Nottinghamshire councils likely to be told this month if key Government ‘Levelling Up’ Fund bids were successful

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Nottinghamshire councils should find out by the end of the month whether their bids for millions of pounds in Government ‘Levelling Up’ cash were successful.

Ashfield, Mansfield, Bassetlaw and Broxtowe councils have all submitted bids to ministers as they look to drive forward a raft of different projects.

It is part of the levelling up initiative designed address imbalances between different parts of the UK.

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In his autumn statement last month, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt pledged to allocate the cash by the end of the year.

An artist's impression of the Beales development.An artist's impression of the Beales development.
An artist's impression of the Beales development.

Ministers have provided no specific date for the announcement, meaning councils could find out any day.

The Future High Streets funding, a separate Government scheme, was announced on Boxing Day 2020.

Coun Lee Waters, Ashfield Council member for Hucknall North, says the authority expects to find out soon.

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If the council’s £11m bid is accepted, it would create a ‘future-proof’ workforce, improve shopfronts and expand Hucknall’s outdoor markets.

Coun Lee Waters, of Ashfield Council.Coun Lee Waters, of Ashfield Council.
Coun Lee Waters, of Ashfield Council.

It would also celebrate Hucknall’s heritage with a new visitor centre at St Mary Magdalene Church, focusing on famous Hucknall figures like Lord Byron.

And the authority aims to improve access to the town centre to attract more visitors while boosting public transport.

Coun Waters said: “With all the soundings coming from Government, it looks likely we’ll have a decision by the end of the month.”

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Other plans include Mansfield Council’s bid for a £20m public sector hub at the town’s former Beales department store.

A similar ‘hub’ has been planned by Newark & Sherwood Council in Ollerton, while there are plans for a energy-efficient, low-carbon industrial park in Clipstone.

The Eastwood funding would create a new health hub, a swimming pool, community facilities and cycling improvements, alongside town centre enhancements, industrial units and cycling improvements in Kimberley.

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Bassetlaw Council has submitted a £20m bid, focusing on Worksop town centre, including redeveloping the Priority Shopping Centre into a site with bowling, soft play, trampolining and a café.

In total, more than 65 per cent of the 229 first-round bids submitted by English councils were unsuccessful – the Government awarded £1.7 billion, but the total value of rejected bids was £2.4bn.

More than 500 bids have been submitted for the remaining £3.1bn of the £4.8bn fund.