Former Mansfield department store Beales set to become new civic hub

Mansfield's former Beales department store is set to be transformed into a new civic hub as part of the Mansfield Council’s town centre regeneration plans.

By Shelley Marriott
Friday, 7th January 2022, 9:16 am

The scheme, Mansfield Connect, is set to be the new headquarters for the council, as well as housing a variety of other public, educational, enterprise and health and wellbeing services, alongside spaces for private sector occupiers such as food and drink outlets.

The council has taken the initiative and purchased the premises to enhance the bid to the Government's Levelling Up Fund to help re-invigorate the town centre.

Mansfield Connect will form a central part of the bid and would see the council relocating from the Civic Centre, with that site made available for redevelopment.

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Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams outside the former Beales store in Mansfield

To date, the Department for Work and Pensions, Nottinghamshire Council, West Nottinghamshire College, Nottingham Trent University, NHS health partners, and volunteering co-ordinator the CVS have all expressed interest in being involved in the hub.

The council said, as well as improving the delivery of public services by providing a range of agencies accessible under one roof, it is envisaged the new hub would generate extra footfall in the town centre.

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Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, said: “We believe repurposing this redundant retail space in Mansfield town centre fulfils all the ambitions of the Levelling Up Fund and by purchasing the building now, we believe this will strengthen the council's bid.

“Consolidating public services in one town centre space makes so much sense, for both the delivery of those services to our community, and the wider economic benefits for the town centre. We are doing everything within our power to satisfy the requirements of the LUF bid criteria so we can move forward at pace when we are, hopefully, successful.

“Mansfield really needs this kind of ambitious re-imagining of its shopping streets to a mixed-use town centre if it is to build a bright future and encourage inward investment.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform our town's fortunes and prospects for the better.”

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