SUPPORT from Ilkeston businesses to the train station campaign is now ‘critical’, according to Erewash Partnership, which is issuing a plea for letters of support.
Chief executive of the borough’s regeneration agency Ian Viles has urged businesses, organisations, and colleges from in and around the town to write to Erewash Borough Council and let them know exactly why a station would benefit them economically.
“Your assistance is now critical,” he said.
“I’d prefer it if any letters could include details of the economic benefits that the station will bring to them, for example, will it mean that they will be able to expand by ‘x’ per cent over a two-year period, employ ‘x’ number of new employees and win ‘x’ new contracts?
“General letters of support will be ok but won’t give us the evidence we need to show how important the station is.”
Advertiser editor Peter Hemmett explained: “It is vital for the train station bid that these letters of support are written.
“When we hand over all our petition slips it will show the strength of support behind bringing a new train station to Ilkeston. But what we need from these letters is hard facts and figures to show the economic benefit a train station will bring a town like Ilkeston.
“That is why it is so important that all our businesses, big and small, get behind the bid.
“This town needs, and deserves a train station and everybody reading this can play a part. So if you run a business in the town, this is your chance to help by sending in a comprehensive letter of support.
“And to everybody who hasn’t already done so, fill in the petition slip below and send it into us while there is still time, and show that the whole town is behind this.
“It is not just a pipe dream any more. Together we could make it a reality.”
Letters should be addressed to Yvonne Wright, Planning Policy Manager, Resources Directorate, Erewash Borough Council, Town Hall, Long Eaton, Derbyshire, NG10 1HU.
The plea has come in the same week that Derbyshire County Council has announced it is considering delaying the bid for £4m from the Government’s Regional Growth Fund for the station by a couple of months.
The extra time would allow the council to learn more about the technical side of bidding for funding for a railway station – hopefully giving it more chance of success.
A spokesman for authority said: “We are considering whether to delay the bid for money for a railway station at Ilkeston for a short time. This is because the Government will soon be publishing technical advice on bidding for funding for railway stations that we will want to take account of.
“We remain fully committed to the project and want to make sure that the bid has the best possible chance of success. This might mean delaying the bid by a couple of months.”
The council announced it was making a bid to the fund last month, which, if successful, would see it secure the remaining cash needed to build the station.