MARR has brought the area big business bucks

THE MARR road has brought more than £480m investment and 2,510 jobs to Mansfield and Ashfield since it opened, it has been revealed.

Regeneration body the Sherwood Growth Zone Partnership says the road has attracted major new developments to the area, including 350m on the King's Mill Hospital development and 96m for building a new state-of-the-art base for West Notts College.

Said Tom Rawsterne, co-ordinator of the Sherwood Growth Zone Partnership: "Population growth in this area is the second slowest in the East Midlands. Growth can only be achieved by increasing the number and quality of houses and jobs to attract people in.

"Opening up development sites for new businesses and homes along the MARR is the area's only realistic hope for long-term economic recovery.

"Contrary to popular belief, the MARR was not designed as a way of traffic bypassing the town centre but rather to bring business and prosperity back in to the Mansfield and Ashfield communities. That is exactly what it's achieving and much sooner than expected.

"It was our ambition that MARR would bring 10,000 jobs to this area. Just four years in and we are more than one-quarter of the way there."

There are many new developments planned along the MARR road — which opened in December 2004 — which regeneration chiefs say will benefit job prospects in Mansfield, Ashfield and Rainworth.

Around 700 jobs have been created in redeveloping King's Mill Hospital and when the new facility opens, another 540 permanent hospital staff will be needed.

And further projects include a multi-million-pound business park with offices and distribution units, next to Mansfield's Oakham Business Park, by company Pro Logis — which is expected to bring in around 1,870 jobs