Bolsover district council leader and MP announce £15m funding boost for town’s regeneration

Bolsover council chiefs and the region’s MP have welcomed a £15million Government Levelling Up funding boost to regenerate the town with ‘Cultural Hubs’, a shop front and public realm scheme and improved network connectivity.
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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the award in the Government’s Autumn financial statement, on Wednesday, November 22, and it will be part of a share of an overall £50m of funding for four areas including Bolsover to support its town centre regeneration, public realm improvements, and cultural and heritage projects.

Bolsover District Council Leader, Councillor Steve Fritchley, said, “We have always been committed to regenerating the town and have fought long and hard for this funding, so it is welcomed and will go some way to helping us achieve our ambitions for Bolsover.

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“The grant equates to our original bid to the Levelling Up fund in August, 2022, and will build upon the excellent regeneration work we are currently doing across the district. We will continue working with our partners and the MP to put together a plan that will benefit the town, its residents, businesses and visitors.”

Bolsover Town CentreBolsover Town Centre
Bolsover Town Centre

Bolsover MP Mark Fletcher also welcomed the funding boost after the Minister for Levelling Jacob Young stated that he was delighted to confirm that £15m of capital funding has been provisionally awarded to Bolsover to support Levelling Up by creating more opportunities and boosting economic growth.

The Labour-controlled district council aims to use the money to create ‘Cultural Hubs’ in currently vacant town centre retail units, create new shop fronts and public realm and introduce improved network connectivity to increase footfall.

These plans will include the regeneration and purchase of vacant town centre retail units to create the ‘Cultural Hubs’ to provide better opportunities for new businesses or support the expansion of existing ones.

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The shop front improvement scheme also aims to improve the appearance of the town and enhance the retail offer to residents and visitors.

Labour Controlled Bolsover District Council Leader, Cllr Steve FritchleyLabour Controlled Bolsover District Council Leader, Cllr Steve Fritchley
Labour Controlled Bolsover District Council Leader, Cllr Steve Fritchley

And work on the public realm will see improvements to pavements, signage, street furniture and other elements that will encourage visitors to spend more time in the town and it is hoped this will also better connect the town to its crowning tourism attraction, Bolsover Castle.

In addition, by being able to invest in the 5G mobile phone network and by installing a high-capacity fibre-based communication network in the town centre, the council hopes to improve connectivity for all by providing much needed Wi-Fi.

This will provide real-time bus information for travellers and digital display, information totem units for people in key locations.

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The introduction of digital technology such as ‘Park Here Now’ and new augmented reality experiences will also help enhance the visitor experience and increase footfall and all the developments will be embedded with ‘environmental sustainability’, according to the council.

Conservative Bolsover Mp Mark FletcherConservative Bolsover Mp Mark Fletcher
Conservative Bolsover Mp Mark Fletcher

Conservative Bolsover MP Mark Fletcher will also be helping to introduce the public realm improvements, the repurposing of abandoned buildings like the former Co-op store, and helping to improve greater accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists with more community spaces and new recreation and leisure facilities.

MP Jacob Young, the Conservative Government’s Minister for Levelling Up, explained that Bolsover was deemed to be one of the ‘Priority Places’ to benefit from this round of Levelling Up funding.

He added that the council will be invited to bring forward and submit its plan but engagement and collaboration with all interested parties including MP Mr Fletcher will be critical to any success and the funding must then be spent by March 2026.

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Bolsover MP Mark Fletcher’s office stated that he will be working with all the regeneration plan’s interested parties as well as with the Government Department for Levelling Up to use the funding for the regeneration of the town centre.

His office also stated that the regeneration of Bolsover town centre has been one of Mr Fletcher’s main priorities including creating the Bolsover High Street Task Force in 2020 to help pull together ideas to support a funding bid.

Mr Fletcher’s office also stated that the funding will support a better layout for the town centre, help the night-time economy, and provide a distinct connection with Bolsover Castle.

On the day of the funding announcement, Mr Fletcher said: “For too long our local high streets have been neglected. Since being elected I have been campaigning for more investment into our town centres so that local businesses can thrive, and people can take pride in calling this area our home.

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“That’s why I’m delighted to welcome today’s £15m investment into the heart of the Bolsover Constituency. The funding will support small businesses and regenerate our town centre to make it a more vibrant, convenient, and exciting place at the heart of our local community, as well as attracting tourists into our town.

“Along with the recently announced sixth-form and new dental provision we are making great progress in Bolsover. And I look forward to working with partners to deliver these much-needed improvements for the town centre.”

The council is already working with its partners to ensure their ambitions – and the ambitions of its residents – are realised and the local authority expects work on its plans to get underway in early 2024.

Cllr Fritchley added, “A significant element of our ambition is to improve the look and feel of the town and ensure the one hundred thousand plus visitors that go to the Castle every year, go into the town centre.

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“So, we need to provide more hospitality, arts and leisure opportunities for people to participate in and enjoy, whilst still providing a high street that offers what people need.”

The UK’s Government is investing £13 billion in Levelling Up projects for people and businesses across the country to fairly help grow the economy, create jobs, improve transport and provide skills training and business support for all across the UK.