Levelling up minister Jacob Young MP visits Ollerton to announce £20m investment in Ollerton and Clipstone including Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Ollerton Town Centre Hub project plans
Neglected former mining communities will receive £20m of investment to help breath new life into the towns.
Today the government announced that Ollerton and Clipstone would benefit from it’s levelling up investment, which would see a number of town centre regeneration projects come to life.
One major project to receive funding will be Newark and Sherwood District Council’s plans to develop the Ollerton Town Centre Hub.
Under the plans a new state-of-the-art library would be built, alongside a cinema, shops and restaurants to create jobs and attract more visitors to the town.
There will also be dedicated spaces for the town and district councils to be represented and additional homes provided.
A new sustainable industrial estate, sports and education facilities in Clipstone will also be funded.
The funding is one part of £1bn awarded to 55 projects nationally from the third round of the government’s levelling up fund in an effort to promote economic growth and see money spread more equally.
The levelling up minister, Jacob Young MP, visited Ollerton today (November 20), and heard how the plans would help to revive the former-mining town.
Speaking to the Advertiser, Mr Young said: “Our levelling up agenda is all about reducing regional inequality.
“Communities like this have been left behind for some time and we want to restore pride in place — we want people to be proud to be from Ollerton.
“Clearly Ollerton is in need of much needed investment and that’s why it’s brilliant to be here today to announce £20m to help transform the high-street and to improve the lives of working people.”
During the visit the minister toured existing sites along the high-street which are due for development, including The Forest Centre and Ollerton Library and praised the ambition of the plans
“We’re going to be working closely with the district council and Nottinghamshire County Council because we recognise that local councils know the priorities for their areas,” said Mr Young
“That’s part of the reason why we are doing devolution in the East Midlands as well, to get that decision making local to communities like this because they are the best people to determine how regeneration money is spent in their area.”
Joining the minister on a walk around Ollerton town centre was the leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council, Paul Peacock, who said the investment was ‘long overdue’.
“We have put a focus on areas like Ollerton and Clipstone because for too long they have been neglected,” said Mr Peacock.
“They need to be rejuvenated and this project will be transformational.
“The new hub will bring more services to the town and will hopefully make Ollerton more of a destination — with more people visiting, promoting business, making services more accessible for residents and improving lives.
“The minster seemed to be quite switched on about what was happening and was interested in our plans.
“I think it’s really important that we continue to work in partnership and we’ve had a lot of conversations and done a lot of research to put make this project workable and to highlight the benefits that it will bring.”
Chairman of Ollerton and Boughton Town Council, Lee Brazier, said: “Our main goal is to create a better Ollerton.
“We want it to be a place that people want to stay, work and live in. All too often people move away and never return.
“This is hugely important for the area and it is the first funding of this kind that we have seen since 2008, which is absolutely huge in creating a more sustainable Ollerton.”
Commenting on the overall £1bn levelling up investment, the secretary of state for levelling up, Michael Gove, said: “Levelling up means delivering local people’s priorities and bringing transformational change in communities that have, for too long, been overlooked and undervalued.
“Today we are backing 55 projects across the UK with £1bn to create new jobs and opportunities, power economic growth, and revitalise local areas.
“This funding sits alongside our wider initiatives to spread growth, through devolving more money and power out of Westminster to towns and cities, putting in place bespoke interventions to places that need it most, and our long term plan for towns.”
Mr Gove was invited to Ollerton by the Newark and Sherwood District Council, however was not present on the visit.
MP for Sherwood, Mark Spencer, helped put together the bid which has now been accepted after it initially missed out during the second round of funding.
He said: “This is something we have been working on for some time. I am delighted Ollerton is finally going to get the investment it deserves.
“It’s an exciting opportunity to improve an already popular high street and support our wonderful businesses.
“I will work with the new administration of Newark and Sherwood District Council together with the Forest Centre, Nottinghamshire County Council and Ollerton and Boughton Town Council to deliver this exciting change for Ollerton.”