'Mansfield has a lot to offer' says mayor as he outlines bold vision for next 15 years

People across Mansfield have been urged to have their say on the town’s bold masterplan.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 1:14 pm

Mansfield Council’s town centre masterplan outlines its vision for the future, including a raft of new projects to reshape major town centre sites.

And consultation has now been extended to December 23, at 5pm, to allow people to have their say.

Consultation events include at Forest Town Methodist Church on November 17, from 1-7pm, outside Mansfield Library on West Gate in the town centre on November 18, from 10am-5pm, Turner Hall in Mansfield Woodhouse on November 25, from 1-7pm and Warsop Parish Centre on December 2, from 1-7pm.

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Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, in Market Square.

The document can also be viewed at district libraries, Mansfiedl Civic Centre and online at mansfield.objective.co.uk/portal/town_centre/masterplan

Andy Abrahams, Mansfield mayor, said: “We want the public to have their say.

“This masterplan is our vision for the next 15 years. It’s really important people have their say.

“We’re going to go out to young people, old people, people around the districts. Everyone can have their say and influence the plans because they’re not set in stone.

The Old Town Hall car park on Queen Street is earmarked for a pocket park.

“We’ve just set out a vision. Now we need the input from the public to let us know what they think and we’ll take their ideas and put it into the mix with all the others.

“Mansfield has a lot to offer. Even though we’ve got this fantastic historic past, the image seems to have been stuck that we’re in the past and not moved on. This is our opportuinity to show how versatile, imaginative Mansfield will be.

“You have to have some imagination, but none of this is just a dream. We’ve got concrete plans, we know what we need to do to get them achieved. But what we want to do is let people come along on the journey with us. Tell us what they think about the plans, give us more ideas and let’s even make it more adventurous.”

And Mr Abrahams took your Chad on a tour of some of the major town centre sites to discuss the plans...

A sketch of the planned pocket park at the rear of the Old Town Hall in Mansfield town centre.

Market Square – garden square

Mr Abrahams said: “We have a fantastic historic square here. Imagine Barcelona, absolutely beautiful, You have the interaction between families, greenery, entertainment and retail and that’s what I would like this square to represent.

“A balance between events and entertainment, between new and old and the historic, a lot more greenery, places for people to dwell and enjoy entertainment during the day and during the evening a place where people go ‘wow I’d like to go Mansfield, it’s a great place to visit’.”

Old Town Hall car park – pocket park

A mixed-use scheme is planned for the Dame Flogan Street area.

The mayor said: “This is where you can see the masterplan coming into action. This time next year, this will be a memorial green garden, a pathway down from the railway station and bus station. When people come to Mansfield, they’ll get a completely different view and perspective of the town. In this particular park, we’re going to have a Covid memorial, something that will pay tribute to all our key workers and all the fantastic work they did during the Covid crisis but, at the same time, be able to reflect on all those people who’ve lost their loved ones.

Dame Flogan Street – mixed-use scheme

The mayor said: “What you’ve got is an area which reflects Mansfield of the past. What we hope to do is invest in brownfield sites and regenerate them. We want to bring living back into the town centre. When we say mixed use site, primarily we’re looking at different quarters of the town. This might be aged living. Older people living just on the edge of the town, with all the facilities they need just in the town, so what you’ve got is transferring an old site that’s been like a wasteland for years into a green, living space. The houses and accommodation we will build will be to the Future Homes Standard minimum. 80 per cent more carbon saving than traditional build. With that energy saving and people on the edge of the town centre, increased footfall, more private sector investment in retail and little coffee shops and the things that people do to enhance their life on a day-to-day basis.

Mansfield Viaduct – utilise empty space under the arches

Mr Abrahams said: “As we develop different parts of the town, we’ll be opening up the space, so the fantastic arches will be viewed again, almost as if they’ve been hidden for years – and they are incredible structures. I can imagine all kinds of things, almost a festival going off here, different bands in different parts of the quarter, little niche entertainment, all sorts of things as a sort of a festival. What we want to do is join up the town, different sectors of the town and obviously this is a pathway into the centre, but look how fantastic these hidden arches are and another jewel in the crown. Not many towns can boast a viaduct through the through the heart of the town.

