Are you a working parent of a 3 or 4-year-old child? You may be entitled to up to 30 hours of free childcare a week. Find out more information about funded childcare.
Families on some government benefits or 'Looked After' children are eligible for up to 15 hours of free childcare per week. Find out information about childcare government benefits or telephone 0300 500 8080 for more details.
Schools and Ofsted
Find a school in the Ashfield area.
Search for an Ofsted inspection at schools in Ashfield.
There are eight libraries in the Ashfield area with a variety of activities aimed at young ones of all ages with Rattle, Rhyme and Roll sessions for babies and toddlers and games clubs for older children with community jigsaws, board games, and Lego.
Libraries in the Ashfield area include Annesley Woodhouse Library, Hucknall Library, Huthwaite Library, Jacksdale Community Partnership Library, Selston Library, Skegby and Stanton Hill Library, Sutton in Ashfield Library, and Kirkby in Ashfield Library and Learning Centre.
Whether you’re starting, maintaining, growing or moving your business, the Business Support Team at Ashfield can help you reach your goals through a bespoke service that allows you to plan for the bright future of your enterprise. Careers are also top of the agenda at Ashfield, whether that’s advice on being self-employed, how to upskill, find grants and investment, or change your career.
Business Support Team
The Business Support Team offers a free service designed to provide practical information and assistance to help bring your business to Ashfield. Whether you are an individual, a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME), or a large multinational looking to invest or locate in Ashfield, the team can provide you with a tailor-made service with essential local knowledge to smooth your investment journey through a single point of contact.
Some of the services available include:
- Advice about locations, property searches, and site visits
- Bespoke market intelligence to support business cases and planning applications
- Information on workforce skills and signposting to business support
- Assistance with PR and marketing
- Familiarisation tours of the area
- Aftercare service.
Careers Fair at Kirkby Leisure Centre
Employees with the best attributes, skills and experience are key to the success and competitiveness of any business. We can support your business to access the recruitment and training services you need including:
- Apprenticeships to help grow talent, reduce staff turnover, and give the business the skills it needs to succeed
- A range of tailored initiatives to help businesses expand or upskill their workforce
- Graduate recruitment – whether for a short-term dedicated project or recruiting a newly-qualified graduate to bring a fresh perspective and new ideas
- Jobs fairs – free events connecting employers to potential employees.
Business investment services are available for national and international companies wishing to locate to Ashfield, as well as those already established in Nottinghamshire. Email the Business Support Team for further information.
Are you a business in Ashfield looking for news, support, and networking opportunities with other local businesses? The Succeed in Ashfield social media pages are available for business owners and managers. Join our Succeed in Ashfield Facebook page or follow Succeed in Ashfield on LinkedIn.
Career Boost portal
Are you looking for work or hoping to change career? Do you want to gain new qualifications or need support in starting a new business? Look no further than the Career Boost portal providing plenty of useful advice. The portal features information on self-employment, jobs fairs and news, and access to training and skills development. The portal includes many partner organisations that offer career transition support services across Ashfield, including the Department for Work and Pensions, Citizens Advice Ashfield, Nottingham Trent University, University of Nottingham, Nottinghamshire NHS Foundation Trust, and Vision West Notts College. Explore your next career in the Ashfield district.
Ashfield’s Education and Skills Improvement Plan
Ashfield District Council has developed a 10-year plan (2022-2031), which is the evidence base for local education and skills insights, priorities, success stories and initiatives, delivered by Ashfield’s Education and Skills Partnership. It offers a reflection on Ashfield’s education and skills journey to date and outlines the strategic direction of travel that will enable people, businesses, and communities in our district to build back, to aspire, thrive, and prosper going forward.
Drawing on our skills and labour market strengths, challenges and ambitions, this plan aims to act as a springboard for future engagements, creative partnerships and conversations, where a diversity of voices from across the skills spectrum are heard, including employers, educators, learners, and policymakers. It offers a wealth of insights and ideas for use by any individual or organisation with an interest in education and skills development in Ashfield.
View our Education and Skills Improvement Plan 2022-2031
Email us if you have ideas to help shape our strategic direction, or you can add value to discussions within the council's Education and Skills Partnerships.
Business Funding, Networks & Events
Ashfield District Council's Business Support Team is your first point of contact if you need business advice or permissions from the council, but don't know where to start. We can help guide you through the range of council services that your business may need to contact, as well as provide advice on funding and grants.
We are also here to help Ashfield businesses wishing to start, grow, and improve their productivity. There are many different business support options and routes to take depending on the stage and type of business, your growth plans, and the support you require. Email our Business Support Team with specific questions, but remember to tell us a little bit about your company.
