Mansfield district in highest category for ‘levelling-up’ needs

Council documents have revealed Mansfield has been placed in the highest category for its need of ‘Levelling Up’ by Whitehall.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 4:00 pm

The Government has ranked areas across the country from one to three, with category one areas representing those with the highest levels of ‘identified need’.

In determining the categories, the Government looks at areas with the most need for economic recovery and growth, improved transport and connectivity and regeneration.

Mansfield has been placed into the first category, with documents stating these areas will be given preference in future Levelling Up bids.

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Mansfield Council's Civic Centre headquarters.

This qualifies Mansfield for up to £125,000 from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities to put together a bid for the Levelling Up Fund.

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Newly published documents show Mansfield Council will use the funding to plan its new civic town centre hub proposals.

Mansfield Council is considering moving some of its services to the empty Beales store in Mansfield town centre.

Under the plans, revealed as part of the council’s emerging town centre masterplan and labelled Mansfield Connect, the authority is exploring the idea of moving some of its services into the town centre.

If the council can secure funding, it would see services such as health and employment move from its Civic Centre base, with the former Beales department store identified as a potential location.

The building would be a multi-functional space, with the masterplan stating the aim of bringing further workspace, employment, cultural, leisure and educational uses into town centre sites.

Documents released by the council earlier this year said the Mansfield Connect proposals will form a central part of the Levelling Up bid, with the authority able to bid for up to £20 million for a maximum of three projects.

Coun Craig Whitby, Mansfield Council portfolio holder for corporate and finance.

It comes alongside the £12m the authority received in the Towns Fund proposals.

Coun Craig Whitby, council portfolio holder for corporate and finance, is recommended to approve accepting the initial £125,000 investment in tomorrow’s delegated decision, ahead of work to launch the bid.

The documents say: “The capacity funding has now been received from DLUHC and it is anticipated it will be used to secure additional support in the preparation of the Levelling Up Fund bid in respect to the Mansfield Connect new civic [town centre] hub proposal.”

The masterplan is currently out for public consultation and will run until December.

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