Mansfield town centre: things are looking up

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The announcement in last week’s Chad that a new Pandora store was opening in Mansfield resulted in my wife and I visiting the Four Seasons Centre early on Saturday afternoon. What a fabulous store, beautifully and stylishly fitted out, a real credit to Mansfield.

The staff were coping admirably with the crowds of people buying Pandora products. Pandora is of course a major brand retailer and for them to have chosen Mansfield to open a store speaks volumes for their optimism in the future of our town.

Walking through the Four Seasons Centre we were also struck by the improvements in many shop fronts and the general feel of the Centre. Congratulations to all those involved in what we perceived to be an uplift in retail shopping in Mansfield. Hopefully Pandora’s investment and that of their franchisee, will quieten the doomsayers of our town centre.

Driving around Mansfield on Sunday morning we also noticed that we are about to have a Frankie & Benny Restaurant on the corner of the Portland Retail Park and then we drove past a new carpet store that is due to open soon in the old Allied Carpets unit on the corner of Ratcliffe Gate and Great Central Road. And then catching up on reading the Chad from 30/10 I saw that Poundstretcher are opening another store on the Portland Retail Park with 20 more jobs. Further signs of investment in the retail sector here in our town.

Things really do seem to be picking up. Signs of retail activity certainly support the general view that the economy is improving.

We might even have had a new hotel and other retail units on the land adjacent to the football ground and Portland Retail Park if the Labour controlled Planning Committee at MDC had not decided to vote down the recent planning application for that development. Quite how anyone thinks that Mansfield is going to get a hotel right in the town centre is beyond me. A good quality 3 star hotel such as a Premier Inn or Holiday Inn Express would be an asset to Mansfield and those chains all need plenty of on-site car parking and adjacent restaurant facilities.

Still we can but hope for that decision to be overturned on appeal in due course.

Stewart Rickersey