The Government's recent commitment to double the number of UK custom and self-build homes, driven by the Right to Build and the new Housing and Planning Bill, is set to bolster the self-build market and the country's housing supply in 2016. In response, the National Homebuilding & Renovating Show is gearing up its forthcoming event with over 450 exhibitors, 16 free seminars and over 50 masterclasses. The show, taking place at the NEC, Birmingham, from 14-17 April 2016, and sponsored for the first time by Velux, will also be launching a mobile app and guided trails, enabling visitors to maximise their visit.

Newark's tourist information centre is set to move. The current centre at Keeper's Cottage on Great North Road will close its doors on 20 March 2016. Visitors looking for information will be able to find all the advice they require at the new Visitor Gateway. The Gateway will be opening at Easter and is part of the new development linking the Palace Theatre and National Civil War Centre on Appletongate.

Amazing Fun Art Classes are now in their second year at Gosh gallery in Tuxford.

CELEBRATING the best of Nottinghamshire, the two day county show is returning to Newark Showground on 14th and 15th May, for its 133rd year.

THIS year's Southwell Open Gardens is going to be the biggest one yet!

Explore the ground and all of its wriggling inhabitants in this quirky dance show for young children and families taking place at Thoresby Courtyard on Thursday 24th March.

There is a mini Film Festival in Lowdham this coming weekend with a lovely selection of films showing over the two days, 5th & 6th March.

Thanks to a grant from the Arts Council, The Gate to Southwell Festival looks set to increase its reputation as one of the country's most respected summer music festivals.

"Before you finish eating breakfast in the morning you've depended on more than half the world". (Martin Luther King, 1967) Even now the people who grow the food can't always feed their families. Fairtrade means paying them a fair price.

Kelham Hall's Big Vintage Festival is just around the corner and is set to be a fabulous occasion.

The award winning Lowdham Pantomime Group is getting the final touches ready for its next production 'Aladdin'.

The April 2015 earthquake in Nepal killed over 8,000 people and injured more than 21,000. Immediately following the disaster, Dr Amit Bajracharya, GP at Southwell Medical Centre flew out to his home country to provide medical help.

When Newark backed King Charles I in the British Civil Wars, succumbing after a terrible six-month siege in 1646, it all ended in tears for both parties.

Upton Village Hall is a delightful 300 year old venue with beamed ceilings, a warm, cosy, intimate and characterful atmosphere. It has recently been redecorated, the lovely wooden floor renovated and new radiators fitted.

Southwell Minster pupil, Alec Boaden is embarking on a month-long expedition to Borneo with school in August this year. While there, he will teach children, build schools and do conservation work.

A new health and fitness centre has opened up in Netherfield. The Netherfield Wellness Centre, which is based on Victoria Road, offers members free weekly fitness classes, nutritional advice, skincare and nutritional shake parties and full body analysis.

Flash Farm in Averham has been proposed as a potential site for mineral extraction.

The new Minerals Local Plan will come before the Environment and Sustainability Committee on 4th January, before going to the full council on 15th. Barton in Fabis has been removed from the list of possible sites, but Flash Farm currently remains.

Despite a near fatal cycling accident three years ago – a head-on collision with a car that resulted in a severed femoral artery and shattered leg – Andy Swain still has an unwavering passion for all things 'bike'.

The Bramley has teamed up with Classicbikeshows to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Carole Nash Classic Bike Guide Winter Classic, taking place on the weekend of 9th & 10th January.

On Friday 20th November, two generations united at the launch of the Southwell Minster School Leo Club. Southwell Lions club has been in operation for many years and approached the school in 2014 with the aim of forming a link.

© Mark Lee

Southwell Minster extends a warm welcome to their Christmas services, celebrating with the theme of: 'The light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it.' John 1:5.

The first service to launch the Christmas season was a traditional family advent favourite, on Sunday 6th December; the 5.00pm Christingle Service. This beautiful candlelit service featured songs and carols and stories and the giving of a Christingle orange to every single child, and most of the grown-ups too. The service raised money for the Children's Society, which works with some of the most vulnerable children in this country who have been bullied, abused, neglected and sexually exploited.