Mansfield District Council is pushing ahead with £1.4m plans to give one of its most historic buildings in the district a significant revamp as part of wider plans to regenerate the town centre.
The aim is reopen the Old Town Hall by transforming the ground floor into indoor retail units and the upper floors into offices, bringing the building back into full use by early 2019 for the first time in more than 30 years.
It is one of the flagship projects in a wider council “place shaping” strategy to breathe new life into the town centre and raise the profile of the district as somewhere to invest in, shop, visit and live.
The council has earmarked over £733,000, fifty per cent of the total cost of the work, to bring the Old Town Hall back into public use.
It is anticipated the retail units could attract, for example, craft and artisan businesses, which would help enhance the town centre as a shopping destination for both residents and visitors.
The offices on the upper floors, occupying a prestige location in the town centre, will be let.
To enable the internal and external alterations to allow the building to be renovated and repurposed, an application to grant listed building consent has been supported by the council’s Planning Applications Committee after consultation with Historic England, the public body which champions England’s historic environment.
It is currently with the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government for further consideration but is expected to get the go-ahead.
It is anticipated that half of the cost of the second phase of the renovations will be covered by a grant from D2N2, the Local Enterprise Partnership, which aims to fund projects that stimulate economic growth in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
D2N2 has confirmed that it has set aside £7.6m to reinvigorate Nottinghamshire towns and local centres and Mansfield District Council will be applying for a share of that pot.
“Bringing this glorious landmark building back into public use will be a wonderful achievement and bring an economic lift to the town centre.
“It is one of the main strands in our overall regeneration vision and strategy for the town that we aim to put in place over the next five years.”
The town centre vision includes plans for a hotel on the site of the old bus station near Walkden Street and a scheme to revitalise the buildings in Leeming Street with the help of an application for nearly £1m from the Heritage Lottery Fund.