My inspiration for an idea to regenerate Ilkeston town centre came from a recent visit to Buxton on a very cold Saturday.
Street entertainers drew in crowds of people. A drumming band played non-stop swing music; a monocyclist entertained the crowds and, to the delight of children and adults alike, oversized bubbles were blown over the rooftops. There was a miniature double decker bus on hand, sponsored by local businesses.
We have the ideal spot, in front of the Town Hall to provide similar entertainment on a Saturday. Ilkeston has some talented people we should encourage to take part but, we should also be tapping into the performing and creative arts departments of Derby College to make some input into a co-ordinated programme of events throughout the summer and autumn months, at least. This could be part of their contribution to our community.
It should cost very little to provide facilities for entertainers/groups. Perhaps light refreshments could be served from the Town Hall for members of the public. There are other active groups in the town, including arts and historical societies who could put on exhibitions from time to time. Some big charity events which take place on Victoria Park may be able, at least, to start off on the Market Place.
Yes, by all means, bring back the idea of the shuttle train, but sponsored by local businesses via advertising.
Save the big money for more concrete improvements which will help Ilkeston move into the future.
Ask yourselves what is missing here? Do you have to go into Derby or Nottingham to find what you are looking for? Ask the general public the same questions!
We need to encourage more stallholders to our markets and bigger names into our shops. This will not be solved by building more supermarkets! Make it more inviting for people to shop in Ilkeston.
Ilkestonian (address supplied)