Shops revival plan set for big launch

Totally Locally Ilkeston at Wash Arts, Bath Street. Ethen Ashley Eden, Deborah Selwood, Susan Smith, Kirsty Taylor and Zee Sheldon.
Totally Locally Ilkeston at Wash Arts, Bath Street. Ethen Ashley Eden, Deborah Selwood, Susan Smith, Kirsty Taylor and Zee Sheldon.

A film screening, a vintage fair and live music are set to launch a scheme which traders hope could see Ilkeston shops thriving once again.

Totally Locally has helped to turn around the fortunes of town centres, including Leek in Staffordshire, where there are now just two empty shops,

Ilkeston firms, including Harpur and Finch and U Choose cafe, are already on board with the scheme, which is all about businesses helping each other out, as local founding director Susan Smith explained.

“It’s not about advertising your business, it’s about supporting the whole town,” she said. “There’s a lot of concentration on the negative.

“We are trying to change that by encouraging people to spend time and money in their town centre.”

She added that if every adult in Ilkeston spent just £5 a week in the town centre, it would bring in £7.9m into the local economy.

She and fellow organisers Deborah Selwood, Zee Sheldon and Kirsty Taylor are hoping for an extravaganza weekend to officially launch Totally Locally in Ilkeston.

Deborah, who is currently renovating Maltby’s Mill in Station Road, has organised a special screening of Ilkeston filmmaker Edward Jarvis’s documentary about the history of lace on Saturday July 27 at the mill’s mini cinema – all the proceeds of which will go towards Totally Locally.

On the Sunday, there are plans for vintage market stalls in Lower Bath Street and a stage in front of Ilson Ink for local bands, although these plans are yet to get the go-ahead from Erewash Borough Council.

They hope to include tours around some of Ilkeston’s hidden gem firms and to encourage traders to get on board with Totally Locally.

Follow @Totallylocalilson for regular updates on the campaign.

Totally Local Ilkeston is looking for you to suggest your ‘hidden gems’ – what are the shops that offer something a bit different?

There are already some listed here under the Ilkeston section.

For more details about the campaign or to suggest your hidden gems email Susan Smith at susan@wasarts.co.uk