A NEW alcohol-free bar will open in Nottingham – thanks to a £340,419 grant.
Double Impact is one 11 projects across the East Midlands to receive a share of more than £3 million from the Big Lottery Fund.
The money will enable the charity to open an alcohol-free bar, where people can meet for a coffee or meal during the day and for entertainment in the evening.
Chief executive Graham Miller said the new café and club was aimed at everyone.
"This is going to be a quality venue that offers an alternative to all those places serving alcohol," he said. "There isn't anywhere like it in Nottingham at the moment and we hope it will become a destination – for business people during the day and for families and groups of friends at night who just want to sit, see some music or comedy somewhere that's not part of the alcohol scene.
"It's about challenging people's stigmas and attitudes to both addicts and alcohol.
"We wouldn't be able to do it without the Big Lottery's involvement – it's too big – but they've given us the kick-start we need and now we have to work to make it a success."
The bar will be open by the end of the year.
A building is yet to be secured but will be in the city centre and will seat around 140 people.
All profit will be invested back in to Double Impact and the bar will also provide employment and training for service users.
Part of the grant will also be spent on a recovery recruitment programme.
Poet Georgia Brown, 43, of Sherwood, first got in touch with Double Impact about three-and-a-half-years ago when she was struggling with a heroin and alcohol addiction. She is now about to start training to become a life coach.
"This venue is something I've been looking for for a long time because there's evenings when you want to go out but don't want to see people inebriated," she said.
A grant of £278,297 also went to Newark and Notts Child Bereavement and Loss Centre and £265,847 to POW Nottingham, for people involved in or affected by prostitution.
NOTTINGHAM Forest are leading the race to sign defender Elliott Ward, after he was officially released by Premier League Norwich City. For the rest of this story, click here to visit our new website, www.nottinghampost.com.
A GANG have been jailed over a "sophisticated" conspiracy targeting Nottingham clubbers for their mobile phones.
Expensive smart phones were stolen from handbags and pockets in bars and nightclubs and passed on for sale in Algeria. For the rest of this story, click here to visit our new website, www.nottinghampost.com.
MARKS and Spencer has reported a sharp fall in profits in what its chief executive called a "challenging" market.
The company saw pre-tax profits plunge from £658m to £564m in the 12 months to the end of March 30 on sales up by 1.3 per cent to £10 billion. Underlying food sales improved by 1.7 per cent while the underlying sale of general merchandise fell 4.1 per cent.
The clothing division has struggled in recent years faced with competition from low-price high-street retailers such as Primark.
Belinda Earl, ex-chief executive of Debenhams and Jaeger, was recruited a year ago to lift flagging sales and reshape the retail team.
Chief executive Marc Bolland said M&S had to improve quality.
BENOY, the international award-winning architects, have received recognition for their schemes in the India Shopping Centres Awards.
Phoenix Marketcity, Pune, and Pacific Mall, New Delhi, have been recognised in the awards hosted in Mumbai.
Presented at the biggest event of its kind in the country, the India Shopping Centre Forum, the popular Phoenix Marketcity was awarded "Most Admired Shopping Centre of the Year: Non-Metro (West)" and "Most Admired Shopping Centre Marketing & Promotions of the Year: Non Metro".
Pacific Mall scooped the coveted "Most Admired Shopping Centre of the Year: Retailers Choice".
Benoy worked as architects, interior and graphic designers on the Phoenix Marketcity scheme and as interior designers for Pacific Mall.
Benoy began as a small firm in Newark and has grown globally over the last decade.
Simon Blore, Benoy's managing director Asia, said: "We are immensely proud to see our projects, Phoenix Marketcity and Pacific Mall, celebrated at the ISCA this year. Congratulations to those who have been involved in creating these landmark destinations for India."
Komal Datta, Benoy's director in Mumbai, said: "India is a unique environment and we believe it to be a fitting place for Benoy to realise some of its most interesting and innovative work"
PLANS to create a "MediCity" on the Boots campus in Nottingham have received widespread support.
D6, the former "dry" factory on the Boots campus where powders and tablets were made, is to be converted into a home for fledgling businesses.
It will be modelled on the successful BioCity on Pennyfoot Street, now home to more than 70 incubator life science businesses.
MediCity will concentrate on helping healthcare and well being firms into maturity.
