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Council signs lease to start build of Air and Space Institute in Newark, with plans to relocate lorry park to showground

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A council has signed a lease to allow the build of the Air and Space Institute in Newark.

Newark and Sherwood District Council's cabinet authorised the lease for the former cattle market land, which has now been cleared.

Lincoln College Group can now start work on the construction of the world-first ASI right on our doorsteps, with a completion expected for September 2023.

Construction of the ASI in Newark is set to start now a lease has been signed.
Construction of the ASI in Newark is set to start now a lease has been signed.

The new facility is one of nine priority projects outlined in Newark’s Town Investment Plan, which was awarded £25m of grant funding from government as part of its Towns Fund initiative.

The ASI forms part of phase one of the Newark Gateway site and will offer the 2021 and 2022 intake of students (currently receiving education at temporary facilities at Newark College) the chance to join the new cohorts at the new state-of-the-art facility in 2023.

Members of the cabinet also authorised the continuation of negotiations with Newark Showground and the owners of Overfield Park to present costed options for the proposed relocation of Newark Lorry Park and redevelopment of the Newark Gateway site.

Newark Lorry Park could be relocated to Newark Showground.
Newark Lorry Park could be relocated to Newark Showground.

The lorry park continues to thrive in terms of usage, however, it was heard that challenges and areas for improvement have been identified through user comments and surveys, including waterlogging and dust issues, and a request for more amenities such as a shop, laundrette and eateries.

A preferred route for the A46 Newark Northern Bypass by National Highways and the Department for Transport has been published and the proposals would mean a significantly-reduced lorry park offer for the town if it remains where it is — hence the relocation remains a priority for the council.

The preferred route, as published in the council’s response to its publication, will involve significant land-take from the lorry park to develop a larger and grade separate A46, the associated roundabout and the necessary embankment and drainage features.

Newark Lorry Park.
Newark Lorry Park.

Members recognised work should continue for the relocation and redevelopment of the lorry park, with the council to continuing to assess the likely impact of the A46 proposals.

The proposed route also has implications for the Newark Showground, which remains the preferred location for the expanded lorry park offer. Officers continue to negotiate with National Highways and following the outcome of these conversations, the final impacts will be evaluated before feasibility options can be presented to members at the July cabinet meeting.

David Lloyd, co-chair of Newark Towns Fund Board and council leader, said: “The district council and our partners have been working tirelessly to ensure the delivery of the priority Towns Fund projects and business cases have been progressed.

“The Newark Lorry Park is an important and well-used service and we are pleased that discussions can continue about its future. The current facility will only be relocated if better facilities can be provided elsewhere.

“The Air and Space Institute and the Smart Innovation, Supply Chain and Logistics (SiScLog) Enterprise Area are also central to the delivery of the Newark Town Investment Plan. In particular, for raising aspiration and opportunity for young people, residents and businesses within the town — creating new employment opportunities in manufacturing, cyber and digital services.”

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