Woolies project in Ilkeston is in need of funding

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Votes are needed to secure funding to turn the former Woolworths in Ilkeson into a community hub.

The Arena Church took over the lease in December and hope to run a project there over two floors. This would included a retail unit and a furniture restoration and renovation project for unemployed and marginalised people.

The project needs around £40,000 in order to get up and running and has been nominated for funding from Jewson’s Building Better Communities grant.

The project is nominated in the Inclusion For All section and needs your votes to ensure that it gets the funding it needs. The project has just over 100 votes at the moment.

Kristian Thorpe, lead pastor, said: “Our vision is to resurrect and transform a dead and dilapidated former Woolworths building, which has stood empty since 2009, into a hive of activity to become a focal point of future hope on the town’s failing high street.”

“Some of the things we would like to do with the building include retro furniture sale and repairs, a quality coffee shop serving handmade food, and vintage goods and clothing.”

The project would see a structured supervised programme of donated and sourced furniture stripped, repaired, restored and given a new shabby chic look. This would be sold in the outlet alongside soft furnishings and vintage clothing.

Mr Thorpe added: “It is estimated that the renovation and refurbishment costs to bring the building to a fit for purpose state, to fit out the workshop, learning, retail and coffee-shop will cost in excess of £40,000.

“Ultimately all profits will go into community projects.”

Shoppers would be able to enjoy a speciality coffee and cake in the coffee-shop.

. The Woolworths project will have a furniture restoration and renovation project for unemployed and marginalised people on the first floor. Participants will gain practical skills in furniture care, restoration and renovation while being supported to develop skills that enable them to work with others.

It will develop transition routes that support participants to enter into employment or further education with local employers and learning providers.

To vote log onto Vote for Arena project