On 8 June 2021 the government announced that £62.6 million had been awarded to Ashfield as part of the government’s Towns Fund. Together with funding secured from the Towns Fund Accelerator Fund and the Future High Streets Fund, over £70 million has now been secured for Ashfield. Together with co-funding this will bring well over £100 million of investment into the District over the next five years.
The Government is making £3.6bn available to regenerate over 100 towns across the UK.
Kirkby in Ashfield and Sutton in Ashfield were chosen by the government in Autumn 2019, as two of the towns to receive funding of up to £25 million each. Since then, the Discover Ashfield Board and Ashfield District Council have been working closely with stakeholders including business, education, health, transport, and local elected Members to develop the Kirkby and Sutton Town Investment Plan.
Although we could only apply for funding for projects located in Kirkby and Sutton, the whole District will benefit from this investment.
The Government set out the three areas of regeneration the Towns Fund will focus on:
A public consultation for Kirkby and Sutton was undertaken during May 2020. Over 1300 responses were received which helped shape the investment plan and the projects included.
One winner from each survey was presented with their prize. To take a look at the presentations to winners see Ashfield District Council's Facebook page (external link).
The Town Investment Plan was developed over the following eight months and submitted in February 2021.
For further information on the Towns Fund and about the Towns Fund Board, please visit our Governance page; Discover Ashfield is overseeing the Towns Fund work.
The investment will deliver jobs and further education opportunities, long-term economic and productivity growth, new homes, improved transport infrastructure, reduced carbon and new cultural and visitor facilities.
The investment plan focuses on four areas:
The centrepiece of the plan is an Automated Distribution and Manufacturing Centre to create a national centre of excellence focused on promoting and providing access to the latest technologies and best practice in automated distribution.
Two new education centres will provide opportunities for qualifications in construction and civil engineering. At Kirkby and Sutton libraries there will be new innovation centres which will support residents with digital skills, helping them access digital services, learn new skills and adapt to new ways of working.
A new Kirkby Health Hub and Sports Hubs at Kingsway Park and Sutton Lawn will give residents greater access to healthier lifestyles and help improve local health outcomes.
A new Planetarium and Science Discovery Centre at Sherwood Observatory will help inspire a new generation of scientists and engineers across the region.
A new leisure facility at Kings Mill Reservoir will offer a range of new water sports attractions for visitors from across the region. A network of cycling and walking routes across the area will connect visitor attractions, homes and places of work.
The gateway area around Kirkby train station will be developed to provide better access to the station and interchange to buses and the new cycle/walking network, to promote use of more sustainable forms of transport, as well as a programme to fit existing buildings with solar and other green energy sources.
Several projects are currently underway using the £1.5m from the Accelerated Towns Fund funding, including:
We have until June 2022 to prepare business cases for the 17 projects that will be delivered. This process has already started and we will be completing the business cases in batches to speed up delivery.
Now that funding is secured for projects in Kirkby and Sutton we will be focusing our efforts on accessing funding for the Hucknall area through the Levelling Up Fund, the latest government fund to be launched.
You can keep up to date with progress on Towns Fund, Future High Streets Fund and our wider regeneration programme on our website and Facebook page.
Keep up to date with the Towns Fund, Future High Streets Fund and our wider regeneration programme progress or to contact us to find out more: