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Hucknall town centre with crowds

Ashfield District Council delivering for the future

Ashfield is set for a bright future as a new funding report shows the progress of key development projects across the District.

Across a wide variety of programmes the Council is working with partners to deliver over £102 million of direct investment into Ashfield with a range of projects focused on the main themes of: Employment, Education, Skills and Business Support, Vibrant Town Centres, Visitor Economy and Tourism, and Health and Wellbeing.

Employment, Education, Skills and Business Support

The Automated Distribution and Manufacturing Centre is Ashfield’s flagship £30m Towns Fund Project that will support the adoption, integration, and expansion of new automated technologies for local and regional businesses. Extensive engagement has been taking place with businesses to ensure the design of the new facility will meet their needs. A successful first automation event was held earlier in the summer where businesses had the opportunity to meet automation providers to learn how their products can support them.

Enterprising Ashfield is a four-year programme delivered by Nottingham Trent University to help bridge the skills gap in Ashfield and deliver growth, innovation and skills. The programme is estimated to boost the local economy by £19m over the next 10 years.

The plans for the construction centre and civil engineering centre are being progressed with West Notts College, with a satellite construction centre being provided at Portland College.

Visitor Economy and Tourism

Over the next three years over £17 million is being invested in the District’s visitor economy through the following projects:

  • Sherwood Observatory, Science Discovery Centre and Planetarium
  • Cornerstone Theatre, Sutton
  • Kings Mill Reservoir and water sports centre
  • Lindley’s Mill refurbishment
  • Fox Street/ Portland Square, Sutton - pop-up food space and events
  • Walking and cycling route improvements
  • Visitor Digital offer

Vibrant Town Centres


The former Yorkshire Bank on Low Street has been re-envisioned and regenerated as part of a Future High Streets Fund initiative. From a disused building to a new café and restaurant that invites people to Rendezvous in the town centre.

The highly anticipated Makerspace project is progressing well as construction continues at the old Department for Work and Pensions building on High Pavement in Sutton. The community driven space, paid for through the £6.2m Future High Streets Fund, is on schedule for completion in November. Residents can’t wait to use the state-of-the-art space which is designed to support hobbyists, budding enterprises, and existing small businesses access professional resources and facilities, making starting a new venture a very real possibility for many.

Health and Wellbeing

The Council recently received the brilliant news that a seventh park, Kings Mill Reservoir has secured the prestigious Green Flag Award, with

six parks across the district retaining the award for 2023. The new award demonstrates the Council’s ongoing commitment to maintaining high standards and continued improvement in public open space, along with the wider investment planned at Kings Mill Reservoir through the Mill Adventure Base and the water sports centre new build which has started on site.

Since 2016 there has been investment of over £4.7 million with over 35 projects completed and 32 sites upgraded. These include play areas, skate parks and fitness areas across Jacksdale, Selston and Underwood / play areas; fitness areas, flood defence, and art projects in Hucknall; play areas, footpath and habitat improvements in Sutton; and play area, footpath and cycle network and ecology improvements in Kirkby.

Over the past 12 months the Council has invested £196k in public open space, including improvements to accessibility at Kings Mill Reservoir, Oakwood Fields and Annesley, together with 1500 trees planted to increase tree cover across the District contributing towards better air quality and greener towns and parks, part of Trees for Ashfield – an initiative to plant at least 1000 trees per year.

Plans to create a new naturalised play space with £120k of investment at Selston Country Park have taken a step closer with the project planned to be on site late summer / early autumn. The project is one of a number of improvements planned across the District including Washdyke Recreation Ground, Hucknall, Sutton Lawn, and Nuncargate Recreation Ground, Annesley, which together will see over £400k of investment over the next 12 months.

Community Safety

State of the art CCTV Cameras and signage have been installed within businesses and town centres through the Safer Streets initiative to improve feelings of safety for women and girls in Hucknall and Kirkby. To date, the Safer Streets project has seen an investment of over £1.5m across Ashfield.

Cllr Matthew Relf, Executive Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning said:

“We have been the most successful Council in the UK bidding for towns funding. After a huge amount of careful planning behind the scenes these projects are either already live, in construction or about to start construction. It is an exciting time in Ashfield and the broader local area with these projects coming forward offering significant improvements in the lives of our residents and the prospects for our businesses.”

The full funding report can be found on our website.