Newark cycle town funding approved during Towns Fund update
Funds for Newark to become a 20-minute cycle town have been approved.
£200,000 for the project was agreed by Newark and Sherwood District Council’s policy and finance committee.
It is part of the money given to the town from the government’s Towns Fund, of which Newark was handed £25m.
The cycle town aims to encourage connectivity through walking and cycling, and proposes four cycle hubs — at Newark Northgate Station, Castle House, Newark Bus Station and the town centre — offering affordable bike hire.
The council has urged employers to invest in the scheme and have reported that early discussions with large employers had positive responses; with verbal expressions of interest in exploring match funding options, subsidised corporate memberships and sponsorship for additional automated cycle docks in other locations.
Ronnie White, councillor for Balderton South, raised concerns about the exclusion of surrounding villages.
She said: “If this is successful, would we push this out to smaller villages?”
It was confirmed the cycle network in Newark would link up to existing routes, connecting the town to other areas in the district.
Discussions have been held with Brompton Bike Hire.
However, the council plans to undertake a competitive procurement exercise to find the most appropriate service operator for Newark’s requirements.
The council also hopes to offer bikeability training as part of the project to help equip people to cycle safely and confidently around the town.
The cycle town initiative will work alongside a county-wide scheme by Nottinghamshire County Council and the D2N2 partnership, which is working on cycling routes as part of the county’s cycling and walking infrastructure plan.
The Towns Fund has also supported the redevelopment of Newark Construction College Centre of Excellence, which is now complete.
The college offers courses in joinery, plumbing, bricklaying and gas testing as it welcomes students for the first time in ten years.
Keith Girling, deputy leader of the council, said: “We want our young people to have more ambitions and aspirations.
“We’re going to produce some brilliant young people, home-grown in this town to drive us forward.
“Young people are our future.”
The development of the Newark Gateway site, following the demolition of the livestock market which is set for October to November this year, is also covered by the Towns Fund.
A planning application for the proposed International Air and Space Training Institute (IASTI) development is expected in October.
The University of Lincoln and universities in Nottingham continue to work with the council to develop the Smart Innovation, Supply Chain and Logistics Enterprise Zone (SiSCLog) aspiration for the site.