Bassetlaw Council chiefs say they will be ‘keeping their options open’ over plans to develop an acre of disused land in Worksop town centre that has just been purchased at auction for £260,000.
The Bridge Street site, which spans from the high street all the way to the new bus station on Memorial Avenue, was purchased by the council on Tuesday July 21.
The historic grade II listed building, courtyard and land behind it previously belonged to the Middleton family who run a well-known pet store in the location.
Although there are other shops in operation on the site such as a mobility scooter store, council chiefs said they intended to retain the building’s retail units and insist that it would be ‘business as usual’.
The rest of the site has been earmarked for social housing, a direct route to the bus station and additional retail businesses in order to protect the building’s historic shop fronts.
David Armiger, director of Regeneration and Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw Council added:“By purchasing Middleton’s and the land behind it, the council has acted quickly to secure a key regeneration site for Worksop. There is great potential for development of the site.
“We are keeping our options open but these include opening up a direct route to Bridge Street from the new bus station, the building of social housing and retail units as well as protecting and maintaining the shop fronts on the high street.
“We have started to develop an ambitious plan which aims to bring people back into the town centre and this site will be a key element of this initiative.”
Philip Jackson, chairman of Worksop business forum, said: “This is a great opportunity to regenerate the top of Bridge Street. This acquisition seems to fit very well with the council’s long term development plans and the forum look forward to working with the council on this project.”
Council chiefs added that the £260k purchase was ‘not impulsive’ and that had money had been ‘set aside’ in order to buy Middleton’s as part of the council’s regeneration project for Worksop.