LETTER: Empty units do not enhance Ilkeston

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Earlier this year, I was delighted to see the ‘LET’ signs appear in several of the units created within the old Co-op building on South Street and was eagerly awaiting the opening of these new stores, which would hopefully bring new life to the town centre.

I was a little sceptical when Maggie Troup, the Conservative Member of Parliament for Erewash, was the first to announce that she was to occupy one of the units as a constituency office.

I didn’t feel that this was the type of occupant that the people of Ilkeston were expecting or would bring the necessary footfall back to the town.

I now have mixed feelings as two months later we now have four of the units which appear to be taken.

These include The Party Shop and Eighty Four, both of which are likely to attract custom and I wish them both the best of luck.

However the unit which appears to be the one that our MP has taken seems to be occupied only by a banner and a couple of empty tables in the middle of the

room.

What seems to be the delay?

Surely this is no financial risk to Mrs Troup as any costs involved will surely be claimed back on expenses and therefore it is the taxpayers of Erewash who are ultimately funding this venture.

The fourth unit appears to be a storage unit for Thorpe’s bedding department and is not currently manned.

Surely Mr Thorpe, whose family have been in business in the town as long as I have lived here, and who I thought was an active member of the Chamber of Trade in the town, cannot imagine that is what the people of Ilkeston want?

Whilst I agree that any unit which is occupied is better than an empty one, I do not believe that these units will help the town.

I only hope that the remainder of the units have something more to offer the people of Ilkeston.

If this is the best we can hope for then I fear it will do little to enhance the town.

Michael Atkinson

Ilkeston