With its fair share of empty shops and derelict buildings, Ilkeston can’t afford to have another of its iconic buildings left to go to ruin.
Advertiser editor Martin Hutton thinks so and local retailers agree that the old Co-op store can’t become the town’s next Woolworths.
To stop the local landmark fading into the background and falling into disrepair, action needs taking now - which is why the Advertiser has launched a fight to m ake sure that the building doesn’t stand empty for long.
Editor Martin Hutton said: “The closure of the Co-op was a hammer blow for Ilkeston but there isn’ t time to dwell on the past, it’s time to think about the future.
“We need to make sure that this town bounces back and that another iconic building isn’t left to go to waste.
“We want you, our readers to send in your suggestions and join our fight to ensure that the next step for the landmark South Street shop is a bright one.”
A number of big-name businesses have been linked with a move to the property but the Advertiser was unable to confirm any interest.
Sharon Flint’s business, Camomile, neighbours the old department store.
She said: “From what I’ve heard around town most people want to see an indoor shopping mall.
“The Co-op is a big building with lots of space and I think that a mini-shopping centre would be best for businesses and the town.
“I also think some of the space would be brilliant if it was transformed into flats.
“Flats would mean more people physically in the town which is always a good thing.
“Something needs doing sooner rather than later, it would be tragic to see such a beautiful building go to waste.
“I’m confident someone or some people will want the building and it will be back in full use soon.”
David Vipond, owner of Dyl and Co on Bath Street, is passionate about reviving Ilkeston.
He said: “I completely back the campaign.
“The last thing this town needs is another empty shop, there are plenty of those on Bath Street.
“I think the building would make a great multi-use facility, shops, restaurants and residential.
“It would be good to see a big name there as well as some smaller independent businesses.”
We want to know what you think.
Write to us with your views: 8 Heanor Road, Ilkeston, Derbyshire, DE7 8ER.