One of the ideas is that the firms will be able to draw on expertise from Boots which, in turn, can distribute them through its international logistics routes.
City council leader Councillor Jon Collins said "Nottingham has a long-standing, world-class reputation in the health and wellbeing sector. The Nottingham Enterprise Zone is the perfect home for Medicity and will support the growth of healthcare businesses in our city.
"This is good for the industry and will help create more jobs in Nottingham."
POST columnist Alistair Wesson is among six partners of accountants RSM Tenon who have been placed on six months' gardening leave.
Mr Wesson is regional director of the practice and managing partner of the Nottingham office on Wollaton Street.
The other partners or directors on gardening leave are Chris Darlington, Mike Tuhme, Bob Johnson, Steve English and Dave Hoose
Calls to RSM Tenon's Nottingham office were referred to a public relations agency which could not confirm the names of the partners.
The six are thought to be planning to join international accountancy practice Mazars at the end of their period of suspension under the terms of their contract.
Mazars has an office on Tottle road at Riverside Business Park.
The firm, which employs 187 people in its Nottingham office, said in a statement: "RSM Tenon confirms that a small number of partners in our East Midlands offices have resigned.
"These partners have immediately been placed on garden leave for a minimum of six months.
"RSM Tenon remains fully committed to its business and people in Leicester and Nottingham.
"The company employs 650 people across the Midlands region, including over 75 partners and directors, who are focused on serving our clients and meeting their needs.
"The Midlands is, and will continue to be, an important part of our business.
"We will continue to invest in the development of our partners and people across the region, as well as recruiting the bright, talented and motivated professionals who flourish at RSM Tenon."
RSM Tenon, the seventh largest accountancy practice in the UK, is listed on the Stock Exchange.
The practice encountered accounting irregularities and had to restate accounts last year.
In the half year to December 31 2012 , it made a loss of £10m in the context of a loss of £88.7m in the 12 months to June 30 2012.
In December 2012, it had borrowings of £81.6m.
Shares were trading yesterday at around 3.70p valuing the company at £24m.
The firm nationally shed nearly 350 staff last year.
It succeeded in securing a banking facility of a further £93m until December 31 next year.
Partners to leave in recent months from RSM Tenon's other offices include a former Nottingham partner Neil Grey, Alistair Hunt, David Parrish and Steve Maroram.
A spokesman for Mazars said: " We are not prepared to comment on on-going discussions."
GRAB your sun hat (and brolly) and make sure you have your diary to hand - summer is officially on its way in Notts.
To get you in the mood, there are some great half-term events to look forward to next week - including the brilliant Wheee! International Children's Theatre and Dance Festival at Lakeside Arts Centre (May 27-June 2).
Plus there's all the excitement of the Milk Race in the city centre this Sunday and fun stuff to do at all your favourite venues throughout the area.
But that's merely the beginning of a superb line-up of events this summer - with some new additions to the calendar and the return of some old favourites.
Not only have we got the Great Notts Bike Ride (June 21-23) and The Ashes back at Trent Bridge (July 10-14), but Nottingham's Victoria Embankment will also be at the centre of a national day of celebrations marking Armed Forces Day (June 29).
The beach is back in the Old Market Square as Nottingham Riviera reopens (July 19-August 27) and the spotlight will be on some fabulous names in the world of music, including our very own Jake Bugg as Splendour comes to Wollaton Park (July 20).
Enjoy traditional music at The Gate to Southwell Folk Festival (June 6-9) and there will be another chance to see some brilliant performances in a host of top settings as the Outdoor Theatre Season get under way (June 20-August 26).
One of Nottingham's most popular events, the Riverside Festival, returns to Victoria Embankment (August 2-4) and make sure you head to Sherwood Forest Country Park for the stunning annual event celebrating our local legend, the Robin Hood Festival (August 5-11).
Our special guide will give you all the month by month information you need to make sure you don't miss a thing.
We begin with a look at what's happening for half term week...
THE MILK RACE
The legendary cycling event returns after a 20-year absence.
Join in a fun day of cycling events at the Milk Race Village in the Old Market Square from 10am, including a series of races open to the public. Then, watch the elite men's race and elite women's race around the city centre.
