Firmly on the tourism map

Dining Out

Words by:
Melanie Burton
Featured in:
April 2017

Success is the buzzword when it comes to the bustling market town of Newark-on-Trent and with major events and developments already planned to attract thousands of extra visitors from far and wide, 2017 looks set to be a bumper year.
The opening of the National Civil War Centre in Appletongate just two years ago has ensured the historic town is well and truly on the tourism map and it has more than earned its place in the town, with its varied and numerous exhibitions helping to increase footfall and boost the local economy.

This year it has even bigger and better things planned. It will host the UK’s top military history conference this summer, which will be attended by history fans from across the country.

World famous historians will deliver the two-day event at the end of June in what could become a regular date for the museum, which charts the turmoil of the seventeenth-century British Civil Wars.

“Hosting such a prestigious gathering is another feather in our cap,” said Mark Williamson from the National Civil War Centre.

“The conference will attract history fans from across the UK and the breadth of the weekend is astonishing, with sessions ranging from the Battles of Agincourt and Bosworth to modern conflicts such as aerial bombing.

“There’ll be talks, debates, discussions and hands-on seminars, a military history fair, tours of the town and the chance to examine wonderful artefacts from wars in the past.”

Amongst the speakers are experts from the Royal Armouries and Channel Four’s Time Team.

The conference is being organised by Military History Live in conjunction with the National Civil War Centre and Military History Monthly magazine and will be spread across the centre, which is partly housed in a Tudor grammar school built in 1532, and the adjoining Palace Theatre. It will also include an awards ceremony for the best military history books of 2016.

Over the early May Bank Holiday weekend, 300 civil war re-enactors will descend on the town as the clock is turned back to the mid-seventeenth century.

The National Civil War Centre has confirmed that the 3rd Pikes and Plunder annual Civil War festival will take place there on 30th April and 1st May.

So far fourteen regiments have signed up to take part, along with two artillery companies, a baggage train and scores of living history exponents, making it a much bigger event than last year.

National Civil War Centre Manager Michael Constantine said: “We are working closely with the English Civil War Society to stage this major event. Their expertise will make it an unforgettable weekend with musketeers, pikemen, cannons and colour.”

Jo Sarney, Commanding Officer of Robert Overton’s Regiment, who is co-ordinating the re-enactors, added: “The chance to use the Queen’s Sconce in particular is an unmissable opportunity for re-enactors. It’s by far the best preserved earthen fort of its kind anywhere in Britain, providing an atmospheric setting with excellent viewing points for the public.”

Another event that always pulls in the crowds is the Nottinghamshire County Show, which takes place on Newark Showground in May.

Last-minute preparations are underway for this year’s event, which is expected to attract more than 21,000 visitors over the two days.

Newark Showground is an integral part of Newark, not only as a tourist attraction but also as a venue for business meetings, conferences and events.

The showground has eleven purpose-built halls and pavilions ideal for meetings for up to a dozen people or conferences with up to 1,000 attendees.

Easily accessible from the A1, the A46, the A17, and also with good rail links to London and the north, Newark is the halfway point for a lot of companies that have branches countrywide. The Showground is also able to attract in-the-week business too through its Lady Eastwood Pavilion. It re-opened in May 2016 with many new features following a complete rebuild.

The self-contained event centre, ideal for exhibitions, conferences, product launches, dinners and other major functions now benefits from the addition of three brand new meeting rooms for up to 180 people in total.

Just as the Civil War centre has put Newark on the tourism map, a major project is planned to put the town firmly on the national sporting circuit.

Nottinghamshire YMCA has pledged up to £1.5 million in order to launch a Sports and Community Village in Newark and has confirmed it will include a 400-metre, six-lane athletic track with an eight-lane straight sprint track.

Plans for the site also include a mix of activities and facilities including FA compliant artificial turf pitches, multi-use all-weather sports pitches, a climbing wall, a BMX track and facilities for archery.

