Labelled as a ‘forgotten community’, Kirk Hallam has been given a grant of at least £1m to spend however residents see fit.
One of the town’s councillors said ‘the possibilities are endless’ for improving the town – but it will be residents who will decide what needs sorting out.
Kirk Hallam was one of just four communities in the East Midlands and 150 across the UK to be given thea share of the £200m Big Lottery Fund – the biggest ever community-led investment the organisation has ever made.
Cllr Carol Hart represented Erewash Borough Council on a board made up of police, fire and charity representatives, to decide which part of the borough would receive the cash.
“I am delighted that the Kirk Hallam area has been chosen to be part of the Big Local programme,” she said.
“The scheme is completely resident-led so it will be entirely up to people living in the area to use the £1m on the things that matter to them, and projects and services that will have the biggest impact on their community.
“Residents will need to come together to spend the funding, which can be used on anything from starting up social enterprises and addressing unemployment to tackling local issues or providing more activities and services for people locally.”
She said Kirk Hallam was chosen because it has ‘missed out’ on other sources of funding in the past.
The cash will be spread over 10 years and it is thought a committee of residents will be set up soon to decide on where it is spent.
Borough councillor for Kirk Hallam John Frudd had some ideas.
“It’s excellent news,” he said.
“But I hope the money is used to support poor families with children.
“And there are so little employment opportunities left here now, it would be nice to see something in place to address that problem.”
Shoppers around Queen Elizabeth Way this week said something also needed to be done to stop gangs of youths congregating around the shops and causing a nuisance.
“We need somewhere for them to go,” said Joanne Lewis, 44, “A youth club or something like that.”
While Trevor Harris, treasurer at the Kenilworth Drive community centre said he hoped for some investment in the facility to expand what they offer.