Arnold town centre £50m Levelling Up bid to build new library, leisure centre and theatre

The ‘Ambition Arnold’ bid lays out the council’s plans for investment in the town

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Gedling Borough Council has today confirmed they will be submitting a funding bid for £50 million through the government’s latest round of ‘Levelling up’ funding to revitalise Arnold town centre. 

The ‘Ambition Arnold’ bid lays out the council’s plans for investment in a new leisure centre and the modernisation of the northern area of Arnold town centre.

Bonington in Arnold
PICTURED: The Bonington in Arnold (IMAGE: Gedling Eye)
Front Street Arnold
IMPROVEMENTS: Money would also be spent on Front Street in Arnold

The bid includes a new, multi-purpose leisure centre and theatre to replace the current Arnold Leisure Centre and Bonington Theatre, which have been in place since the 1980s. The bid also includes plans for a new library and a public realm space to drive footfall into the northern part of the town centre and create improved access from Front Street to the high street. 

The ‘Levelling Up’ Fund was announced by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities in November 2020. The fund was made available to communities in all UK nations,  with up to £4.8 billion available for local infrastructure across the UK. 

Gedling Borough Council had previously bid for £20 million in the first round but were unsuccessful. The feedback from government suggested that the previous application was strong, specifically around the plans for the town centre, so the council has submitted a new bid based on the government response. 

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Arnold Town Centre south has recently benefited from a multi-million pound development of The AMP at Arnold Market Place, which is due to be opened shortly. The new £4 million building will have a number of new enterprise businesses there and is also one of the key parts of the council’s overall ambition to revitalise the town centre and create a more vibrant economy in the area. 

Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor John Clarke MBE said: “We can now announce that we will be making a second application for government levelling up funding to revitalise Arnold Town Centre.

As with our previous application, we think this is a strong proposal that, if successful, will help rebuild our town centre. The application includes ambitious proposals for a brand new leisure and culture site at the north part of Arnold Town that will improve this part of the town following the recent investment in the south part of the town with the creation of The AMP building.

“Residents in Arnold have told us that the physical appearance of the area and variety of shops is an issue. This money would be used to improve those areas and create a real buzz in the town centre.

“We have already shown our intentions with the multi-million pound investments we have made in the new Arnold Market Place and the refurbishment of Carlton Town Centre and we will continue to do everything we can to improve the borough for our residents and businesses. WE”

Deputy Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor Michael Payne said “This is Gedling’s second application for our fair share of ‘levelling up’ funding – we hope government will take this application seriously and see that Gedling is in real need of this investment and is simply asking for a fair share of funding, which is what this government promised ‘every part of the UK’. 

Gedling Borough Council’s first application to the Levelling Up Fund was backed by the local Member of Parliament and the council was told it was a ‘strong’ application but no funding was forthcoming. We have made alterations and council officers have worked hard to get a bid ready in a short space of time, however, it is now in the hands of central government to demonstrate if they are serious about backing the council’s ambition to invest in our local communities here in Gedling.”


  1. Yesssss. Just wat we need. Our town is being seen as a capital at last. Lots of money and investment being made to bring in the tourists wich will make it even biggger and BETTER! We’ll done council. ARnold is our Capital and our London and this will make it even fantasticer

  2. It’s Gedling Borough Council not Arnold Council it’s time money was spent in the outlying parts of the Borough . Arnold’s had it’s fair share .

  3. So GBC. How much of this £50 million will you be spending in other places in the Borough like Calverton? You are perfectly happy allowing developers to build hundreds of houses there, but fail to develop further amenities or infrastructure to support a further 1200+ residents.

    • We don’t need a new leisure centre or library nothing wrong with the one we have Calverton and other towns need some of the money top end of ARNOLD needs renavation no need for money wasted on leisure centre

  4. The last I heard, Arnold already had a leisure centre and theatre. I went there only last week. Michael Payne is literally standing outside it. This is a waste of money. There are other places in the borough.

  5. More boring rhetoric from ArnoldLoudLad, GBC should hold their heads in shame for the sheer favouritism given to always the same town over all the others that’s part of the Borough. Put it to a vote what the boroughs people want 50 million spending on. I think if you go ahead and just spend even more unjustified cash on Arnold come the next elections remember….people have good memories and you may find your out of your gravytrain job!
    Arnold the capital? Ha! Don’t make us laugh. Perhaps it’s growing crime rate yeah….

  6. AN OUTRAGE. Netherfield needs this money more than any other place in this borough. Build a leisure centre and theatre there!! DISGUSTING! All the money is spent in Arnold. A DISGRACE! AN ABSOLUTE DISGRACE!!!


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