Work starts on Kirkby Town Centre improvements

October 7, 2014 3:54 pm

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Work has this week started on a new plaza and comprehensive improvement scheme for Kirkby Town Centre. Ashfield District Council has received confirmation of European funding for a new plaza and comprehensive improvements to Kirkby town centre.

The £1.022 million project, which has been funded by Section 106 developer contributions and £403,365 of funding from the European Regional Development Fund, is scheduled for completion in March 2015.

The new public space off Ellis Street and improvements to the adjacent pedestrianised shopping area will help to revitalise the town centre, attracting more people to use local facilities.

The aim of the project is to provide an attractive environment for the town’s market, public events and community activities, and it is hoped that it will attract further business and residential development around the new plaza.

The plaza will replace the car park off Ellis Street and will use high quality materials such as natural stone paving.

A series of artworks will be incorporated into the scheme including bronze statues of local famous cricketers to complement the existing statue of Harold Larwood which will be re-sited near the library. A sculpture will also be commissioned near the Nags Head pub which will mark the entrance to the pedestrianised area.

An artist will work with local schools and groups to produce images and themes which celebrate the rich cultural and sporting history of Kirkby which will be incorporated into an ‘art wall’ which will lead from the main shopping area down into the plaza.

Cllr Jim Aspinall, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration said: “I am very pleased that this stage of the Regeneration is now able to proceed. With the arrival of Morrisons, Wetherspoons and siting of the Post Office in the Precinct, Kirkby will now develop into a very pleasant Town Centre. Much credit has to go to the Ashfield Officers and members of the Kirkby town centre regeneration group for all the hard work that has been put into the regeneration of the town centre.

We will be continuing to work hard to improve the traffic flow problems we have in the town but we hope to come forward with proposals to solve that problem in the near future”

Cllr. Chris Baron, Leader of Ashfield District Council added: “The improvements to Kirkby Town Centre are long overdue and the much needed European funding is greatly welcomed. Town centre development is one of the top priorities of the Authority. Work is progressing on Hucknall and now in Kirkby and the Masterplan for Sutton is in the development stages. I hope that the residents of Kirkby make full use of the new facilities.”

Councillor John Knight continued: “During my time as leader of the authority I was adamant that the regeneration of Kirkby should be the Councils number one priority. This funding will contribute towards seeing the completion of this four year project. I have no doubt the new town plaza will make Kirkby a more attractive, vibrant and prosperous town.  I am currently in talks with both Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club and the Australian Cricket board who are keen to be contribute towards the Larwood, Voce, Bradman “bodyline” centerpiece that will further enhance the new development.  I honestly believe that next year will see the town rejuvenated like no other has been in the whole of the East midlands” 

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