Levelling Up bid: Opposition say other parts of borough are ‘missing out’ following unveiling of council’s £50m Arnold improvement plan

The Labour-run Gedling Borough Council says the money would be pumped into a project called ‘Ambition Arnold.’

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Conservative councillors have said that other parts of the borough are ‘missing out’ following a bid by the council to get £50m of Levelling Up cash to revamp parts of Arnold town centre

The Labour-run Gedling Borough Council says it is one of the most poorly-funded councils in the country and the money would be pumped into a project called ‘Ambition Arnold.’

Levelling Up bid Arnold
PICTURED: Deputy council leader Michael Payne outside Arnold’s leisure centre – which they want to redevelop with the government cash (PHOTO: GBC)
Mike Adams
“MISSING OUT” : Councillor Michael Adams thinks the cash should be spent elsewhere

However the council’s opposition Conservative leader Cllr Michael Adams claims the authority is ignoring investment opportunities in other parts of the borough.

Last week, the council announced the anchor store for the new Arnold Market – set to open later this year –  would be the Post Office.

The £4m project, which was initially planned for a spring opening before Covid-related delays, is in the final stages of construction.

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If the £50m Levelling Up bid is successful, plans include a new leisure centre and theatre to replace the current Arnold Leisure Centre and Bonington Theatre, which have been operating since the 1980s.

The bid also includes plans for a new library and public space at the northern part of the town centre and improved access from Front Street to High Street.

The council’s previous bid for £20 million in the first round of Levelling Up funding was unsuccessful. It says its second round bid uses feedback it received from the first.

Cllr John Clarke (Lab), leader of the council, said: “As with our previous application, we think this is a strong proposal that will help rebuild our town centre.

“It includes ambitious proposals for a brand-new leisure and culture site at the north part of Arnold town.

John Clarke Gedling
PICTURED: Cllr Jon Clarke, leader of Gedling Borough Council says he thinks it’s a strong proposal

“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,.

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“We will continue to do everything we can to improve the borough for our residents and businesses.”

But Cllr Adams (Cons), ward councillor for Trent Valley, told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I am happy they are applying again and have put a bid together. However, my own feeling overall is this whole administration always thinks about Arnold.

“There are places like Netherfield, Mapperley, Carlton, Daybrook, Calverton and Colwick that are desperate for investment.

“It is Arnold again and it is always Arnold, and I don’t know why?  We should be thinking about the bigger picture… about getting the whole area uplifted rather than just this section.”

The Government’s Levelling Up Fund runs until 2024-2025.


  1. I totally agree with Cllr Adams thought on this, I live in Calverton where we are having a hundreds of new houses built, I have no problem with this but I do have a big problem with the fact that GBC have taken the biggest share of the builders level money and are spending it in other parts of the borough. This money should be used upgrade the services within the visit. all they have done is give planning permission to demolish a listed building and allowing a monstrosity of a building to take its place.

    • St Ann’s is the city council, unfortunately it’s not part of Gedling Borough council. Speak to the city council to see what their doing.

  2. I never thought that I would agree with a Conservative member of the borough council. However on this occasion I fully agree with Cllr Adams. I am a resident of Calverton and have seen millions spent in Arnold, Gedling and Carlton over the last few years and all that we have had from GBC is a few thousand pounds. Come on GBC let’s level up the borough and not just Arnold.

  3. Well said that Mike Adams. An absolute disgrace as other towns are on there knees but Arnold gets everything check where the councilors all live and you wil soon realise why money is being spent there. A DISGRACE!

  4. Totally agree, Netherfield is always the forgotten relative I have lived here for 37 years and the only ‘improvement’ was Jacky Bells Park, it’s a disgrace that Arnold is looked after more than anywhere else in the borough! our roads need resurfacing (pot holes!) but there’s no money for that!

  5. Totally agree, as regarding Carlton precinct, the shopping mall is no different, uneven paths, all they added. Was parking space for a few shops, never mind Netherfield and Colwick they are very neglected,, admittedly new shops on the Loop Road, but this has made Netherfield a No footfall area, traffic horrendous etc, now a new CCTV being installed,but pavements need weeds etc need seeing too, also notice Burton Joyce gets uplifts etc, come on Gedling borough, Well done Mike Adams.

  6. Arnold always gets first pick & the lions share of Amy cash. Gedling Village has not had any investment for years. The Heritage Way should be a priority. It would benefit the whole borough

  7. You said Carlton Sq would be revamped with 700k initially. This then mysteriously suddenly dropped to 400k. All we got was a poorly designed car park no better than the last. Levelled buildings that still remain demolition site behind big red boards ( Old Hardy’s Turf Accountant building/ Rex Robbos) and bugger all else on the shopping centre. Nothing like the ‘artists’ impression. Whilst you spent 4 million, that’s 4000k, not 400 on a Large Post Office. Why would anyone believe anything you say? Time and again we see other areas ridden over roughshod whilst Arnold gets anything it requires. Since you moved the council offices to Arnot Park from Carlton it’s all Arnold, Arnold, Arnold…….and everyone’s now seeing this. I’m surprised the Gedling Show (held in Carlton) hasn’t been moved to Arnot Park..….yet! The question that you need to answer.…so when are you going to finish Carlton Sq as per your artists impression then ? That’s the other car park and aesthetic improvements on all sides and inside? ..the silence is deafening. Been going on for a few years now. Well?


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