Foreword and Introduction

Foreword

Worksop not only enjoys a rich history and heritage, it is also an ambitious town with a future full of potential.

But Worksop Town Centre, like others across the UK, is facing up to considerable challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, economic uncertainty, ongoing changes in shopping patterns and how people choose to spend their leisure time.

This ambitious, exciting masterplan has been created to provide us with the tools we need to ensure that over the next 20 years Worksop Town Centre is capable of positively meeting these challenges, but can develop and adapt to changing consumer demands, technological advances and climate change.

At its heart, is a comprehensive strategy for increasing the number of people who work, live, visit and enjoy the Town Centre. A new identity  focussed around a rejuvenated community, will harness the potential within Worksop for; innovative business growth; a distinctive commercial and leisure offer; new homes within vibrant neighbourhoods; the positive re-use of existing buildings; better walking, cycling and bus connectivity; and the introduction of extensive flood management and green infrastructure through its core.

This is, therefore, not just about new development or bringing older buildings back in to use. It is about setting out a clear vision, and aspirations,
based on what our partners in the private, public and third sectors have told us will give confidence to businesses, consumers, funders and investors to re-purpose and guide future development in Worksop Town Centre, and to secure investment to revitalise the heart of the town.

Although led by Bassetlaw District Council, its singular vision and direction will require collective buy-in by all partners; as such this masterplan has
been finalised following recent community, business and stakeholder consultation, and its delivery will be a genuine partnership reflecting the collective wider ambitions for the Town Centre.

This masterplan provides the strategy for change over the next 20 years but also incorporates more short-term action - significant investment by the
Council and its partners in education, training and business space at the WASH and Middletons; new family facilities at The Canch; and the newly revitalised Worksop Inspire - will help bring activity, jobs and business to the Town Centre from the outset. Set against the backdrop of Covid-19 this regeneration plan is even more important as we consider a new and different approach to our lives and livelihoods.

We are determined to ‘restart’ Worksop Town Centre and setting it on an ambitious pathway to success could not be more timely.

Introduction

This Masterplan for Worksop Town Centre seeks to bond together a range of existing and new initiatives into one holistic vision for the future, that honours the built, natural and cultural heritage of the town.

Worksop has a rich and deep multi-layered heritage and has a great number of assets in its urban structure and form, location, green infrastructure and historic assets. These, aligned to a compact form that could facilitate healthy travel choices for residents, will re-establish Worksop Town Centre as the focus of everyday needs and enjoyment for local people and those from further afield.

Whilst Worksop Town Centre has suffered a number of challenges in recent years relating to changes in shopping patterns and behaviours, economic
restructuring in the region, and in recent years flooding, the future is bright. By tackling the challenges and embracing the opportunities this  Masterplan sets the scene for investment and sustainable growth that will be inclusive, healthy and resilient.

This masterplan has been commissioned by Bassetlaw District Council (BDC) to provide a regeneration and growth strategy for Worksop Town Centre over the next 20 years. This overarching framework will build on a range of existing regeneration projects and inform future regeneration activities, development priorities, as well as supporting funding bids and investment decisions made by the Council and its partners. The masterplan covers the area below.

This masterplan has been prepared against a backdrop of changing patterns in the way people spend their leisure time. Town Centres have always
been the places where people come together to meet, buy and sell goods and services, exchange ideas and enjoy themselves. Shifts in technology and lifestyle have changed shopping and leisure habits; new ways of spending time, with an emphasis on experiences, and changing patterns of socialising have gained widespread popularity, whilst traditional comparison retail has continued to retreat from the Town Centre to the internet.

The current Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 accelerated the wider structural retail and leisure market changes that were already underway as a result of a number of factors outside of the control of the Council. A strong, positive response is required by the Council and its partners to re-imagine the future role of Worksop Town Centre. A clear vision and aspiration set within a flexible regeneration strategy is vital to ‘refocus’ the Town Centre and place Worksop’s existing and new businesses in a strong position to successfully manage a smooth transition and to bring about lasting recovery to the area. This will inspire confidence in businesses, funders, consumers and prospective investors in Worksop.

This coordinated masterplan will ensure that Council-owned assets will be developed and managed with the bigger picture in mind with potential future acquisitions that can be guided by this framework. The masterplan also provides a clearly articulated framework within which business and community partners can develop their projects and initiatives to benefit and strengthen the regeneration process and the outcomes for Worksop. As such, the masterplan identifies a series of Project Clusters to focus priorities for investment and catalyse change, providing certainty and helping to realise public goods. 

The masterplan is supported by a high level ‘living’ project plan. This intentionally identifies mostly physical building and infrastructure interventions
which the Council and its partners can have a direct influence on. But the masterplan also recognises that for regeneration to be successful interventions and projects that inform policy, and support business, community, educational and cultural initiatives must go hand in hand with the physical regeneration of Worksop. The delivery of the project plan will be facilitated by a new Town Centre Board of key partners. The project plan is designed to be flexible and responsive to business case development and as funding opportunities become available.


Last Updated on Thursday, February 17, 2022