Find out more about 32 Stodman Street project at drop-in event

Posted on: Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Those who want to find out more about the work taking place at the former M&S building on Stodman Street in Newark are invited to a drop-in event taking place in Newark Market Place on Friday 8 December between 11am and 3pm.

Organised by Newark and Sherwood District Council, anyone will be able to speak directly to District Council officers and construction specialists Stepnell who are working in partnership on the project.

District Council Officers will be at one of the stalls in the Market Place in Newark and will also have information boards with the latest images for what the area will look like in the future.  

Plans for the project will see the empty building converted into an exciting hub made up of 29 high-quality residential homes in the heart of Newark, which will provide a new town centre housing offer with a sympathetic but eye-catching and vibrant design.  There will also be two new retail units which will improve Newark’s retail offer with the aim of attracting more people into the town centre.

Councillor Matthew Spoors, Portfolio Holder for Sustainable Economic Development at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: “This event is a great opportunity to come and meet our Economic Growth team and find out more about this exciting project. Whether you have a specific question to ask or whether you are just interested in general, come along and find out more! If you are unable to make it, please drop us an email us with your questions.

“It’s exciting to see this project underway. We are committed to showing that initiatives like this can help to develop town centres for the better.  Without the Council’s intervention, this prominent building could have fallen into disrepair and while we tried hard to find tenants for it, no interest for such a large unit was forthcoming.  By splitting it up as we are, we are turning a building that could have been abandoned into a thriving and active area where living, working and shopping come together.”

Tom Sewell, regional director at Stepnell, said: “Working in partnership with Newark and Sherwood District Council to keep the community at the centre of the development as it progresses is extremely important to us. As a result, we look forward to being part of an ongoing strong communication programme, which prioritises keeping local people and businesses informed on this exciting project.

“As considerate and collaborative complete construction partners, we pride ourselves on being able to add value to every project we are involved in. A big part of our work here in Newark therefore will centre around social value and leaving a lasting legacy. So, not only will local people and businesses have a fantastic retail space to invigorate the town centre once works are finalised, but throughout the process we look forward to investing money and resources in the area. From working with a local supply chain, to supporting schools with educational talks and creating job opportunities too.”

The District Council owns very few buildings in the town centre but has successful occupation rates with those it does. They work very closely with its fantastic tenants that include Tambo Lounge, Iguazu, Specsavers and Inspire. It is only through close working relationships and understanding tenants needs, that it is confident occupying smaller retailer units will continue to work for a town the size of Newark. For other buildings not owned by the District Council, the rent is set by private landlords and is not something Newark and Sherwood District Council can control.

It is also putting emphasis on bringing sustainability aspects into the build. This development will utilise solar panels on the roof, have modern insulation and will recycle up to 90% of all materials removed from site. It will also create new green planting and expand St Marks Lane, opening up the link between Lombard Street and Stodman Street.

The first phase of work is likely to take place until the start of 2024 with the construction taking place soon after. Completion is expected to be in summer 2025.

The Stodman Street development is one of many projects being funded by Newark Towns Board’s successful application to the Government’s Towns Fund initiative.  It is being delivered by Newark and Sherwood District Council whose aim it is to breathe new life in Newark town centre.  Other projects include the £3m restoration of Newark Castle and a £2.1m Cultural Heart project aiming to provide a varied and exciting events programme alongside investments to improve the town centre even further.