Project Clusters

In order to deliver the Key Concepts and bring together these strands a series of Project Clusters have been identified to focus priorities for investment and catalyse change. Whilst these have notional boundaries and geographic locations, their impact and resonance is intended to be Town Centre wide, recognising the compact nature of Worksop.

The Innovation District

Innovation Districts are becoming a common feature of many towns and cities across the UK. The clustering of businesses, research, training and supporting facilities recognises the importance of collaboration and the cross-fertilisation of ideas.

“Innovation districts constitute the ultimate mash-up of entrepreneurs and educational institutions, start-ups and schools, mixed-use development and medical innovations, bike-sharing and bankable investments - all connected by transit, powered by clean energy, wired for digital technology, and fuelled by caffeine” - Katz and Wager 2017

Typically, also incorporating meeting and events spaces, leisure, residential, renewable and low carbon energy and high-quality public spaces,  innovation districts are now becoming a feature of smart economic growth. Fast and robust free wireless internet is available everywhere in the Town Centre for visitors and residents to benefit from. Great broadband in an Innovation district makes it easy for businesses to take advantage of the 
opportunities global connectivity brings.

Innovative businesses are already established in Worksop, whether that be Whitworth Brothers at the forefront of flour milling, or the already established creative industries in the Creative Village and elsewhere.

Building on this, the Worksop Access to Skills Hub (the WASH) will bring together the RNN Group (of Colleges), Bassetlaw CCG and the University of Derby as well as other public sector and business providers to provide a state of the art skills and educational hub, as complementary focal point for an Innovation District in Worksop. This approach is highly aligned to best international practice and reflects an innovative approach from a number of partners and the Council wishes to expand this theme in the future.

Industry training in the digital and low carbon growth industries as well as the health and care sectors, business incubation and product development would co-locate fostering home-grown talent, creating better paid jobs and upskilling the workforce, designing new products, developing the knowledge economy and providing solutions to climate change, health and wellbeing in one central location.

Low carbon energy, in particular heat, is a challenge for the electricity grid and opportunities exist nearby to create an energy centre that will provide low carbon heat and electricity serving the Innovation District and the wider area with affordable warmth and power to the new homes and businesses. Innovation in low carbon energy may be a future specialism in terms of training and skills development.

A significant element in most Innovation Districts is the role of arts and culture and many co-locate events and conference spaces with the capability to host concerts and recitals. This allied to the nearby greenspace of The Canch and its improved family friendly facilities, easy access to the Town Centre and existing range of cultural facilities makes the chosen location the ideal place for a new mixed-use quarter for Worksop with café’s, public 
spaces, sustainable housing and waterside activity.

Key benefits

  • Increased skills and workforce development
  • High quality job creation
  • Live Work opportunities and compact (sustainable) growth
  • Area based regeneration
  • Fuel poverty alleviation and energy-based income streams for the public sector

Funding sources

  • Land value capture
  • Innovation Funding
  • Private Investment
  • LEP

Next steps

  • Engagement with academic partners
  • Heat Network Delivery Unit (HNDU) Funding for feasibility studies
  • Development Plan Document Site Allocations
  • Planning and Development Brief(s)

Waterfront Leisure & the Blue Green Ribbon

Adjoining the Innovation District, opportunities for great public spaces, waterside access and a new mooring exist to make this area the focus of the evening economy, whilst also being a vibrant daytime destination for new and existing residents and visitors alike.

Like many towns Worksop has ‘turned its back’ to the river; For many people the River Ryton is not immediately visible in the Town Centre. The map of 1900 shows the course of the river through the town and the amount of space around the water, including green spaces and trees that previously existed.

Recent floods of 2020 were a reminder of the presence of a force of nature. Over time the course of the river has changed, and it has become constrained within artificial banks whilst also having being built over on Bridge Street and the Priory Centre. There is no longer a bridge on Bridge Street and the only reminder of the presence of the river is on the ground with swirls picked out in the paving, hinting at the water below.

Opportunities exist to put the river at the heart of the Town Centre in a safe, sustainable and attractive way. By providing flood storage upstream and removing obstructions downstream the river can once again be a good neighbour. Through the restoration of natural processes in the channel this attractive feature will provide a quality green setting for the development of the future Town Centre.