This helps to identify which support opportunities and grants are most suitable for your business, and which of our local, regional, or national partners can best assist you to address these. Alternatively, if you prefer to speak to a member of our team or have more complex commercial challenges to discuss, then you can request a 30-minute online video meeting. In addition to this, we have lots of other support opportunities listed on our business support pages, including grants such as:
- Enterprise Development Grant - up to £6,000
- Hucknall Shop Improvement Grant - up to £9,600
- Ashfield Accelerator Project.
D2N2 Growth Hub is a business support network that provides information and advice on funding, events, and workshops across the two counties of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. It offers information on local sources of funding and national schemes that provide grants and investment to support businesses at different stages of development, including start-up, innovation, and growth. Learn about business events across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire on the D2N2 Growth Hub events calendar.
Mansfield and Ashfield 2020 provides a range of useful information to help with business networking and growth support across the two neighbouring areas. This organisation offers advice on how to promote a business to raise its profile, how to grow your network, and delivers business support and training. There are regular networking events, including breakfast and lunch meetings and annual awards, where advice, ideas, products, and services can be shared. Learn about business events at Mansfield and Ashfield 2020.
Nottingham Trent University (NTU) provides support to businesses through a range of opportunities from working with undergraduates, graduates, and postgraduates to attending events to connect with students, workshops, and training. The university also offers a consultancy service that links up businesses with experts in a number of areas including design and manufacturing, art and heritage, business and legal support, and architecture and the built environment. Telephone 0115 848 8899 or email for more information. Learn about how NTU can help your business.
The East Midlands Chamber of Commerce connects businesses and communities across Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Nottinghamshire with business support services, workforce training, and development, and aids the national and international ambitions of East Midlands businesses. The organisation lobbies for local investment and development of infrastructure needed to support the economic activities in the region. Learn about networking events and training held by the East Midlands Chamber of Commerce.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) helps small businesses achieve their ambitions by offering members a wide range of free business resources through the FSB Knowledge Hub. The group provides financial expertise and support through jargon-free articles, guides, webinars, and training opportunities designed for small businesses and the self-employed. Learn about the FSB Knowledge Hub.
Recruiting Talent is a series of events that brings together employers and experts who can support businesses to change the way they recruit and retain staff, accessing a wider pool of talent available locally and contributing to greater productivity. Learn about Recruiting Talent.
Be Healthy, Be Happy
The Ashfield Health and Wellbeing Partnership (previously known as Active Ashfield) is embedded within Discover Ashfield and leads the Be Healthy, Be Happy message on its behalf. Its aims are to create a healthier and happier lifestyle for children, young people, and adults in Ashfield through new and improved leisure facilities, by encouraging healthy eating, to shop locally, and help families gain access to free or low-cost activities.
Changes to tackle health inequalities and improve facilities within the community have been at the forefront of the programme. One of the ways in which this strategy moved forward was the Ashfield Leisure Transformation programme with its new leisure facility in Kirkby in Ashfield, additional water space at Hucknall Leisure Centre, and investment in Lammas Leisure Centre in Sutton in Ashfield.
The Feel Good Food project launched in Sutton in Ashfield by Michelin Star award-winning chef Jean Christophe Novelli in May 2019 offered cook and eat sessions and healthy eating events to help increase the skills and confidence of residents to eat healthily while also shopping locally. Since the pandemic the project has also focused on reducing food poverty within the district, working with local food banks.
The Feel Good Families project was launched in July 2019 to give families the chance to be part of free or low-cost activities within their local area, including themed park trails, arts and crafts, community events, learn to cycle sessions, cookery sessions, dance, and ice skating. A survey completed by families who engaged in these activities shared a positive impact on their family’s physical activity levels and mental wellbeing, and highlighted the benefits of trying new things and exploring the local area.
Email us if your organisation wants to get involved in the Partnership by providing activities for families.
There is a huge variety of sports and activities to enjoy within Ashfield, to help you get fit, have fun with friends, and support a healthy lifestyle. Take your pick from award-winning leisure centres and parks to tennis courts and top-quality synthetic pitches for football and hockey. There are also miles of scenic trails for walking, running, and cycling, and for those early risers plenty of parkruns across the area for all ages.
Brierley Forest parkrun, Huthwaite
Brierley Forest parkrun is a free 5k community event held every Saturday at 9am at Brierley Forest Park, Huthwaite.
Hucknall junior parkrun, Hucknall
Hucknall junior parkrun is a free 2k community event for 4 to 14-year-olds held every Sunday at 9am at Titchfield Park, Hucknall.
Sutton Lawn junior parkrun, Sutton in Ashfield
Sutton Lawn parkrun is a free 2k community event for 4 to 14-year-olds held every Sunday at 9am at Sutton Lawn, Sutton in Ashfield.
