Council bids for millions of pounds to improve Eastwood and Kimberley

Broxtowe Borough Council offices.
By Anna Whittaker, Local Democracy Reporter

Eastwood and Kimberley could soon receive millions of pounds in Government funding to help address health inequalities in the towns.

Broxtowe Borough Council has applied for £20m for Eastwood and £16m for Kimberley to make what it says are much-needed improvements.

Lee Anderson, MP for Ashfield, believes the funding would be a “game-changer” for Eastwood, which he says has been neglected for years.

Leader of Broxtowe Borough Council Milan Radulovic MBE, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service that both bids – for Government Levelling-Up funding – are designed to meet the needs of local people and improve health and access to the countryside.

If successful, the funding for Eastwood would be used to create a new health and wellbeing hub, a swimming pool, a community hub and improvements to the cycle network.

The Kimberley bid includes town centre enhancements, new industrial units and improvements to its cycle network.

Cllr Radulovic said: “Both bids are excellent – they address urgent needs within the area.

“The key to the Eastwood development is health and fitness. We have some of the most serious cases of respiratory disease in the country because of the history of mining in this area.

“This bid will go a long way towards addressing health inequalities. It includes a swimming facility, heated to a higher temperature to help people with respiratory diseases.

“I am very confident we will be successful.”

Speaking of the Kimberley bid, he added: “There is a very strong case for substantial funding for the town.

“The industrial units in the area will go a long way to addressing a shortfall we have here.”

The health hub in Eastwood would host a new GP surgery, pharmacy, library, five-lane community swimming pool, boxing club and women’s services.

The funding would also see a historic building in Eastwood transformed to house the Durban House Community Hub group, a local charity.

A dementia daycare facility would be on offer as well as a café, community garden, employability support, mental health support groups, and health and fitness classes.

The Kimberley town centre improvements include a new Business and Community Hub including co-working and office space.

Small Business grants would also be made available to businesses in Kimberley.

The current football pitch at Digby Street would be redeveloped into 20 new industrial units to allow new businesses to move into Kimberley, driving job creation and economic growth.

If successful, a new sports facility at Swingate Farm will be developed in its place, with a new football and cricket pitch.

A new active travel route would link up Kimberley with Eastwood, Giltbrook, Phoenix Park Tram Stop and Bennerley Viaduct.

Cllr Easom (Con) said: “I am very pleased we’ve had the opportunity to bid, but I’m sad we couldn’t get more for the residents.

“From Kimberley’s perspective I was hoping to get more community facilities but we struggled because we didn’t find the land to build on.

“I also fear that if the Eastwood plans for a leisure centre are approved, that could potentially close the leisure centre here in Kimberley just two miles away.

“But I’m pleased with the plans for industrial units. It’s all about the community for me, because if people work here, they shop here and drink here too.”

Councillor David Bagshaw (Lab), representing Eastwood St Mary’s, added: “I think we’ve got a great chance of it being accepted.

“We’re going to create a swimming pool for the people of Eastwood and the surrounding areas, which was my idea way back.

“We would be building a swimming pool, not a leisure centre. It’s not to take away from Kimberley, it’s to give people somewhere to go.

“We’re going to look to renovate Durban House to get different people there including people suffering from mental health and dementia.

“We have to look at the benefit for the whole of Eastwood, including a new doctor’s surgery in the middle of the town.”

Speaking of the Kimberley bid, Broxtowe MP Darren Henry, added: “I am excited about the projects that have been proposed and the prospect of providing much needed investment into the town.”

MP Lee Anderson added: “It has been many years since Eastwood has seen any real investment and local people deserve to have better facilities and opportunities at their doorstep.”

It is expected that an announcement will be made by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in the autumn, indicating if the bids have been successful.

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