Agenda item

Newark Town Investment Plan Update


The Committee considered the report presented by the Director – Planning & Growth which sought to update Members on Newark’s application for up to £25m from the Towns Fund Initiative. 


The report set out what the next steps would be following the announcement in the March Budget that Newark had been awarded the full £25m as applied for.  It provided Members with key information as to the Heads of Terms, Business Case Development and Business Case Assurance.  The Director provided Members with a verbal update on the latest position in relation to International Air & Space Training Institute (IASTI), 32 Stodman Street (the former Marks & Spencer building) and the YMCA. 


In considering the report the Chairman sought to clarify with Members that future development of the projects would move at pace and likely would not match the meeting schedule of the Committee.  Any decisions taken outside the formal committee process would be done so in accordance with current protocols for Urgency Items with appropriate consultation with opposition groups.


A Member referred to issues he had personal knowledge of in relation to the training of adults on the latest technology in the air industry and suggested that this be considered as part of the IASTI offer.  The Director advised that the proposal before Members would be further developed in the future and that it would include the training of adults.


In referring to the Heads of Terms, a Member queried as to the reasons for the inclusion of the Police Station Relocation, noting that the Council had assisted with securing the funding for the development of the station.  The Director advised that it was one of the projects included in the Town Investment Plan (TIP) application.  Following the Police Rationalisation exercise it had been determined that the relocation would lead to a reduction in their office square footage, thereby enabling more front line services to be provided.  Their relocation would also enable co-location of Police and the Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Teams.  It would also result in the site being released, in conjunction with the former Orchard School site, for development in the town centre.  The Chairman acknowledged the comments and added that it would lead to a strengthening of relationships between the Council’s Senior Leadership Team and that of the Police Authority. 


In considering the report the Chairman noted that the Plan was led by local businesses and was not solely led by the Council. 


In referring to the table in paragraph 2.3 a Member noted that the projects therein were not listed in a priority order, adding that it would require more than the £25m grant to bring them all to fruition.  He further noted that some of the projects would require capital investment by the Council and therefore they should be involved in the prioritisation of the projects.  In response the Director advised that they were not in any particular order and updates on the projects would be reported to Committee in the June and September cycles. It was made clear that at this time all projects would be progressed, albeit some such as the YMCA, 32 Stodman Street, and the IASTI at a greater rate than others.


In welcoming the report a Member suggested that better public transport links also form part of future considerations as at present the service between Ollerton and Newark was poor and offered little flexibility for students who wished to attend Newark College.


AGREED      (unanimously) that:


(a)     the confirmation of Newark’s ability, subject to Heads of Terms and Business Case Development, to receive up to £25m of capital funding for the range of Town Investment Plan projects detailed in paragraph 2.3 of the report be noted and welcomed;


(b)     the Council entering into Heads of Terms as set out in the appendix to the report be noted and agreed; and


(c)     the progress to date on each of the Town Investment Plan projects be noted.


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