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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in Mansfield as new youth centre announced

Posted onPosted on 4th Jan

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited the My Place Westfield Folkhouse Young People’s Centre in Mansfield on Thursday morning as a £3.5m investment in a new Youth and Community Centre for the Bellamy Estate in the town was announced – before later going to Mansfield Woodhouse to meet community groups..

Mansfield MP and Nottinghamshire County Council leader Ben Bradley said it was fantastic news, together with a rollout of Mansfield Family Hub services.

He added: “The investment is possible because of the Levelling Up Partnership Funding that we’ve secured from Government, and where we’ve worked with them to deliver projects that mean local needs and support ‘early help’ and prevention services in communities that most need it.

“The Prime Minister spoke to local business leaders, to youth work staff, young people, and local councillors at the PM Connect event.

“I’m really grateful for his continued commitment to our area, both for this investment announced today and the £72m of #LevellingUp funding we’ve had in Mansfield, and because this is the third time he’s been to see us in Nottinghamshire in just a few months to hear our views and priorities.”

There will also be £7.4m to improve housing on the Bellamy and Oak Tree estates, as well as £2m to improve the Sainsbury’s junction on Nottingham Road, Mansfield, from the Levelling Up funding

The new Youth and Community Centre which will provide a safe space for young people to access a range of opportunities, and professionals for information, advice, guidance, and support.  It will also provide a space for members of the local community to gather and engage in group activities, and to seek support and opportunities to improve their overall health and wellbeing.

The new hub will form part of Nottinghamshire County Council’s preventative care strategy, reaching young people who need support earlier, keeping them in their communities, and avoiding more expensive children’s residential or acute care settings.

The Bellamy Estate currently has no immediate access to a community space in which preventive services can be run.

“Early help and prevention services are a huge priority for me, both as an MP and council leader,” added Ben. “We’re trying to make sure we can get in early and support young people. We want to help people get on in life and overcome challenges, and this announcement helps to do that. It creates a new youth and community hub in an area that currently has no provision for these services and joins up support for the most vulnerable people in one of Mansfield most-disadvantaged estates.

“It’s also a big personal priority for me. Growing up I wanted to be a teacher and I’ve passionately worked both in Westminster and County Hall to improve youth services across Mansfield and the wider area.

“It’s a testament to the Government’s Levelling Up Partnership with Mansfield that we’re able to secure more of this funding. I’m also hugely grateful to organisations like Nottingham Trent University for working within communities like Oak Tree and the Bellamy Estate, particularly with helping get children prepared for school. I know this announcement will make a big difference to organisations that work within these communities too.”

Talking about the £2m funding to improve the Sainsbury’s junction in Mansfield, the MP said it was the end of a personal three-year mission.

“I first secured funding for this back in 2020, just days before the pandemic set in and all funds were pulled and diverted to protecting lives,” Ben said.

“It’s been a three-year mission to try to find alternative sources of funding for the plan — and now we’ve done it!”

Nottinghamshire County Council will fund part of the project to expand capacity at the junction, which at busy times is gridlocked.

PHOTOS: Paul Horton