Exciting developments for Newark
Glynis Fox explores the attractions and shopping opportunities in and around the market town and follows the progress of new education and regeneration projects.
The bustling market town of Newark enjoys an enviable location – just a stone’s throw off the busy A1.
This means it is not only a draw for local shoppers and workers; it has always proved to be an attractive catchment area for visitors and retail-therapy fans from Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and the wider East Midlands.
In common with everywhere else across the UK, the town has its movers and shakers, its entrepreneurial newcomers and its long-standing family businesses and it is that mix that gives Newark its particular identity,
It is true that the town is not without its empty shop units – just like the majority of other places – but it still boasts an amazing variety of longstanding favourite retailers and service businesses, including many which have a loyal following.
This is obvious when you wander down Chain Lane, which provides irresistible temptations when you are looking for quality branded shoes and stylish fashions – such as the perfect ensemble to wear at a wedding, eye-catching beachwear or simply a fun outfit.
Chain Lane is also a good place to track down a great work of art or interiors accessories which will perfectly complement a newly-decorated room. You could check out Trent Galleries and Gracegentle, among others in the town.
This popular alley runs between busy Middle Gate and the Market Place and halfway along you can pop into the Grade 1-listed Buttermarket and catch up with its latest tenants.
BROWSING THE MARKETS
Newark’s Royal Market, which was granted a charter in the 12th century by King Henry I, hosts its main markets on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, with specialist markets throughout the year, so it’s always worth taking time to browse.
Traders offer a really wide range of goods, from clothing to tools, fresh fruit and vegetables, artisan breads, meats and cheeses.
Hobbyists will appreciate the opportunity to buy leather goods, sewing fabrics, books and antiques – so don’t forget to give yourself time to take more than a passing glance.
Middle Gate is the place to find a mix of well-known independent, as well as national retailers. There are interesting fashion shops selling styles to suit all tastes and purses and the long-standing coffee shop, Stray’s, is a good spot to meet a friend for coffee or take a break during a day out.
Of course, Newark’s location makes it popular for house-hunters, who are drawn to the area because of its good transport links – especially its proximity to the A1 and the fact that it offers a mainline service to London.
If you are thinking of making a move to Newark or searching for a property in the surrounding villages, you will also find estate agents in Middle Gate who will be more than happy to help you!
Back in the centre of town, after you have browsed the Market Place, your eyes are likely to be drawn to another of Newark’s alleyways. This one leads off the Market Square and gives pedestrians easy access to Carter Gate, where there is even more shopping on offer.
SHOPPING AND ATTRACTIONS
A latest dip into The Arcade reveals that some formerly vacant units have welcomed new tenants and others are in the process of getting a facelift – so why not take a closer look and check what you might be missing?
In Carter Gate itself, there have been further comings and goings on the retail scene. Curtain & Blind Design is an example, after moving from its old Carter Gate shop to the former Crafty Betty unit in the London Road Car Park. The switch has given the business a light and airy showroom right next to its sister business Sew Many Curtains.
Director Ian Bavin said: “We have been trading for more than 30 years and have moved to a bigger showroom, which is much brighter and close to our workroom. It is making a big difference.”
Newark and the surrounding areas also offer visitors a variety of attractions worth discovering – including Newark Castle, the National Civil War Museum and Newark Air Museum.
Newark Castle is a well-known landmark and sits on the banks of the River Trent. It was partly destroyed in 1646 at the end of the Civil War.
Visitors, including wheelchair users, can follow the walkways and enjoy its gardens.
Newark Civil War Museum can be found in Appletongate, so why not take a trip back in time to the 17th century and discover the clash between Roundheads and Royalists and learn how a powerful monarch lost his head in a brutal way.
Newark, sitting halfway between London and York – at a safe crossing of the River Trent – was a prominent place at the heart of the action. Today fantastic galleries and interactive displays help visitors to learn about the conflict and consequences of the Civil Wars in a town besieged three times between 1643 and 1646. You can also find out about the National Civil War Trail while you are there.
HIGH-FLYING DEVELOPMENT GETS UNDERWAY
Contractors have started work on an exciting £15.4 million state-of-the-art training centre in Newark.
The new Air and Space Institute (ASI) – which is due to open in early September 2024 – is being built on the town’s former Cattle Market site, adjacent to Newark & Sherwood District Council’s offices.
Portfolio Holder for Economic Development and Visitors, Councillor Rhona Holloway, from Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “The facility will train the next generation of pilots, engineers and aviation ground crew – providing young people who dream of flying a plane or working in the aviation or space industries the opportunity to have that dream turned into reality.
“To reach this point has involved a huge amount of work and I’d like to pay tribute to Lincoln College Group, Newark Town Board and colleagues within Newark and Sherwood District Council.”
The institute was one of a number of priority projects identified as part of Newark’s Town Investment Plan, which was developed by the Newark Town Board to regenerate the town centre, boost business and improve infrastructure. As part of the proposals, £10.6 million is being contributed towards the project from the Towns Fund.
