£10k boost to new traders

Bath street Ilkeston
Bath street Ilkeston

Plans to make Fridays ‘fantastic’ for new businesses in Ilkeston are afoot, thanks to a £10,000 boost to help rejuvenate the town.

Free pitches will be provided to give new market traders and start-up businesses the chance to sell their products on Fridays.

The aim, according to Ilkeston’s Town Team, is to make the market, which is currently busiest on Thursdays and Saturdays, more vibrant and encourage new traders to take up trading in Ilkeston permanently.

Paul Calladine, project manager for Erewash Partnership, one of the organisations involved in the Town Team, said: “We hope that when new market traders become established they may consider opening a shop in the town centre and make it even better, pulling in more business.”

After the failed bid to become a ‘Portas pilot’ town earlier this year, the Town Team, which includes Erewash Borough Council and Ilkeston Chamber of Trade, was asked to suggest ways £10,000 could be spent on the town centre.

Ilkeston’s Fantastic Fridays scheme clearly impressed the Government enough for it to award Ilkeston a share of £1m handed out nationwide.

Erewash MP Jessica Lee congratulated the team: “Having met with Mary Portas to put the case for supporting our town centres, I am glad the support has come through”

Mr Calladine explained that the markets would be themed each month, including clothing, food and crafts.

He said that start-up businesses are encouraged to come forward to be in with a chance of taking part.

Fantastic Fridays are set to start on December 14 to coincide with Christmas activities in Ilkeston and run for a year.