Kimberley bids for £16 million of levelling-up cash to transform town centre
Kimberley town centre could be transformed thanks to “the biggest investment it has had in years”, a council has revealed.
A bid for funding totalling £16 million has been submitted to the government as part of its much-trumpeted levelling-up policy.
And if successful, it is likely to boost small businesses, community activities, sport, travel, tourism, the environment and also the town’s infrastructure and rich heritage.
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Coun Milan Radulovic, Labour leader of the borough council, beamed: “Kimberley has so much potential, especially with ts proximity to the M1 and its existing infrastructure.
"I believe we have a very strong case for this substantial funding for the town.
"If the bid is successful, Kimberley will benefit from the biggest investment experienced in years.
"Together with the levelling-up bid we are also submitting for Eastwood, this would boost the borough for generations to come.”
Kimberley's proposals will now be reviewed by the government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, with a decision expected in the autumn.
However, they have already won the backing of Darren Henry, Broxtowe’s Conservative MP.
He said: “I am excited about the projects that have been proposed and the prospect of much-needed investment into the town.
"From the moment the government announced the levelling-up scheme, I was clear there should be a bid cented on Kimberley.”
At the heart of the bid is a plan to replace the parish hall on Newdigate Street with a new business and community hub. This would provide space for start-ups and small businesses, as well as community activities and events.
Grants would be made available to businesses, while job creation and economic growth would also be driven by the creation of 20 new industrial units.
These units would be built on the current football ground at Digby Street. But a new sports facility would be developed in its place at Swingate Farm, complete with football and cricket pitches.
To increase the number of visitors to the town, equipment would be bought to create light displays and virtual reality attractions, similar to those seen on Valentine’s Day last year.
And arguably the area’s biggest tourism attraction, Bennerley Viaduct, would benefit from a new travel route to link it with Kimberley, as well as Eastwood, Giltbrook and the Phoenix Park tram stop.
A spokesperson for the council explained: “This new route would allow more people to cycle and walk, both to commute to work and also for leisure purposes.
"It would encourage healthier lifestyle choices, attract more visitors to the area and reduce carbon emissions too.”
This project would also fund the construction of an “accessible eastern ramp” at the viaduct which is, of course, a grade II listed structure of great historical and cultural significance.
The council is already investing in play areas at Millfield Road and Knowle Park and making improvements to The Stag Recreation Ground on Nottingham Road and to the Hall Om Wong park on Eastwood Road.