Lincoln College director of ASI and strategic growth, Tom Marsden, said: “This new HQ for the Air and Space Institute will be an iconic landmark for Newark as people enter the town. It’s also hugely exciting for our current and future students, who’ll be training to be pilots and engineers in the civil and military aviation and space industries.
“This project represents the vision, drive and tenacity of our partners, the District Council, Newark Town Board, STEM architects, our main contractor G F Tomlinson and our aviation industry partners.
“ASI is putting Newark on the map in terms of education and training. Our students are already taking flying lessons and training on real aircraft.
“This new facility will be truly world class and attract students from all over the UK.
“We’re already training the pilots and aircraft engineers of the future and our Space Engineering programmes for school-leavers start in September. All our programme go from level 2 and 3 right up to higher national diplomas and degree-level.”
As we went to press, Mr Marsden also revealed he would be in a position to make an exciting announcement about a new local university partner “in the next few weeks.”
BOOST FOR CITY LIVING
New life is being breathed into a dilapidated Victorian wool warehouse, thanks to an exciting £3 million regeneration project.
JYD Group founder and director Jinny Yang is lead developer on a scheme to transform Number 10 Victoria Street in Newark and is working with her business partner, Cura Haus director Hui Xu, to convert the building to create 39 high-class managed apartments designed to attract young professionals.
Jinny said the old warehouse is structurally sound and R Betts Property of Doncaster has been contracted to do the conversion, which should be finished by October 2023.
The revived building – which will be known as Victoria Square and contain studio and one and two-bedroomed apartments – could ultimately be worth an estimated £6.5m, depending on market conditions.
The former wool warehouse has lain derelict for many years, but its history reveals it has served as a clothing factory, a pine manufacturing base and a bricklaying workshop – now it is about to be brought bang up-to-date as a stylish address for lovers of modern city living options.
In addition to the new apartments, the complex will include co-working spaces, a yoga studio and a communal courtyard.
Victoria Square will also be just minutes’ walk from Newark Northgate station and the town’s Royal Market.
Jinny, who works between London and Nottingham, is passionate about transforming old buildings and bringing wonderful people together to work their magic.
It’s a real privilege to be part of Newark’s regeneration story,” she said.
Her business partner Hui Xu added: “We hope this will be one of many opportunities we can do to support the socio-economic development of Newark and Sherwood.”
REST AND RELAX AT EDEN HALL
Give the gift of rest and relaxation this year at Eden Hall Day Spa. Located in the heart of Nottinghamshire, discover more than 65,000 sq ft of award-winning spa and relaxation facilities, as well as delicious dining and top-notch spa treatments – the perfect gift this Christmas.
The Hall hosts 28 treatment rooms, a 25-metre vitality pool, 15 water therapies and much more.
Catch forty winks in the slumber lounge, sit back and relax in one of the outdoor hot tubs, or cocoon yourself in one of the suspended dome chairs, an experience not to be missed.
It’s safe to say no visit to Eden Hall is complete without a luxurious treatment. The Hall’s carefully curated collection of spa treatments use only the best products, leaving you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Every experience is tailored with you in mind, to deliver blissful relaxation and long-lasting results.
Included in all spa days, the Taste of Eden restaurant hosts a delicious seasonal lunch, guaranteed to tickle your taste buds.
For those wanting to start their day early, guests can add on a delicious breakfast, served in the
Conservatory until 11am daily.
This spacious area also hosts the enticing café, which offers tempting snacks and beverages, the ideal location to doze and daydream during the afternoon.
Eden Hall offers a wide range of festive experiences with a selection of gift cards and e-vouchers.
Starting from only £50, give the gift of the sweetest stocking filler, show-stopping spa experience, and everything else in-between.
For more information visit www.baronseden.com
POSH PAWS IS PERFECT FOR PETS
As A well established family-run luxury boarding kennel and cattery, Posh Paws is a five-star “home from home” near Claypole which offers quality pet accommodation and care.
The friendly staff – who are all highly qualified with owner Sarah Saywell having more than 25 years’ experience – are on hand 24 hours a day to care for your pet’s individual needs, ensuring complete peace of mind for owners.
All luxury pet “bedrooms” are fully heated with double glazed windows and each room has its own cast iron bed with duvets and a comfortable chair, television and radio.
Outside, there are fields for country walks, as well as a secure exercise paddock, with the pet hotel being fully alarmed with top level security and CCTV.
There is also a 10-pen cattery constructed from galvanized steel and UPVC, with each pen having its own internal run with sneeze barriers, and two-tier sleeping and living pods with heating. Doggy guests can enjoy a new play barn day care centre, plus grooming room, while the play area can be hired for doggy birthday parties and “Gotcha” day celebrations.
For more information visit www.poshpawsanimalhotel.co.uk
Photographs: Mick Fox