A PIONEERING set of proposals to boost Newark's economy, creating a vibrant town centre that attracts tourism and investment, is one of the main focuses of Newark's 'Town Investment Plan,' which has been submitted to the Government by Newark Towns Fund Board.

In an ambitious bid to secure up to £25 million funding from the Government, the Board of more than 40 private and public businesses and bodies identified several priority projects which could transform Newark if the bid is successful.

Projects identified would increase the value of the town's heritage, traditions and local culture and regrow its local economy in a pioneering new approach that will simultaneously help the town recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a proposal to help reduce crime and increase police presence in Newark, one project put forward for consideration would see a major move for the town's police force. The relocation, from the current police station on Queens Road, to Newark and Sherwood District Council headquarters, Castle House, Great North Road would allow the current police station site to be transformed into residential living and business units, while fundamentally addressing community safety concerns of residents.

The move would give the police the opportunity to relocate next to other public services, enhancing work between the police, community protection, adult social care, licensing and youth work, enabling better intelligence and joint task force working.

Another project would see the transformation of Newark Castle's historic Gatehouse into a major attraction for residents and visitors alike, restoring the structure of the iconic building, while creating a flexible, community facility for education and research. The plans involve introducing a first floor walk-way, providing a viewing area at roof level to allow views over the town as well as the addition of a moat. The restoration will house a key educational resource, offering regularly programmed workshops, events in conjunction with local groups and educational programmes to inspire and engage with young people.

The development of a brand new town identity, to reinvigorate Newark town centre into a vibrant destination to increase tourism, attract investment and boost pride among local people, would be established through Newark's Cultural Heart.

A free and varied year-long event calendar would be established to celebrate local culture, provide benefits to the local community and attract new visitors. If funding is granted, the Board would work alongside public and private sector partners to maximise the town's potential.

The campaign would also include wayfinding informational signage and street art, reflecting Newark's sense of community and celebrating the town's rich culture and heritage.

Tom Cartledge, Co-Chair of the Towns Fund Board and Chief Executive of Benoy, said: "We have brilliant local retailers and we have nationals. Both groups drive footfall but we need to highlight and increase the other reasons to come, to spend and stay. Our vision is to turn Newark into a vibrant Town Centre where people visit, experience, shop, work and live.

"We want to increase the value of our heritage, traditions and local culture and regrow our economy, while also enabling the town to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. In our strategy, the towns cultural and leisure assets will join with partners to make Newark a destination people feel safe in, want to visit, and talk about positively. Newark will be a place that showcases the talent, character, diversity and achievements of all its residents and businesses."

Further information available at www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/business/newarktownsfund/

Published August 2020