Todd Cauthorn, operations manager for Children, Young People and Families at Nottinghamshire YMCA, said everyone will be able to use the track not only for sprinting and race preparation but also for activities such as walking groups and other low impact exercise.

“We will also be able to host mini competitions for children at our onsite crèche and afterschool clubs. Along with many other aspects that are in the pipeline, the athletics track will be a great space for generations to come together and get active,” he said.

Matt Foad of England Athletics is pleased with the community elements discussed for the new athletics track.

“Newark has been in need of a specific facility for athletics for a number of years now. Various solutions have been looked at and considered but the partnership approach and vision of the YMCA is a winning combination.

“England Athletics’ vision for the future of clubs are those working with their community and partners to establish a multi-use site that has constant activity supporting the running of the track and thus ensuring its sustainability.

“This plan from the YMCA makes perfect sense and will provide current and future athletes in Newark with an unrivalled facility that is safe for years to come. England Athletics is fully supportive of these plans.”

Nottinghamshire YMCA is working with local sports clubs, community groups and national governing bodies to finalise the finer details of many other facilities and programmes.

The vision is to create a space that works for both sports groups and the local community meaning that residents of the planned extra care facilities on Bowbridge Road will be able to enjoy a space with local primary school children, families and sports clubs, for generations to come.

The YMCA also hopes to work with Balderton Parish Council to improve security on Balderton Lake to create dedicated and safe areas for relaxation, as well as being able to support supervised kayaking and canoeing sessions for children, young people and adults.

Craig Berens, director of operations and programmes at Nottinghamshire YMCA said: “Our original business plan set out to ensure a sustainable facility which allows healthy activity for as much of the local community as possible.

“This remains our focus. We have spoken to a broad range of stakeholders and will be incorporating their various aspirations into a formalised site plan.

“With continued support, we are certain that the Sports and Community Village will be a great success; hosting programmes and facilities for children, young people, families and individuals who are engaged in sport, as well as for those who aren’t.”

Nottinghamshire YMCA hopes to submit a formal planning application by summer 2017 and to start work by the end of the year.

Newark is a delightful place to visit for shoppers, with a uniqueness all of its own. The Buttermarket is Newark’s indoor shopping centre and is based in the heart of the town.

Converted into a shopping centre in 1990, The Buttermarket has a diverse range of independent outlets and well known retail names. The centre is full of history and there has been commercial trading since 1798, when The Buttermarket site behind the town hall was used as Newark’s meat market. The Buttermarket has enjoyed a long and varied history and has always been at the heart of Newark-on-Trent’s commercial activity.

Comprising of twenty-eight individual retail units over two floors, the shopping centre offers a diverse range of quality independent outlets and well known retail names.

The town’s bustling general markets are always extremely popular with both locals and visitors. Hot food and refreshments are available and the Saturday market, in particular, is a vibrant focus for this historic market town. Regular stallholders include fruit and vegetables, cut flowers and garden plants, clothes, shoes and leather goods, bread and cakes, local fish and dairy goods, soft furnishings, bedding, carpets and rugs, fabrics, sewing and haberdashery, make-up, hair accessories and jewellery.

Also at the heart of the town is Stray’s, a family owned and run business offering a diverse range of services. Originally a pet and grain store, Stray’s has been a well-known site in the town for a long time. Now it houses one of the busiest and most highly regarded businesses in Newark.

It provides top quality food and drink along with great jazz at its coffee shop and cafe with enough seating to look after over 100 people.

It has also been selling books since 1994 having started out on paste tables with a temporary bookstall in the Town Hall.

Specialising in books for children and young adults, Stray’s also stocks local titles, history, travel and literature, including school texts.

A new initiative has been set up in Newark aimed at the town’s young business entrepreneurs. Newark Young Professionals started early in 2016 because young business people in the town felt other business organisations were very formal and very daunting.