The River Ryton brings nature into the Town Centre and as such is an asset with a great potential to add economic value whilst also providing significant new greenspace and habitats. This area will have a strong, energetic identity and ‘water themed’ public spaces with ‘gateway’ features. Access to the River Ryton and the Chesterfield Canal should be improved. Being at the centre of a range of routes and paths, this area will be the entry point for the canal and riverside leading the rejuvenation of the area. Opportunities will be taken to create buildings that overlook this asset with the opportunity for new public spaces, leisure and living, all enhanced by the presence of water.

To the north of the River and once important for the town in terms of supporting industry is the Chesterfield Canal. Restored as a navigable waterway after falling into disrepair in the twentieth century the canal has a wide range of characterful buildings alongside what is an important route for barges but also an important recreation resource for walking and cycling along the towpath. With connections to Nottinghamshire, South Yorkshire
and Derbyshire the Chesterfield Canal has a great potential for sustainable tourism, bringing people directly into the Town Centre.

Many towns and cities have re-imagined their waterside places and their relationship to the aquatic environment. A similar opportunity exists in Worksop; By opening up views and connections to the waterside, the river and canal environment in the valley offers a great potential for quality  leisure, employment and living.

In the long term the ‘Blue Green Ribbon’ will be the catalyst of a new ‘green’ future for Worksop showcasing nature-based solutions to flood risk management and climate change alongside a quality recreation and leisure offer. This waterside environment will provide the green link between the ever-popular Canch Town Centre park and an improved Sandhill Lake to the west of the Town Centre. Across its length space for play, recreation, social interaction and nature will sit comfortably side by side connected by quality walking and cycling routes inclusive and safe for all. Appropriate leisure uses such as cafes, bars and restaurants will encourage people to positively use this significant linear greenspace and stay longer.

The national cycle route uses the Chesterfield Canal through Worksop and this route, with new connections to improved walking and cycling  infrastructure in the Town Centre will make active travel between home, work and leisure easy, whilst supporting health and wellbeing through providing access to nature.

In addition to the immediate waterside environment there is an opportunity to green the wider valley bringing nature into the urban environment through greening spaces and buildings and improvements to the streetscape. Innovative public art, such as water features and play could form part of the Town Centre experience, driving up footfall and retaining people for longer.

Key benefits

  • Flood Risk Management
  • Habitat creation, biodiversity and water quality improvements
  • Increased land and property values
  • Improved image of Worksop
  • Health and wellbeing benefits (recreation, stress reduction, healthy travel)
  • Support for the hospitality industry and visitor economy

Funding sources

  • Land value capture
  • Asset backed vehicles / land receipts
  • Flood Defence Grant in Aid (FDGIA) – Environment Agency
  • Canal and Rivers trusts
  • Local Nature Recovery Networks (upcoming)

Next steps

  • Local Levy Funding (via NCC) for full Flood Alleviation Scheme
  • Development Plan Document Site Allocations
  • Planning and Development Brief(s)

Improving Existing Housing

There are many advantages to living close to the Town Centre in Worksop. With easy access to shops and services, the river and canal, and public transport the Town Centre is a great place to live, and this area will remain primarily residential, but there is room for improvement if this is to be an aspirational location.

The Council owns and manages a significant number of homes close to the Town Centre in the Sandhill and Sandy Lane areas and there are opportunities to improve the quality of the properties and public spaces in some cases whilst also improving connectivity in and around the area. The Council has a good track record in providing innovative quality housing, with recent notable examples evident in the suburb of Manton. Opportunities exist to improve canal access, providing new crossing points and links to other regeneration areas.

Working with the Sandhill and Sandy Lane communities, potential exists to improve the living conditions of residents whilst also adding to the
variety of housing available within the Town Centre.

Sandhill Lake is an attractive community asset that could add value to the Town Centre and the communities that live around it. A significant
opportunity exists in this part of the Town Centre to positively integrate Sandhill Lake in the Town Centre offer, reinforcing the concept of life on the waterfront. Through the regeneration of the existing housing in this area and by building additional new housing, a sense of identity and community would be achieved whilst improvements to the lake’s environment would be welcoming for visitors and lake users.

The area identified in the masterplan includes some privately owned terraced properties that would benefit from improvements in terms of energy efficiency, parking and street design and this would improve the living conditions whilst also making the Town Centre a more attractive place to live.

Key benefits

  • Reduced fuel poverty
  • Improved living conditions
  • Greater access to Sandhill Lake
  • Increased affordable housing supply
  • Long-term income streams
  • Improved image of Town Centre living

Funding sources

  • HRA
  • Homes England
  • Green Industrial Revolution Funding (10 point Plan)
  • Partnerships with Registered Providers
  • Green Bonds and other innovative funding
  • Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE)
  • Land Value Capture
  • Private investment

Next steps

  • Detailed masterplans for the regeneration of existing estates
  • Identification of further sites for Council housing delivery
  • Development Plan Document Allocations
  • Survey of property types and retrofitting potential

Town Centre Living

Creating homes that people want to live in, with riverside and canal side views, within a historic environment and with excellent routes directly into the Town Centre with its retail, leisure and core services are at the heart of Town Centre living.