They'll begin their journey racing up Long Row, around Beast Market Hill, down Friar Lane and Spaniel Row, and across Castle Gate past Nottingham Castle before making their way back to the Old Market Square.
All races will start and finish at the gantry adjacent to the Council House.
To register or for more details visit www.themilkrace.com.
WHEEE! LAKESIDE INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN'S THEATRE AND DANCE FESTIVAL
May 27-June 2
Lakeside Arts Centre
As in previous years, the ninth annual festival will include a host of internationally renowned companies such as Mass Theatre and Dance, Ailie Cohen Puppet Makers and Frozen Charlotte. Plus the ever popular Luminarium by Architects of Air will return to the site.
With afternoon, early evening and weekend performances, there will also be a major weekend of activities and performances in the beautiful surroundings of Highfields Park during the Family Weekend in the Park (June 1-2).
There is also a Wheee! Extra event on July 2 this year, featuring further fun shows for kids.
Check website for ticket prices and times.
GRANDPA IN MY POCKET – TEAMWORK
The stage version of the hugely popular CBeebies television series returns to the Playhouse before it heads off on a nationwide tour. For kids 3-11 years.
Tickets £8-11, family £33
May 25-June 2
Galleries of Justice
New tour based on three outrageous criminals who suffered the wretched conditions of the Galleries of Justice Museum, once Nottingham's most notorious County Gaol. Meet outlaw Robin Hood, Highway woman Joan Phillips and notorious burglar Charlie Peace.
Adults £9.50, kids £7.50, family of four £25.50.
SPRING BANK HOLIDAY STEAMING
May 26-27, 11am-5pm
Papplewick Pumping Station
See the James Watt beam engines – which helped provide Nottingham with fresh water for over 70 years - in steam at this lovely venue. Also in action will be the Linby Colliery winding engine and a miniature steam train, plus there will be tours to a unique underground reservoir.
Adults £6, kids £3, under 5s free.
MAY HALF TERM FUN
Unleash your inner creativity and join in a whole week of workshops. Animal or technical, ancient or modern, spirit or software – there will be something for everyone to enjoy.
HETTIE THE HOUSEMAID'S SPRING CLEAN
May 25, noon-3pm
Museum of Nottingham Life, Brewhouse Yard
Join Hettie in the kitchen and pick up some cleaning tips from years gone by. For 4-8 years.
Adults £5.50, kids £4, family of five £15.
THE HOUSEKEEPER'S TALE
May 25, 3.30pm-5pm
Rufford Country Park
More tales of domestic doings – pop along and enjoy a cream tea while actress Nicky Rafferty takes on the role of one of the house servants.
Adults £7.50, kids £5, family of four £22.
Book on 01623 821323.
MEDIEVAL FOREST LIFE WEEKEND
May 25-27, 11am-4pm
Sherwood Forest Country Park
Step back in time as the Savile household recreates a medieval forest encampment featuring a range of crafts people, combat and archery displays, as well as cooking and wood turning demonstrations, all against the backdrop of the mighty Major Oak.
IT'S A RIOT!
May 27 and May 29-31, 2.30pm-3.30pm
Discover the story of a historic event which happened at the site in 1831.
THE BIRKLAND OUTLAWS
May 29, from 11.30am
Sherwood Forest Country Park
Meet 'retired' outlaws Hob and Ket, listen to their tales of daring exploits and learn more about forest life in medieval times.
£1 LEISURE CENTRE ACTIVITIES
May 28-31, 9am-4pm
Nottingham City Council Leisure Centres
Enjoy sports, board games and crafts for just £1 a day at Clifton, Southglade, John Carroll and Minver Crescent.
Book on 0115 955 7215.
YESTERDAY morning, when he posted a simple note on Twitter to announce he was leaving Sheffield Wednesday, Julian Bennett may not have anticipated what was to follow.
Predictably, there were a handful of supportive tweets from Owls fans, wishing him all the best for the future.
But they were lost among a sea of good wishes from dozens of Nottingham Forest supporters.
Two years have passed since he last pulled on the Garibaldi red – and it has been closer to five years since Forest last saw him at his best.
Even the moment in which he collected his career threatening knee injury was a defining one; one that summed up the simple, but vital qualities he provided.
