Ailing Mansfield and Ashfield economy lifted by council schemes

Ashfield District Council, Urban Road, Sutton in Ashfield.
Ashfield District Council, Urban Road, Sutton in Ashfield.

Over 160 jobs have been created in Mansfield and Ashfield in the past year thanks to a council programme that aims to regenerate both districts.

The Mansfield and Ashfield Regeneration Shared Service (RSS) was set up to boost the ailing economy of the area by encouraging business investment, urban regeneration and ensuring the local workforce has the right skills for employment.

It was set up in May last year and after its first year of operation, the RSS has:

• Helped create over 160 jobs at ECS Engineering Services at Pinxton

• Helped create 119 jobs by supporting other business investment

• Provided assistance to over 350 local businesses

• Arranged 23 undergraduate placements and six graduate placements, resulting in five graduates gaining appropriate-level employment in the area

• Created 22 work experience placements.

Trevor Watson, Ashfield District Council’s service director - economy, said: “The Ashfield and Mansfield RSS has taken very little time to start delivering real economic benefit for both districts.

“It is a bold and ambitious initiative, recognising that Ashfield and Mansfield is effectively a single economic area and working to maximise the economic achievements jointly available.

“We are particularly proud that the RSS has already generated significant business investment and the launch of the innovative new ‘Invest Ashfield & Mansfield’ web site, to be launched later this month, is expected to increase its impact even further.

“Also, with high quality and youth employment being key priorities of both councils, the ‘Aim Higher’ and ‘Graduates into Enterprise’ schemes have already led to local graduates filling new jobs with local employers.”

The ‘Aim Higher’ scheme has seen 18 businesses - six in Ashfield and 12 in Mansfield - benefit from 23 local undergraduate work placements of up to eight weeks during last year’s summer holidays.

The RSS then used this as a starting point to develop the ‘Graduates into Enterprise’ paid internship scheme.

This placed local graduates with local businesses for placements of up to six months, allowing the businesses to carry out significant projects.

Out of seven graduate placements - five in Ashfield and two in Mansfield - four graduate level posts were created by the businesses and the four local graduates recruited to fill the posts.

Another graduate had his placement extended in order to complete his work and is likely to gain employment as a result.