Whilst the recent Covid 19 crisis have increased demand for out of town living temporarily, the sense of community, ease of access and sustainability
benefits of Town Centre living are still compelling. However there needs to be some changes in terms of design, patterns of ownership and tenure if we are to attract a new generation of Town Centre residents. Affordability, security of tenure, access to outdoor space and housing quality are all considerations alongside the management and maintenance of buildings.

Re-use of existing buildings and significant new housing identified through the planning process that caters to different age and income groups and
increases opportunities for affordable housing and intergenerational living will increase the resident population in the Town Centre and improve the vitality and viability of Town Centre retail, leisure and service sectors during the day, but also in the evening and at the weekend.

Historically many more people lived in the Town Centre before the suburban expansion of Worksop and the Masterplan seeks to re-establish this pattern. With a range of local services and community facilities within 15 minutes and close to home, the Town Centre will once again serve the needs of the town’s population. As an increasing number of younger people choose not to drive, and a third of the under 25’s not having a licence, the Town Centre may be an attractive option as a place to live.

More quality housing in or close to the Town Centre, will be sustainable in terms of location. The creation of walkable 15-minute neighbourhoods, with most homes having great access to the river and canal and local shops and services and the attractions of the Town Centre - will increase opportunities for active travel and public transport, reducing vehicle trips and congestion, bringing significant health and wellbeing benefits. As well as securing environmental benefits, the vision of a sustainable and vibrant mixed used Town Centre, will establish Worksop as an aspirational
place to live. 

In and around the Town Centre there are a number of opportunities that would be suitable for new residential development. Designed to the highest standards of energy efficiency and providing gardens and new public spaces these homes would be attractive to families and would help to support the Town Centre as a hub for the new and existing communities. 

Well-connected and accessible, the new housing will be integrated with the existing homes in the area, ensuring that the benefits of the new development are shared.

Good examples of new, sustainable affordable housing include the award-winning Goldsmith Street in Norwich which balances an appropriate density
whilst also providing gardens and public spaces. These homes are highly energy efficient and the running costs are low, whilst also helping to reduce
carbon emissions. A greater number of people living in the Town Centre generates activity during the day and night, reinforcing community safety with more people occupying the streets going about their business and taking exercise.

Key benefits

  • Improved image of Town Centre living
  • Compact and sustainable patterns of growth
  • Support for Town Centre Businesses
  • Re-use of redundant buildings and upper floors

Funding sources

  • Homes England
  • Successors to current projects (THI)
  • Land Value Capture
  • Asset Backed Vehicles and land receipts

Next steps

  • Development Plan Document Allocations
  • Survey of property types and retrofitting potential

Historic Bridge Street & Cultural Heritage

Bridge Street is a finely structured high street that gently curves down from the Town Hall to the River Ryton and the Chesterfield Canal. The bridge the forms the name of the street is now lost, with only a hint at the water below picked out in the paving. The Ordnance Survey map of 1886 shows how the Town Centre was laid out, with a clear gap where Bridge Street crossed the river. Bridge Street as an important route from north to south is crossed by Newcastle Street that connects the site of Worksop Castle to the former Priory and Priory Church. At the crossing of these two routes are fine buildings that demonstrate the historic importance of Worksop; as wealth was created from the mining industry and the presence of the Chesterfield Canal.

To the south the historic burgage plots, the long narrow plots to the rear of each property, can be clearly seen and the yards and lanes created as these plots were built out are still in evidence today. To the west of Bridge Street these are more evident that to the east, although closer observation reveals these historic routes.

These yards have a distinctive and intimate feel and ongoing projects such as the Middletons Business Hub demonstrates the regeneration potential for these areas to the rear of Bridge Street to come to life, accommodating a wide range of uses, and may be particularly attractive for a range of small-scale independent Town Centre uses.

The Masterplan seeks to celebrate the multi-layered history of Worksop, using improved walking and cycling connectivity to better reveal the assets and add to the offer of the town.

