RAINWORTH residents and community leaders have welcomed Mansfield Town FC’s possible relocation to the village and believe it would boost community spirit and bring more people to the area.
The Stags’ chairman’s ‘Plan B’ would involve providing extra seats, turnstiles and improved floodlighting, among other improvements at Rainworth, which currently hosts Evo-Stik League Division One football.
This week, several Rainworth residents said they were in favour of the plan, although some expressed concerns over the amount of traffic it would bring through the area.
Suzanne Allsop, shop assistant at Junction Fish Bar on Southwell Road East, is a lifelong Stags supporter and said the relocation had plenty of advantages.
“I think it will be really good for everybody in the village and will put Rainworth on the map,” she said.
“We are a relatively small village so it would help business for the local shops as well as pubs.
“Some people might be worried about traffic but there is the by-pass and they could have extra parking on the old pit lane.”
A second shopkeeper, who did not wish to be named, said it would be an exciting coup for the village.
“I can’t see any problems with it, there are plenty of roads out of Rainworth I don’t think the number of cars coming through will be a problem,” she said.
“It could put Rainworth on the map, be great for local trading and get people into the pubs which can only be good for the village.”
But Julie Buchanan, of Fresh and Tasty on Southwell Road East, raised concerns over policing for Mansfield Town FC games.
“I don’t think it will do traders any harm but it may cause traffic problems and this is already a busy road,” said Julie.
“I’d like to know if there will be extra police on duty for night games because I’ve been in Mansfield before when away fans have put shop windows through - does Rainworth want that?’
Robin Hood pub manager Maxine Quinton said she would welcome the added footfall in the area but was concerned about potential vandalism.
Coun John Bradbury, Newark & Sherwood district councillor for Rainworth, said he did not object but insisted that the ground’s car parking should be revamped if the move materialises.
“The parking issue has to be addressed, at the moment there is parking on the main street and narrow streets but people are blocked in and if the Stags played here there would be maybe double the attendance,” he said.
“You’d also have to look at public transport, the current toilet facilities and increasing the seating. I’m not sure it would make a huge difference to traders but I think the chippy and the pub would benefit.”
Spokesmen for Newark and Sherwood District Council and the county’s Safety Advisory Group (SAG) said they could not comment as no official application has been received.