‘It will not be a white elephant’: Gedling leader explains why Arnold Market development has taken so long to open

Councillor John Clarke said concerns had been raised by some residents about why the development was taking so long.

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The leader of Gedling Borough Council has explained why a £4m Arnold Market Place development has taken so long to get off the ground.

Cllr John Clarke (Lab) spoke out after the development was delayed by around a year.

Last week, the local authority unveiled the name for the new development – AMP – which is an acronym of Arnold Market Place.

The development will consist of a new build – which will cater for seven small businesses as well as a top floor which has the potential to be a restaurant, office space or a gym.

Marketing is currently taking place to find suitable tenants.

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There will also be around 20 pitches for market traders as well as an entertainment space which can be used for craft, food and antique fairs.

There are also plans for a new toilet block including a disabled unit.

Cllr Clarke said he is hoping the whole development will be open by April or May next year.

PICTURED: Councillors unveil the new ‘The AMP’ branding at Arnold Market Place

He said concerns had been raised by some residents about why the development was taking so long.

He told the Local Democracy Reporting Service: “People will be asking why it is taking so long but this is the modern world now. Dare I mention Brexit.

“There has been a long wait for steel and general building materials and escalating costs getting hold of them. You take your place in the queue.

“Legal deals have been difficult because people are working from home (due to Covid) as well as skilled labour costs.

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“It seems a tremendous long period since the original market closed. We are aware of that but I think it will be a hub when it is all put together.

“It is not a loss to the taxpayers. It is £4m of real estate. We have not wasted money. It will not be a white elephant.”

Funding for the project is coming from the council’s capital programme budget, boosted by a successful bid for £1.25 million from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership’s Local Growth Fund that supports town centre improvements.

The project will create around 40 new jobs through business employment and through the construction of the new buildings.

Craig Stopper, Framework Construction Manager at G F Tomlinson, said: “We are delighted to see the new name be unveiled to the public as we continue to make great progress.

“The AMP will provide Arnold with a modern, state-of-the-art facility that will serve the community and many businesses for years to come.”

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