Friday 12 April 2024
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Artist’s impressions revealed for new health hub and business space

Artists’ impressions and construction plans have been revealed as two major projects are given the green light in Mansfield.

The projects, aimed at boosting parts of the district, will include a new health hub in Warsop and a ‘gateway’ of business space next to Mansfield Woodhouse Railway Station.

They come as part of the authority’s £12.3m Towns Fund pot, with both projects approved during a delegated decision by a senior council officer this week.

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It means the projects can now move forward toward the planning application stage.

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Both schemes must first be presented to the Making Mansfield Place Board – a body set up to drive economic change in the district – before progress can be made.

Once delivered, the £7.9m Warsop health hub – based on Carr Lane Park – would include a 15m x 8m swimming pool, changing facilities, a cafe, viewing area and reception, a fitness suite, a multi-use hall and a games area.

The council has allocated £3m from the Towns Fund pot to pay for this project, with £1.5m to be sought from Sports England and up to £3.5m approved in borrowing.

The project is expected to cost £1.9m more than the initial £6m forecast due to rising supply chain, labour and material costs.

And speaking earlier this year, David Evans, the council’s head of health and communities, said he wanted to manage “expectations” about the facilities on offer in the new hub.

The council has long said it is not a direct replacement for the Meden Sports Centre, which closed in 2018 after the authority pulled out of its management.

That centre had a 20m swimming pool and, when asked in a meeting in April why the new pool will not be the same size, Mr Evans said: “We’ve got to be very clear about expectations.

“If we were to develop a scheme larger than this, the chances are Sport England would walk away.

“It wouldn’t see us in a position to develop a facility sustainable for the community to appropriately meet its need.

“The pool will be 15mx8m, which is probably bigger than most people think and, if I remember correctly, not a lot smaller than the pool at Meden Sports Centre.

“If we were to change the scheme to include a larger pool, the cost goes up, the risk to the revenue model is increased and it would raise massive concerns with Sport England.”

The authority expects planning permission for the hub to be secured in March next year and work to begin later in 2023.

The station gateway project, on the other hand, is expected to be complete by then.

The £506,000 scheme includes the creation of three business units on former brownfield land next to the station, with 290sqm of commercial space to be built.

Martin Saxton, head of planning and regeneration, said: “This project will not just deliver positive visual improvements to the currently derelict land, it also offers employment growth in the area.”

In total, six projects were approved as part of the £12.3m Government pot.

The council had initially bid for £25m but only received half of this allocation.

Other projects include improvements to Berry Hill Park, new ‘Destination Mansfield’ branding and ‘Smart Mansfield’ internet connectivity and technology improvements to rural and town centre areas.

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