Town Team submits bid for Government cash

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FINGERS have been crossed this week after Ilkeston’s bid to become a ‘Portas Pilot’ which would give the town a share of £1m to help regenerate the centre, has been completed.

Community organisations including Erewash Partnership, Ilkeston Chamber of Trade and Ilkeston Ormiston Academy, formed the Ilkeston Town Team last month to put together a video about the town.

The Government is offering the 12 winning towns £100,000 each and the backing of ‘Queen of Shops’ Mary Portas.

Ilkeston’s video shows off the best and worst of the town.

The team has asked for the funding to help improve transport around the town, to spruce up its appearance and make the best use of its many empty units.

Market towns co-ordinator at Erewash Partnership Paul Calladine said: “We want to ensure that improving Ilkeston’s image remains a priority for everyone involved in the centre and that we are able to shout out about the many fantastic shopping, leisure and other opportunities Ilkeston has on offer.”

The bid has involved the team working long hours over the last few weeks to ensure the 28 priorities set out by Ms Portas in her recently published review for the Government on the state of the UK’s town centres, were included in Ilkeston’s bid.

The group say they have chosen priorities that were best able to support some of the most pressing issues in Ilkeston.

Other groups involved included Able Disabled, Trent Barton and community arts group Wash Arts.

Susan Smith from Wash Arts added: “This has been an extremely intensive period of work by a group of organisations, some of whom had never previously worked together.

“Considering the short timescale available we feel thrilled to have managed to get the bid and video together in time for the deadline.

“We understand there is a huge amount of competition out there but whether or not we are successful with the bid, we are determined to keep this initiative moving and to continue to seek ways to support the regeneration of our town that we all feel passionate about.”

As part of the bid, towns were required to submit a Youtube video capturing the essence of the town and demonstrating the need for funding.

Ilkeston’s film features shots from around the town, set to music, including the empty Woolworths building and boarded up shops in Bath Street.

But it also shows some of the town’s highlights, including Victoria Park and Erewash Museum and independent shops in South Street.

To view the video search for ilkestontownteam at www.youtube.com or you can find it by clicking here here

- Stapleford has submitted a joint bid to become a Portas Pilot with neighbouring towns Eastwood and Kimberley.

The towns’ film is presented by Broxtowe borough councillor Stan Heptinstall and focuses on the need to boost footfall to the centres.

The video can also be viewed on Youtube.