Council to splash out £22,000 on digital town centre board

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Around £22,000 is being put aside by councillors to place a digital information board in Mansfield town centre, with one councillor describing it as ‘imperative’.

The freestanding board, which is being earmarked for West Gate is part of the council’s long-term plans to improve the market.

The state-of-the-art sign is being proposed so market traders can advertise their products on the screen, as well as publicising events and other useful information.

Operated remotely by council workers, the suggested location is between Greggs and Marks & Spencer.

Councillor Stewart Rickersey, portfolio holder for corporate issues, said: “We have examples of projects in other cities in the UK which attract enough income to pay for themselves in less than one year.

“The screens will be funded by a designated capital pot of money derived from the mayor’s economic stimulus fund to make improvements to the public realm in West Gate.

“Projects like this are imperative to revitalising our town centre.

“I hope to bring more changes in the next financial year too.”

Although a supplier has yet to be appointed, the application is based on a specification that meets the council’s requirements for weather and vandalism-proof materials.

This includes a six-millimetre-thick tempered glass cover.

The overall cost includes a three-year maintenance agreement, and during this time the council will look to sell advertising space on the screen which could see the project paying for itself.

The board could stand about six-feet high with the screen accounting for half of the machine.

The digital board is the latest move by Mansfield District Council in its overhaul of the town centre, but has been questioned by some.

Councillor Sonya Ward said: “I’d be interested to know if they’ve done any consultation with shoppers and traders on this though.

“Stewart Rickersey says it’s paid for itself quickly in cities which doesn’t mean it will in Mansfield.

“My main concern is what evidence base supports this, and whether consultation has taken place with shoppers, the shops and market traders.”