The Government announced that a total of £3.6billion was to be made available to regenerate over 100 towns across England. Clay Cross was selected as one of these towns, and could receive a total of up to £25m in investment. In Clay Cross this means increasing the skills and productivity of our workforce, improving access to a range of high quality jobs and training opportunities and improving the environmental quality of the town and town centre ensuring it is a thriving place to live and work.
On the 3rd March 2021 the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that Clay Cross would receive £24.1m of funding to deliver a number of projects contained in the Clay Cross Town Investment Plan.
The Clay Cross Town Investment Plan (.pdf | 14mb) is focussed around three main areas:
- Urban Regeneration – ensuring Clay Cross and town centre is a thriving place for people to live and work;
- Skills and Infrastructure – supporting investment and the development of small business, creating opportunities for skills and training;
- Connectivity – improving local transport links and improved digital connectivity.
A series of Regeneration Frameworks and Action Plans for Clay Cross have been published in recent years. These have sought to create a sense of place and ensure that the town is ‘more than just a commuter suburb’. As such, the objective of the Frameworks was to ensure that Clay Cross is a successful and competitive market town, which is able to meet needs that arise locally in respect of: housing; social, leisure and cultural facilities; jobs and economic enterprise; education and skills; attractive and healthy spaces.
A lot of development and investment has taken place in the town but there is more to do. The Town Investment Plan will build on earlier work and improve Clay Cross as place to live, work and thrive.
The Investment Plan can also build on and link to wider strategies and plans including the North East Derbyshire Local Plan and the D2N2 (Local Enterprise Partnership) industrial Strategy
Further information can be found in the document library where earlier regeneration plans and other evidence base documents can be viewed.
The Town Deal Area
This is the geographic area which is covered by the Investment Plan Clay Cross Town Deal Plan (proposed area .jpg | 200kb). The Investment Plan will focus on this area but of course it will also need to consider the influence of links and relationships with the wider region.
To oversee the preparation of the Town Investment Plan a Clay Cross Town Board (CCTB) has been established. The CCTB is supported by North East Derbyshire Council and Derbyshire County Council.
To help prepare the Plan, the Board appointed an independent consultant team led by Nexus Planning to gather information on local conditions and challenges, potential projects and importantly to ensure we engaged fully with the local community and businesses. A comprehensive two stage consultation exercise was carried out over the summer, which helped shape the Investment Plan.
As the Investment Plan develops moves into the next phase there will be further opportunities for the community to provide its feedback on Investment Plan projects. Please see our Communications strategy Clay Cross Investment Plan (.docx | 50kb) for more information.
Establishing a shared vision enables the whole community to focus on achieving some common goals.
Our vision for a transformed Clay Cross is one of a thriving, industrious and sustainable market town, built on a strong and vibrant community spirit and a unique heritage; forged around a renewed heart that responds to the aspirations of a growing population and with a future founded on enterprise, skills and learning, innovation and low carbon technology.
The Towns Fund
The Plan for Clay Cross is underpinned by a clear understanding of local conditions. A contextual analysis has been undertaken and supporting documents:
- Clay Cross contextual analysis (.pdf | 200kb)
- Clay Cross Area Analysis (.pdf | 12mb)
- Clay Cross Key Findings (.pdf | 1.0mb)
Baseline work undertaken by the consultant team assisting the Council in the preparation of the Plan has identified a number of key issues. These included the need to improve linkages between the town centre and other parts of the town, the lack of a clear focal point for the town centre, that the value of existing heritage assets is not maximised and that the A61 creates severance through the town centre.
In terms of the economy and community a number of challenges have been confirmed:
- Most local jobs being lower wage and lower value added employment
- Lower levels of skills and educational attainment within the local labour market
- A lack of digital engagement - a significant proportion of residents do not access services online
- Health and wellbeing is an issue for many in the community
- Relatively levels of deprivation and low social mobility
This analysis was used to develop the Clay Cross Town Investment Plan.
Market Street Regeneration
The Market Street project will create a new heart to the town centre. The project comprises the redevelopment of land at Market Street and Bridge Street comprising the former job centre, a number of retail/commercial units and existing car parking areas to create a mixed use commercial, retail, leisure, workspace development with upper floor residential and a small ‘town square’ events space.
The Bridge Street / Smithy Street project will reinforce the heart of the town centre, importantly adding additional life and vibrancy, providing animation and activity to key linking corridors between the heart of the town centre at Market Street along Bridge Street, toward Tesco and to the Aldi supermarket on High Street.
Clay Cross Creative
The Clay Cross Creative project will act as a focal point to the delivery of creative enterprise, arts and social programmes with a focus on engaging the community, including young people, around creative, artisan and social enterprise.
Clay Cross Skills and Enterprise Hub
The Clay Cross Skills and Enterprise Hub will involve the refurbishment of the existing Adult Education Centre and the development of new learning space alongside the existing accommodation, to provide a bespoke Training, Learning and Enterprise Hub at the heart of Clay Cross.
Sharley Park Active Community Hub
A new healthy and active community Hub for the 20,000 residents of Clay Cross and the surrounding area, where residents can undertake physical activity and access health and well-being support services at one site, replacing a dilapidated 1970s leisure centre and reinvigorating the large adjacent park
Clay Cross Connections
This project will address issues of traffic management, safety and congestion on the A61 High Street and traffic movements and safety on Market Street and Eyre Street. Related public realm improvements will improve the streetscene on High Street and Market Street and along Bridge Street complementing the new town square and the Market Street and Bridge Street developments.
Low Carbon Workspace
The project will result in new industrial, high quality, low carbon floorspace that is consistent with the wider energy strategy, and will focus on two sites (former depot on Bridge Street, and Coney Green). It will result in new businesses and jobs being attracted to Clay Cross, and provides an opportunity for new, smaller scale industrial space available for lease to meet latent local demand.
Low Carbon Housing
Aside from housing delivered through the mixed use town centre projects at Market Street and Bridge Street, housing delivery will focus on a number of sites in public ownership, including two sites, land at Broadleys and land at Market Street. Both sites are in the ownership of North East Derbyshire Council, however there is scope to include the former Clay Cross Junior School building, which is vacant, and in the ownership of Derbyshire County Council.
Low Carbon Energy Network Strategy
This project capitalises on the opportunity afforded by new leisure centre delivery and a number of industrial uses with a significant heat load and the commitment of Worcester Bosch to energy innovation. It also builds on the presence of significant ground source heat identified by the Coal Authority, to develop a clean growth energy strategy for the town, potentially utilising hydrogen as part of the energy mix
Rail Station Feasibility
This project will confirm the feasibility of delivering a rail station for Clay Cross. The previous Clay Cross Station, located to the north of the town, closed in 1967. A rail station would provide regional connectivity for Clay Cross and the adjacent communities of North Wingfield, Wingerworth and Grassmoor (Clay Cross has a wider catchment of upwards of 20,000 people).
The Government launched the MyTown campaign to encourage and facilitate a process through which local communities could provide their perspectives at all stages of the Towns Fund process. This provides another means through which residents and businesses can continuously feed their ideas and thoughts into this process.
MyTown can be accessed online.
The projects listed above will now be worked up in full detail to prepare them for the delivery phase. A number of projects are already underway, including the demolition of the former depot site on Bridge Street, and an innovative public art exercise using one of the town’s iconic railway tunnel ventilation shafts. Development activity in the town centre will increase and the Town Board will continue to engage with local residents and businesses to ensure they are fully informed of progress being made.
Details of CCTB meetings can be found on the Clay Cross Town Board web page.