Cycling, National Cycle Route 6
This cycle route is 390 miles long, and runs from London to Threlkeld in Cumbria, passing through Ashfield near Hucknall and Annesley. Plan your cycling route through Nottinghamshire with the Sustrans website or with CycleStreets.
Walking routes in Nottinghamshire
There are miles of off-road trails in Ashfield and the beautiful Nottinghamshire countryside with routes suitable for walking, cycling, and horse-riding.
Cosey Mosey Walking Group is a walking group aimed at older people who enjoy a leisurely stroll rather than a fast-paced ramble. Run by Our Centre, in Kirkby in Ashfield, the free Friday walks take people to the wonderful green spaces in the area, including at Brierley Forest Park, Kingsway Park, and Mill Waters. There is a fully accessible bus available for a small charge to take walkers there and back. For more information, call 01623 753192.
Seated exercise class sessions at Our Centre, in Kirkby in Ashfield, are held every Tuesday and Friday from 11am. The gentle chair-based exercises designed to suit all abilities are delivered by a qualified instructor. The sessions are £3 and transport to the venue is available at an additional cost.
Join a cancer support walking group at King's Mill Reservoir, in Sutton in Ashfield, for some gentle exercise and fresh air to boost wellbeing and meet likeminded people. Organised by Macmillan Cancer Support, Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Trust, and Self Help UK, this group is for patients, family members, carers, and health professionals. It is held the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at 1pm from the reservoir side car park. For more details, call 01623 622515 ext.6499 or email.
Here are links to funding and support to help run a sports club or group.
Active Notts – Active Notts’s main aim is to get people moving. It offers advice on funding and a range of coaching courses and workshops.
Ashfield District Council – The council runs a number of annual events, where sports groups can promote their clubs or offer activities. Email us to take part.
Ashfield Voluntary Action (AVA) – AVA can help set up a new sports group or club, aid with governance, funding, insurance, and help advertise volunteer vacancies.
Club Matters – Club Matters has free resources and workshops for grassroots sports clubs and community organisations who want to engage new communities and existing members.
Child Protection in Sport Unit (CPSU) – CPSU has guides and advice on policies and procedures to help ensure children are safeguarded and what to do if you have a concern.
Nottingham Community Voluntary Service (CVS) – Supports groups to write funding applications and offers details of grants and advice on budgeting.
Nottinghamshire Community Foundation – The Foundation has useful information on grants and also provides a bid writing service (charge applies).
Notts Help Yourself – An online directory to promote a club or group free of charge. Notts Help Yourself is regularly updated and is promoted widely across Nottinghamshire.
The Prince’s Trust – Grants are offered by The Prince’s Trust to help young people into training, education, employment, or to set up their own business and promote other funding opportunities.
UK Coaching – Helps anyone that's encouraging others to become active including new and experienced coaches, mentors and instructors, and offers workshops, training, guidance, insurance, and networking opportunities.
There are many opportunities for volunteering across the Ashfield district that provide worthwhile opportunities to help the community, learn fresh skills, and meet new people. Whatever your age, background or skillset, there could be an opportunity for you as a volunteer.
Ashfield District Council
The council’s volunteering programme includes opportunities such as assisting at events and on special projects, environmental volunteering, and roles in health and wellbeing.
Ashfield Voluntary Action (AVA)
With a wide database of volunteering opportunities, charity AVA has a range of roles including in fundraising, literacy, befriending, and delivery.
Ashfield Citizens Advice
Train to become an advisor, campaigner, or trustee at Ashfield Citizens Advice, learning vital team and interviewing skills along the way.
Inspire Community Makers help deliver cultural and learning services across Nottinghamshire and volunteers are a key part of the service. Services include libraries, arts, archives, learning, youth arts, and music. Whether you have a few minutes, a couple of hours, or a day, get involved to become an Inspire Volunteer. Tasks can include completing learning surveys, joining a pool of Inspire Online Book Club Readers, or helping to run arts events. Read more to learn about volunteering at Inspire.
Become a part of the volunteer team at Mill Waters to learn fresh skills, make new friends, and enjoy the great outdoors. Volunteer opportunities include volunteer ranger; event volunteer; heritage and conservation volunteer; information and design volunteer; survey volunteer and volunteer walk leader. To get involved, complete a volunteer enquiry form.
Read about the experience of a volunteer at Mill Waters.
Portland Charity is a specialist college, residential care provider, and Centre of Excellence for Autism. There are many opportunities to get involved at its campus and sites across Nottinghamshire to meet new people, develop new skills, and help improve the lives of people with disabilities. Volunteer within its educational programme, transport learners and citizens as a minibus driver, and help shape the landscape of the Woodland Adventure Zone and campus. To find out more contact 01623 499111 ext 202 or email. Find out more about Portland Charity.
Email us for more information about volunteering roles. If you are part of an organisation that has a volunteer programme, please email the council to share any volunteering roles.