Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Contractor appointed for design and re-development of former Beales building in Mansfield

Mansfield Connect has taken a step forward following the appointment of a contractor for the design and re-development of the former Beales building in Mansfield.

Mansfield District Council has appointed Kier Group plc following a competitive tender process to undertake phase one for the Mansfield Connect project. It will see the 1930s former Beales building in the heart of the town centre transformed into a modern, multi-agency and community hub.

Phase one was given the green light in a delegated decision taken by Councillor Craig Whitby, Portfolio Holder for Corporate and Finance. It will see the overall design and development of the project, then subject to progress, the council will then tender and award a contract for phase two in autumn 2024, which will see the main construction work being undertaken.

Project work is expected to start on site in January 2025, with it being fully operational and open in January 2027.

Following a submission made by the council, the scheme was allocated the full £20 million from round two of the government’s flagship Levelling Up Fund in January 2023. It is expected to house a variety of public, educational, enterprise, and health and wellbeing services, along with space for private sector investment and Mansfield District Council’s new headquarters.

The project is anticipated to cost around £30 million to complete, and this will be made up of the £20 million Levelling Up Fund, £5 million from the Levelling Up Partnership, with the balance from partner contributions, and from Mansfield District Council anticipated capital receipts.

Executive Mayor Andy Abrahams said: “Mansfield Connect is a key regeneration project that will transform the long vacant Beales department store into a multi-use, multi-service community and civic hub.

“Its creation will significantly improve access to a range of public services to support our communities; create new opportunities for enterprise and skills development; provide important new town centre amenities; and, by re-opening long closed frontages, will support greater footfall and high street vibrancy.

“The co-location of the council with partners in the town centre represents an opportunity to bring key services together, facilitating service transformation and significant efficiency gains within the council and across partner services.

“This once-in-a-lifetime regeneration project is a fundamental step forward in creating a brighter and transformative future for Mansfield’s residents, and we anticipate it will stimulate further private sector investment and economic opportunity in the town centre and beyond.”

The council purchased the building in December 2021 to take control over shaping a new future for the town centre. It forms a key part of the council’s adopted Town Centre Masterplan and complements several other regeneration projects and developments being progressed across the town. It also aligns with the broader council strategies promoting Growth, Aspiration, Wellbeing and Place.

The CEO of Mansfield BID, Jay Rowlinson, said the project is the key to unlocking more business and investment in the town centre.

He said: “The impact the multi-agency hub will deliver to our local businesses is two-fold. We will see an increase in footfall in the town centre by having a one-stop shop for council services, education, benefits, and job support.

“Also, our town centre businesses will further reap the benefits with all these staff and additional visitors using their eateries, shopping with them for goods, and enjoying what the town offers.

“It will not only increase the vibrancy of Stockwell Gate, a key entry point into our town, but it will also bring a building that has stood empty back into use, and I look forward to seeing the progress get underway.”

The Mansfield Connect building will be both refurbished and rebuilt to ensure maximum value for money while ensuring important heritage assets are retained.

It is anticipated that the front art-deco of the former Co-op building will be retained, and the remaining parts of the building could be demolished with a new building created.

It is also anticipated that the existing two shopping link footbridges over Stockwell Gate will be removed within the scheme, opening a key entrance into the town centre, and unlocking its vibrancy. More details will be confirmed during the phase one process, and subsequent planning application due to be submitted later this year.

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