And just like that, 2023 is almost over! It’s been a busy year in politics, so before we see off what remains of the year, I thought it would be great to look back at a few of the biggest achievements for our town in 2023!
We began the year with some major Levelling Up news as Government announced a £20 million investment to transform Stockwell Gate and the Beales building. This funding really is a big piece of the puzzle when it comes to revitalising our town centre - providing a hub for education, healthcare, jobs and bringing key local services to the heart of town.
Through the course of the year the Government announced not one, but two further rounds of Levelling Up money – meaning the pot has grown to over £72 million of investment.
This is one of the highest amounts of Levelling Up investment in the region, with the first ‘Towns Fund’ worth £12 million already underway. This fund is the reason our new Warsop Leisure Hub is being built, due to complete in 2024, and why over the course of the next year we’ll see parking becoming more modernised and accessible in our town centre too.
This funding has the potential to be really positive for our town, and overall it’s more investment than we’ve probably ever had.
The most recent round of £20m Levelling Up Fund money is spread over ten years and is aimed at allowing us to tackle the real long-term challenges we’re facing, so we’re working with Government to find the best and most effective uses of that money. As Mansfield’s MP I’m ecstatic that banging on Ministers doors has brought so much funding our way in 2023.
2023 was also a year of major investment for our schools, with the announcement that Meden, Garibaldi, All Saints and Yeoman Park are all set to be rebuilt! Schools across Mansfield also had a record uplift in funding this year, and 2024 is set to bring over £96 million in funding, another record. On top of all that, the County Council also announced a new SEND school will be built in Ravensdale!
Many of our schools, and our College, achieved ‘Good’ Ofsted ratings for the first time too this year, and I’m positive we’ll continue to see more schools head in this direction going forward as funding increases and standards improve.
Healthcare outcomes have also been improving, our Community Hospital is delivering hundreds more checks, our lung cancer screening programme has been a massive success, and work on our new Community Diagnostic Centre will soon be underway – delivering 117,000 extra appointments a year.
This year ends with the economy heading in a positive direction. I’m pleased that now the Government has successfully halved inflation this year, we can now see taxes cut, wages rise and people able to keep more of the money they earn.
2023 has seen millions secured for our town and I’m massively optimistic about our future going into 2024. We’ll start to see so much get delivered across education, healthcare, and our town centre in the years to come. Of course, there’s still lots to do, but this year we’ve made great progress.
Finally, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!