Almost 200 people aired their views, with ideas ranging from everything from building an ice rink to a new Debenhams, Matalan, HM and Argos, to internet cafes, more restaurants, clothes and designer shops, to children’s entertainments and even a ballroom, vape outlets and bookies.
One reader who called for more retail outlets was “Vicki Winterburn, who said: “We need shops, I’m tired of buying online. I want to go and actually see what I’m buying.”
A market to rejuvenate the town centre was top of the list for Kate Allsop. “Get a proper market with everything you need like we once had, bring life back to shops and the dead town,” she said.
Making a humorous point Richard Robbo Robinson, suggested: “Nail bars, vape shops, bookies, pound shops and mobile phone shops – because you can never find one walking round the town.”
Nicola Roebuck called for “Free market places, as the market is empty anyway. A children’s big play area pay per session, split into age zones, soft play, arcade machines, dance machines like at Skeggy. A teenager chill zone with climbing walls, indoor zip lines, cafe, and vending machines.”
Cheryl Martins wanted: “A few more decent clothes shops, a baby/toddler clothing and accessory shop. Internet cafe because access to Mansfield Library computers is limited. If we can't get a decent outdoor market then something indoors would be nice, a family photography studio where people can have affordable family and group photos professionally taken, and get Argos back into the town centre because getting into Sainsbury's is a nightmare both on foot and by car.
"The old Coop could house a lot of different things, why give up a perfectly good council building to move into the town centre with very poor parking. And what happens to the benefits office again, I expect that will move at yet more cost?”
Alison Crofts had food and fashion in mind when she posted: “More shops in town, clothes shops, a nice cheese/pate deli shop, Lush shop, White Rooms and Joules shop.”
Steven Pearson said an “ice ring wouldn't be a bad idea, more of an activity centre for young to old.”
Ched Birdsell added: “I'd like a roxy ballroom, some new decent bars and more buskers and street performers. The days of conventional shops has gone. We can get exactly what we want to our doors without leaving your house.”
Jay Tait said: “The civic centre move screams disaster, the building is horrendous, the area has so much more potential.”
Thomas William Stone suggested: “Turn Beales into an extension of Four Seasons, and put decent shops in it to cater for everyone's wants and needs. Throw a half decent restaurant or two at the top, like a food court.”
Carol Helmkay added: “Should have been turned into an indoor shopping centre with cheaper rents so that it encourages trade to Mansfield.”
Mansfield District Council was contacted for comment.