Organiser Francesca Tricarico of Newark based Duncan & Toplis said: “We decided to start our own self-hosting evenings for the younger sector, though we have all ages there. We wanted to create an event where people could mingle and become more confident about meeting new contacts as well as getting out there and being more social.

“It was a networking event aimed at bringing the business community closer together, so although we have named the group Newark Young Professionals, anyone who thinks they could benefit from this group is welcome to attend. It’s a great chance to meet like-minded people.

“Often when young professionals start out in business, networking is the hardest part to get right. We want to make sure we have a welcoming atmosphere that helps people build up their networking confidence as well as getting businesses talking to each other.”

The next evening is in May.

“Our first evening was for charity and was a more relaxed and more social event. We want to inspire young professionals and though we don’t have membership as such, there are about forty to fifty attendees. Some come as a one-off but we do have regulars. It is about building confidence.”

Newark is home to a huge range of diverse businesses and just as much is being done to attract more visitors to the area, they are working hard to get the town known far and wide.

Timico Technology Group (Timico), the Managed Cloud Service Provider is one such business. It has just secured more than £50m in investment from Lyceum Capital, the growth investors, to facilitate its evolution as a market-leading IT and cloud provider and fulfil its long-term strategic objectives.

The deal will enable Timico to accelerate its ambitious plans for growth with further investment in systems, people and capability to make its mark in the managed IT service space.

It will provide the necessary funds to finance selective acquisitions designed to bolster Timico’s skills and expertise in key areas and bring additional strategic service capability to the company.

Since joining the business last September, Ben Marnham, Timico’s CEO has led a programme of change to re-structure the business around a single Timico brand and service model, honing the company’s strategy around its principal areas of strength and expertise and its core mid-market client base.

Timico’s fresh, new proposition as an end-to-end Managed Cloud Service Provider positions the company firmly in the managed IT and cloud space, complementing its network connectivity, unified communication and mobile capability.

Alongside the injection of private equity investment, Ben and other key members of the management team have invested in a share of the company.

Ben said: “Working with Lyceum Capital is a logical next step in Timico’s evolution, building on the foundations laid by founder Tim Radford and the team over the last few years. Lyceum has proven expertise in our sector and we share a very similar vision of Timico’s future within it.”

Founded in 2004, Timico’s success stems from both organic growth and strategic acquisitions. Today, it supports the IT needs of more than 15,000 clients including Greene King, Goodwood, Hobbs, Informa, Shoezone, John Laing, The National Trust, World Gold Council, The Restaurant Group, Jimmy Choo, Ted Baker and The Savoy Hotel.

In December 2015, Timico was named as the new sponsor of the Cheltenham Gold Cup as part of a four-year agreement and was awarded preferred supplier status to The Jockey Club’s portfolio of fifteen racecourses.

More recently they announced sponsorship of a new point-to-point Mixed Open Gold Cup Series, in support of grassroots horse racing and culminating in the Mixed Open Gold Cup final at Cheltenham’s Hunter Chase evening in May each year.

Chemex have a unique methodology to hygiene, cleaning and infection control supply.

Their goal is to provide high quality products with a standard of service unmatched in the industry; to help maintain your reputation, understand your business and supply a common sense approach for your hygiene needs.

“We are very different to other suppliers. We’re genuinely interested in making your business greener, slicker and more efficient. We know that the more we save you the longer you’ll stay with us.

“We can provide customers with a complete, customised system for documenting your hygiene procedures and safety data: The Chemex Hygiene Control Programme – a bespoke management tool designed to assist in ensuring legal compliance surrounding food safety, infection control and associated Health & Safety.

“Our service enables you to take what you need when you need it. No more waiting weeks for deliveries, inconvenient minimum order quantities or cupboards full of stock!” See advertisement on page 104.

Over 300 civil war re-enactors will descend on Newark, Nottinghamshire, during early May Bank Holiday as the clock is turned back to the turbulent mid-17th century.

