru.

Alan Belcher, from Sutton, who was shopping with his wife, said: “Mansfield once had a thriving market, but it is not the same as it was.

“The council needs to look at Retford and Chesterfield, or any other successful market town and bring a market like that.

Dean Rozzoni has been on his stall for 34 years.

“The trouble is shops are out of town and nobody wants to come into the town centre anymore.

“You can’t get your weekly shop in one place like you once could here.”

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Donna Musgrove, of Donna’s baby stall on Mansfield Market, said: “We could do with the market being on West Gate, to attract greater footfall.

Donna Musgrove runs a baby stall and feels that bringing big brands to the town centre may be one way to increase footfall.

”We need bigger brands back in the town centre too.

”We did well when Debenhams and Beales were around. We need to be working together.”

Visitor Marion Holmes said: “I used to come to Mansfield for Beales and the bigger stores.

“I now only visit the town centre when it is on my way.”

A bid to transform the derelict former Beales department store into a new town centre home for Mansfield Council is expected to be submitted to the Government within weeks.