Kirkby residents have their say on £2.4 million plans to transform town centre

Michelle Wright, 36 of Kirkby with son Tyler, 8
Michelle Wright, 36 of Kirkby with son Tyler, 8

Following the news that a £2.4 million cash boost will transform the centre of Kirkby and secure the future of its health village, we asked Kirkby residents for their initial thoughts on the plans.

Most welcomed the principle of investing in the town centre but were sceptical about some of the plans proposed.

The new health centre proposals were welcomed.

Ashfield District Council will receive £1.022 million in European funding for a new plaza and comprehensive improvements to Kirkby town centre.

And a £1.4 million proposal to develop the Kirkby Health Village has been given the green light.

The former community hospital will become a major new community health and wellbeing centre to provide a home to a range of community services under one roof.

Keith Coleman, 58 of Kirkby said: “Anything that improves Kirkby is brilliant and it is fantastic that money is being spent here.

“If I thought the Health Village would last, I would change my GP to there.

“It would be even better if they had a minor injuries unit there rather than having to go to King’s Mill Hospital.”

In th e £1.022 million town centre development a plaza will replace the car park off Ellis Street and will use high quality materials such as natural stone paving.

A series of artworks will be incorporated into the scheme including bronze statues of local famous cricketers to complement the existing statue of Harold Larwood which will be re-sited near the library.

A sculpture will also be commissioned near the Nags Head pub which will mark the entrance to the pedestrianised area.

Jane Brown, 55 of Kirkby added; “We don’t need sculptures we want more shops. We need a Wilko and a B&M like they have in Sutton.

“Who is interested in cricketers?

“I have to go to Mansfield or Nottingham to buy clothes.

“There’s nowhere I can go to buy them for me in Kirkby”

Norma Childs, 56 from Annesley Woodhouse, said: “We need a boost of some kind in Kirkby but why not just improve the pedestrianised area?

“We need the car spaces here - why take them away from us?

“We have disabled people in our shop who can only get here from the Ellis Street car park.

“I don’t think we need any more statues or artwork or places to sit down. We already have a statue celebrating Harold Larwood, which is a good thing”

“Improving the health centre can only be a good thing.”

Michelle Wright, 36 of Kirkby, said the council needed to spend their money more wisely.

“What we need here are more stores like Next and less second hand shops. When you are a single parent it costs a lot of money for bus fares. I’m not bothered about the centre changing I think it is alright as it is.”

Former Kirkby resident Helen James 55, of Mansfield said “In principal it all seems like a good idea, but spending over a million is a lot of money. We will have to wait and see what it turns out like.”