Having wrecked his own knee making a typically fearless, robust, crunching challenge, Bennett still regained his feet to try to lunge in with a second block, before seeming to realise that there was a major issue and eventually collapsing to the floor.
The fact that Colin Calderwood was sacked following the final whistle of that Boxing Day defeat against Doncaster in 2008, glossed over what was a significant moment for Forest and, of course, for Bennett.
While there have been some quality loan signings in the intervening years, including the likes of Nicky Shorey and Ryan Bertrand, the arrival of Dan Harding last summer was the first time Forest have signed a permanent left back since Bennett arrived from Walsall in January 2006.
The moment Bennett's knee disintegrated did not just rob Forest of a full-back, however. It took away a large portion of character, passion and heart from the squad.
Given that he has started only 43 games over the past three seasons, since returning from 18 months on the sidelines, a return to Forest for Bennett is highly unlikely to be on the agenda. Nor, if we view things without rose tinted sentiment, should it be.
There are numerous League One or Two clubs who could do worse than to give the Nottingham-born player a contract; a chance to prove that he can still cut it, following two years where he has been a fringe figure at Hillsborough.
But, in the meantime, the challenge for Forest is to unearth somebody else who can become that kind of talismanic, no-nonsense figure that Bennett had become during Forest's own rise up from the third-tier.
Bennett was hard to beat and strong in the tackle. Nor did he lose many headers. But, otherwise, was not an exceptional defender. His first touch could be unpredictable and he had a habit of curling long balls down the touchline and out of play.
But one thing he was not lacking was heart, desire and enthusiasm. In his time at Forest he never once ducked out of a challenge or missed an opportunity to rampage forward down the flank.
On the day Forest won promotion from League One, a goal against Yeovil summed Bennett up, as he smashed into a 50/50 challenge on the edge of the box, climbed to his feet and hammered a low shot into the far corner, with the opposition player rolling around in agony.
That no-nonsense approach and willingness to throw his body on the line, coupled with his Nottingham roots, made him an almost instant hit with fans.
There was an affinity there; Bennett was embraced because he had gone from watching the club in the stands, to proudly wearing the badge on his chest a few years later.
Now, in this current side, while he may not have Nottingham roots, Chris Cohen is lauded for similar reasons; for his unflinching dedication to the cause, his own determination and commitment.
A popular captain, when Danny Collins is not in the side, and a player who leads by example, Cohen is an important figure in the Forest side.
But there is still not quite that level of adulation from supporters there, as there was for the likes of Wes Morgan – another home grown talent – Robert Earnshaw or, indeed, Bennett.
There is not one player in the side who is exulted as a fans' favourite quite to the same degree.
Radi Majewski has outstanding talents, but tends to produce them fleetingly, in patches of form, through the season – and the same observation can be made of Lewis McGugan, whose Forest future now seems uncertain at best, with his contract set to expire in a matter of weeks.
Andy Reid is a leader of a different kind, in that so often last season, he came up with a decisive, incisive pass or moment of creativity when Forest needed it most.
Henri Lansbury and Adlene Guedioura have both shown signs that they could be integral figures next season and, given time, they could well become firm favourites with the City Ground faithful, particularly if the Algerian international continues his habit of shooting from anywhere beyond the half-way line.
But none possess the heart on the sleeve, blood and guts simplicity that Bennett provided.
Since the days of Stuart Pearce rampaging down the left, there has been a special place in the hearts of Forest fans for a 'psycho' figure; a leader, a hard man and a character.
Pearce, of course, had rather more strings to his bow, with that hammer of a left foot capable of culture and guile, as well as simple raw power.
But sometimes a good, old-fashioned thumping challenge can get fans on their feet just as much as a 40-yard pass or a moment of sublime skill.
Harsher refereeing and a tightening of the rules have, to some degree, made it a less frequently viewed art form in recent years. Things have changed even since Bennett was in his pomp at the City Ground.
But, while they possess players with many qualities, Forest lack a figure with Bennett's steely grit; somebody who can make opposition players look on with a sense of nervousness and trepidation as they line up in the tunnel before the game.
Yesterday's flurry of tweets proved that many Forest fans still have fond memories of a player with limited talents, but endless heart.
If Billy Davies can unearth a similar character this summer; if he can bring another player to the club whose passion on the pitch inspired a similar sprit in the stands, he will not be going far wrong.