Beales – civic hub

Mansfield Viaduct.

The mayor said: “We want to get services back int he town centre, front-facing services. This is an example of a site which could be used. It’s in a strategic lcocation right in the heart of town. What we mean by civic hub, it’s not an administative place where people just come and sign things, it’s the services where people need to meet other people and have contact. They might includce council front-facing services, health, jobs and employment., and we want to have businesses involved. We might have these little business hubs where people come and do a little bit work. You’ve got to imagine it being a thriving hub in the town centre, that increases football and makes people think this is a good place to come and spend time and money and that’s investment in your local economy. At this stage, this is a potential location. They’re might be other locations in the town. Somebody might comeup and say it’s a good idea, but we should have it somewhere sle. There are many bridges to cross between having an idea and bringing it into life.

Stockwell Gate – demolish overbridges

Mr Abrahams said: “Stockwell Gateway is a major entrance into the town, but it’s like a grey, concrete tunnel right now, not inviting at all. We’ve already got works under way on the old bus station site where we’re going to have a new hotel, hospitality and some urban greening. As you come donw here in the future, the civic hub with all that activity, it will be really transformational on this gateway into Mansfield.”

Mansfield Civic Centre – redevelopment

The mayor said: “Covid has made people all over the country, all businesses, look at the way they’re working. Home working, hybrid working. We no longer need mass numbers in one office space doing the 9-5 routine. The working world isn’t like that anymore. We don’t need such a big space at the Civic Centre anymore, so again it’s serving two purposes. That may free up that site, it may become a business convention, it may become housing, we’re not sure yet. But what you've got is investment in the town centre, bringing people into the town centre, but we’ve still got an asset we can develop and raise income in another way, so it's a win-win.”

Old BHS store, West Gate – indoor market

The mayor said: “The idea is to join up different parts of the town. We’ve already talked about aged living. quarter of the town. This could link up with the idea that Mansfield in the future is going to be a university town. We’ve already started to get degree courses in Mansfield and the Chesterfield Road college site has reopened after years. We#re going to have courses there, advanced robotics, manufacturing for the future the pathway of people into the town centre, could come along a route and through effectively what maybe an indoor market in BHS with lots of alternative things. There might be student accommodation around this area./ You’ve got a different quarter of the town, a different feel. It’s all about joining the town back up and that footfall again, people travelling into the town bia somewhere that’s interesting to them and obivously wwe know about the English climate.

The indoor market. This maybe something that’s more niche, but that doesn’t mean that the traditional market, the historic part of Mansfield, is going to disappear, but what we want to do is add value, something different to that historic Mansfield market scene.

Clumber House – student accommodation

Mr Abrahams said: “We’ve already got nurse degree courses at King’s Mill Hospital. We’ve got Nottingham Trent University building courses, moving them across to Mansfield. This is something that’s going to happen year on year as we build up the student population. This is going to tie in with business and innovation hubs in the town centre. You want academic study going off, but business capitalising on those new degrees, having hubs in the town. Then we want accommodation for young people in the town. It all ties together, reinvigorating Mansfield. It all has to start with a plan, getting the courses to move in. We have to make sure the fabric and interest in the town centre matches the aspirations of the young people. You can have a great night out in Mansfield, but we need to diversity. People get on the bus to Nottingham and Sheffield because they’re looking for something different. But we’ve got the space, we’ve got the imagination. We’re saying the future’s here in Mansfield. Come to Mansfield.”

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The old Beales store in Mansfield town centre.
Stockwell Gate and its 'concrete tunnel'.
The Mansfield Civic Centre could be redeveloped if plans for a new multi-purpose community hub go ahead.
The former BHS store on West Gate.
Clumber House in Mansfield town centre.