Mansfield department store to become new council hub after £20m Levelling Up cash confirmed

An artist's impression of the Beales public sector hub
By Andrew Topping, Local Democracy Reporter

Mansfield’s award of £20m in ‘levelling up’ cash to transform a former department store into a new public sector ‘hub’ has been welcomed as a generational chance to change the town centre.

The news was confirmed by the Government on Wednesday (January 18) and means Mansfield District Council will get the full amount it bid for from the central fund.

It will see the former Beales department store, on Stockwell Gate and Queen Street, transformed into a new headquarters for the Labour-run council.

The building is also expected to be occupied by Nottinghamshire County Council, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and other services like education, health and business space.

It is the first time the council has received the full amount from a Government regeneration scheme after missing out on the Future High Streets Fund in 2020.

The council did receive £12.3m out of £25m in the 2021 Towns Fund but has now been successful in receiving the full allocation for the Levelling Up Fund.

It means the landmark 1930s former Beales site will be modernised and extended to become the town centre headquarters for the council.

The Civic Centre is expected to then be vacated with the authority saying it will bring services closer to residents and boost town centre footfall.

Speaking after the Levelling Up announcement was confirmed, Councillor Ben Bradley (Con), the town’s MP, welcomed the cash.

Cllr Bradley, who also leads Nottinghamshire County Council, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “We’ve got a lot going on in the town centre.

“This will help us to open up Stockwell Gate and I think it’s really important. It’s a very significant investment and that has to make a difference.

“This project will bring footfall to the town, it will deliver public services and make the town a much nicer place to be.”

The scheme, known as ‘Mansfield Connect’, is expected to bring together both councils under one building and act as a “one-stop shop” for residents.

It follows the publication of the wider Mansfield Masterplan, which aims to improve the town and change the way it’s used.

Andy Abrahams (Lab), Mansfield’s elected mayor, said: “The Mansfield Connect project will offer a once-in-a-generation opportunity.

“The scheme forms a vital part of our ambitious long-term town centre regeneration plans.

“Our new multi-agency civic and community hub will see a new multi-partner facility and provide a new headquarters for the council.

“It will also be a beacon for evening activities with potentially dining, lifestyle and business opportunities.

“The building has long needed re-purposing and will be brought back to life to rejuvenate our town centre.

“This re-purposing will then have a knock-on effect, stimulating our local economy and encouraging private-sector investment into Mansfield district, which benefits everybody.”

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