Traditionally the retail centre of the town, the Bridge Street area identified by the Masterplan has significant potential to be re-focussed as a distinctive mixed-use quarter. Benefitting from high quality historic buildings and improved use of public spaces, this area will be the focus for a well-contained retail core alongside a full range of complementary Town Centre uses and housing. Appropriate pop up or temporary uses, as
well as the fluid management of public spaces will be supported, as these can add to the vibrancy of the streetscene.

The urban structure and the historic assets are important, and their protection is essential if their use in the future is to be secured, through a resurgence in a range of Town Centre uses as the Town Centre is re-established as a place to live and work and once again be the heart of the community. Positive re-use of under-used upper floors, a strong and attractive range of ground floor uses, this area will serve the day-to day needs of residents whilst also being a destination offering leisure facilities and core services for Worksop.

Opportunities will be taken to ‘reveal’ the River Ryton where it has been ‘lost’. Where there are unsympathetic buildings the Masterplan proposes
that these are transformed through the use of green walls and shopfront, façade improvements to provide a contrast and setting for the historic buildings, whilst also extending the potential for habitats and ecology whilst linking to the natural assets of the river. The image below shows the potential for green walls to improve the character of the street, alongside additional tree planting within the public realm, adding to the character and distinctiveness of this important route.

Through the process of consulting on the Masterplan the importance of cultural heritage was highlighted, including the role of the Acorn Theatre, The Crossing Church and Centre and Inspire (Worksop Library). These cultural assets are related to Bridge Street, although disconnected. The re-establishment of the former yards structure of the Street, anchored by; the opening of Middletons, is an opportunity to connect the arts and culture to the offer of Bridge Street, and promote social enterprise in the Town Centre by providing a mix of community, education which respond to the needs of communities, and extend the business services and incubation of local startups. Middletons sets the scene for a new future for the Bridge Street area, bringing employment into the Town Centre alongside artisans and specialist retail.

In order to enhance Bridge Street and stimulate debate and the wider curation of the historic assets and the future of the Town Centre the  establishment of an Urban Room is recommended to provide space for exhibitions. This could also serve the purpose of hosting experimental retail, the showcasing of local products and Tourist Information. Depending on the size of the unit other uses, such as the establishment of a cycle hub might also create footfall and stimulate active travel choices to, from and within the Town Centre.

There are significant opportunities to increase the positive use of the upper floors of buildings in the Town Centre, securing the long-term future of these historic buildings.

Key benefits

  • Improved image of Town Centre living
  • Compact and sustainable patterns of growth
  • Support for Town Centre Businesses
  • Re-use of redundant buildings and upper floors
  • Support for the arts and culture offer
  • Conservation and preservation of heritage assets
  • Improved connectivity
  • Extending support to start-up and independent businesses

Funding sources

  • Successors to current projects (THI)
  • Land Value Capture
  • Asset Backed Vehicles and land receipts
  • Private investment

Next steps

  • Development Plan Document Allocations
  • Survey of property types and retrofitting potential
  • Survey of key property ownerships
  • Selective acquisitions
  • Establishment of an Urban Room
  • Delivery of new transport infrastructure (see Infrastructure Requirements)

Healthy Places and Spaces

If the Town Centre is to become an attractive place to live, work and to visit in the future the quality of the outdoor spaces is going to be important. The historic Market Place provides an ideal opportunity to create a space that forms the setting for the historic buildings, the Civic life of the town and complements the established health and wellbeing services, offering the beginnings of a community health and well-being hub.

The popular Savoy Cinema provides an anchor to the space, acting as a focus for a destination for leisure but currently the Market Place lacks purpose, and whilst the space is attractively planted with places to sit it could contribute more to the life of the town. The quality of the space, and the buildings around it, are compromised by the traffic that enters from Potter Street. With creative re-use of the historic surrounding buildings, the old market square would benefit from pedestrianisation to create a key point of arrival for visitors by bus, foot or cycle.

Creating a multi-use pedestrianised area adjacent to the Town Hall, will take advantage of the improved walking and cycling access from the wider Town Centre to provide family-friendly space for outdoor entertainment, eating, drinking and leisure. While a re-imagined public transport offer will ensure that residents are able to be picked up and dropped off in convenient locations, whether at the Newgate Surgery, the Savoy, visit other locations elsewhere in the Town Centre after making good use of improved pedestrian access.

For those wishing to use vehicles, significant additional parking at the former Mayfair Centre will provide support for this family friendly destination.
This new facility would make an ideal location for electric vehicle and alternative fuel vehicle charging hub.

It is possible to redirect the traffic moving through the area, creating a pedestrianised space that is safe and that could accommodate more community and cultural events, specialist markets and pavement cafes.