The 3rd Annual Pikes and Plunder Civil War Festival will take place on 30th April and 1st May 2017 with over a dozen regiments taking part alongside two artillery companies, a baggage train and scores of living history exponents. This incredible gathering will ensure that the 2017 Festival is an even bigger and even more unmissable spectacle than before.

The historic Queen’s Sconce fort – built in 1644 – will be the stunning venue for musket fire and fighting, whilst scenic Newark Castle hosts major living history displays, recreating the dark days when the besieged citizens of Newark struggled to cope with food shortages.

The National Civil War Centre, opened in the heart of the town in 2015, will also stage exciting demonstrations to bring the period vividly back to life as well as being open as normal to offer a deeper look into the heart of this deadly but fascinating conflict.

Newark is the perfect setting for this event; a Royalist stronghold during the war between crown and parliament and besieged for the third and final time over the winter of 1645/46 until on 8th May 1646 it was ordered to lay down its arms by King Charles. With the plague rampant, one in five buildings destroyed and turf stripped from surrounding pasture land to build fortifications, it took Newark 100 years to recover. It is now a picturesque market town, excellently located for travel and replete with excellent cafes, pubs and restaurants to complement your Pikes and Plunder visit.

The National Civil War Centre is organising this incredible event in partnership with the English Civil War Society to guarantee that this will be an unforgettable experience with musketeers, pikemen, cannons and colour across the town. It is certain to be a truly exciting and immersive way for all ages to spend the Bank Holiday weekend.

Events across the town are free and those at the National Civil War Centre are free with standard admission.

Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th May

Enjoy a great family day out at the fabulous all-weather Nottinghamshire County Show. On show will be the best cattle, sheep, goats and pigs alongside superb equine events. Meet your favourite farmyard animals, gun-dogs and birds of prey. Be entertained by the spectacular Broke FMX displays and indulge in some great shopping at the numerous trade stands.

The show offers a jam-packed day out with lots to see including a fabulous spectacle of big, bright, shiny new machinery, including tractors, at the agricultural machinery stands sector – new for this year! The organisers are delighted at the return of the Music Marquee which will feature a plethora of musicians and a chance for a ‘sit down’.

When it’s time for a bite to eat, take advantage of the ample refreshment outlets. See for further details and Membership information.

E-Bike sales are blossoming this spring in Newark. It is estimated that between 30-35,000 E-bikes were sold in the UK in 2016 with a predicted boom in sales this year.

With this in mind Newark Cycles always have a range of demonstrators available for anyone interested to test ride. They stock the whole range of Raleigh E-bikes including the new lightweight Folding model for this year.

All sales are backed by two free services from the store’s fully qualified team and Newark Cycles are an accredited Bosch E-bike service centre.

But if E-Bikes aren’t for you then there are a great range of road, hybrid and mountain bikes, all from British suppliers and something for every budget.

Newark Cycles are always happy to offer advice, pass on expert knowledge and just talk bikes.

You are always assured of a warm welcome.

Magnus Academy is in a phase of transformational change. With a new principal at the helm, and a focus on ‘Character, Excellence, Community’, the Academy is rapidly making progress and offering students a wealth of rewarding opportunities.

Students are happy in the school and are engaging in multiple extra-curricular and community projects. Magnus Academy Sixth Form is currently the only school based Sixth Form in Newark and the quality of this provision has been transformed. Students are wearing business suits and are being prepared for working life and contributing to their community.

There is a student leadership team in place with a focus on improving the school experience for the whole student body and also engagement with the community. Magnus Academy aims to provide its students with a wide range of opportunities including building relationships with local businesses to ensure that students have the employability skills and attributes that employers need. One of the most notable projects is Magnus Mentors, where all Sixth Form students have a business mentor to guide them through their two-year study programme and advise on career paths and further education. This is an exciting time for Magnus Academy and the students that are part of the school.

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