Artists’ impressions and construction plans unveiled as two major projects are given the green light in Mansfield.
The projects, aimed at energizing parts of the district, will include a new health center in Warsop and a ‘gateway’ to commercial space next to Mansfield Woodhouse railway station.
They are part of the authority’s £12.3m Towns Fund pot, with both projects approved in a delegated decision by a senior council official this week.
This means that projects can now move forward to the planning request stage.
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.
When delivered, the £7.9m Warsop Health Center – based on Carr Lane Park – would include a 15m x 8m swimming pool, changing rooms, cafe, viewing area and reception, hall fitness room, a multipurpose room and a playground. .
The council has allocated £3m from the Towns Fund pot to pay for this scheme, with £1.5m to be requested from Sports England and up to £3.5m approved in borrowing.
The project is expected to cost £1.9 million more than the original estimate of £6 million due to rising supply chain, labor and material costs.
And speaking earlier this year, David Evans, the council’s head of health and communities, said he wanted to manage ‘expectations’ for the facilities on offer at the new centre.
The council has long said it is not a direct replacement for Meden Sports Centre, which closed in 2018 after the authority pulled out of its management.
This center had a 20m pool and, when asked at a meeting in April why the new pool would not be the same size, Mr Evans said: “We need to be very clear about the expectations .
“If we were to develop a bigger program than this, chances are Sport England would walk away.
“We wouldn’t be able to develop a sustainable facility for the community to adequately meet their needs.
“The pool will be 15mx8m which is probably bigger than most people think and if I remember correctly not much smaller than the Meden Sports Center pool.
“If we were to change the program to include a larger pool, the cost would increase, the risk to the revenue model would increase and it would raise huge concerns with Sport England.”
The authority expects planning permission for the hub to be obtained in March next year and work to start later in 2023.
The station walkway project, on the other hand, is expected to be completed by then.
The £506,000 scheme includes the creation of three retail units on former brownfield site next to the station, with 290m² of retail space to be built.
Martin Saxton, Planning and Regeneration Manager, said: “This project will not only bring positive visual improvements to the currently derelict land, it will also provide employment growth in the area.”
A total of six projects have been approved under the government’s £12.3m pot.
The council originally offered £25m but only received half of that allocation.
Other projects include improvements to Berry Hill Park, rebranding “Destination Mansfield” and “Smart Mansfield” internet connectivity and technology improvements in rural and downtown areas.