The area contains a wealth of historic buildings, which if re-purposed could provide complimentary facilities creating an attractive leisure hub. The Old Ship public house is an example of a historic building that would be an excellent restaurant venue with space outside for al fresco dining. With additional tree planting the new market square would be an attractive place to spend time. The artists impression below shows how the space could be transformed, creating a gateway to Bridge Street, whilst also allowing traffic movements along Westgate.

This is complemented by the expansion of the Health Centre, providing another focus and destination for residents during the day. The nature of public spaces can be transformed by activities such as local food production. Examples such as Incredible Edible Todmorden demonstrate how food growing can be integrated into public spaces, bringing people together and creating a sense of ownership, whilst promoting healthy living, ideal as part of a complementary holistic offer for the adjoining improved health centre. Elsewhere in the Town Centre there could be opportunities, such as community orchards, that would transform currently underused spaces. 

In order to establish Worksop as a safe and attractive family friendly destination linking the attractions of The Canch, the historic assets, the newly established leisure destination with visitor attractions further afield the Town Centre will provide for the needs of families and children, including creative play whilst ensuring that older people feel safe and secure through the careful design of streets and spaces, alongside facilities such as toilets, places to sit and shade.

Access to Clumber Park is an important consideration. This new leisure destination is in the south of the Town Centre, with access to quiet and safe routes to the south of the town and Clumber Park whilst also being on the proposed improved cycling network. The Market Place would make an ideal cycle hub, where bikes, including electric bikes could be hired by the hour to explore the town and beyond.

There is the potential to incorporate new public art features in the Town Centre, including in pedestrianised areas, that might include water or other engaging points of interest that will drive footfall and increased well time. This could be complemented by creating a ‘playable environment’ with features that provide interest whilst also being stimulating and fun for all.

Key benefits

  • A permanent venue for arts, culture and markets
  • An improved setting for the historic buildings of southern Bridge Street
  • Synergies with the Health Centre extension
  • Increased footfall and safe spaces changing the mix of uses and activities in the Town Centre
  • Positive re-use of vacant buildings, land and upper floors
  • Improved connectivity to and through the area

Funding sources

  • CCG
  • Successors to current projects (THI)
  • LEP
  • Capital Investment

Next steps

  • Development Plan Document Allocations
  • Survey of property types and retrofitting potential
  • Detailed design
  • Infrastructure Planning

Station Gateway

Worksop Station is Grade II Listed and is a fine example of railway architecture, however the forecourt is harsh, car dominated, and it is currently
removed from Clarence Road by a fence that restricts pedestrian access. The stand of trees to the south, whilst contributing to the setting, are poorly managed and a landscape led approach to the frontage would add to the attractiveness of this asset and improve the user and arrival experience.

Opportunities exist to reveal the station frontage and offer cycle and electric bike hub with ancillary retail and catering uses and an electric vehicle charging hub which could also be used by the local community who may have difficulties retrofitting their properties with appropriate infrastructure. Repurposing underused units within the station ownership for a variety of commercial/business uses will help bring a sense of purpose to the wider area, complemented by additional new homes close by, taking advantage of a close proximity to the rail network.

The wider area extending towards Worksop has a number of underused historic buildings. Underused and vacant sites could make a better contribution to the character of this key gateway to the Town Centre and the wider Conservation Area.

All provide an opportunity to be part of a new mixed use quarter; blending living, working and education environments, the Station Gateway will set the tone for the wider Worksop Town Centre experience. Over time, this masterplan will re-purpose and re-connect this area with the wider Town Centre, with opportunities to make a significant contribution to a quality intergenerational and affordable housing offer in an accessible location, close to the station and North Notts College whilst positive re-use should improve the character and quality of the townscape in a sustainable location. Opportunities to green the key walking/cycling route along Carlton Road would reinforce the vision for the wider area. Well-connected
as an interchange with the local bus routes, the inclusion of a cycle hub in this location will promote healthy travel choices into the Town Centre.

Key benefits

  • An improved point of arrival
  • Environmental improvements
  • Conservation of the Grade II Listed Station
  • Housing growth to meet local needs
  • Employment and mixed-use development opportunities
  • Sustainable transport interchange
  • Positive re-use of vacant buildings and land and positive re-use of upper floors

Funding sources

  • LEP
  • Network Rail
  • NLHF
  • Private investment

Next steps

  • Development Plan Document Allocations
  • Station masterplan

Last Updated on Thursday, February 17, 2022