Cash boost plans for Ilkeston’s empty shops

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Thousands of pounds could be spent on sprucing up empty shops in Bath Street.

Erewash Borough Council will decide today whether to approve a recommendation for £33,000 to provide grants for empty shops in Ilkeston that are in need of a major revamp.

The ‘Ilkeston empty shop improvements grant’ would improve the appearance of empty premises so that they can be let out in the future.

A similar scheme - the ‘Ilkeston shop front improvement scheme’ - was approved in August last year and saw £30,000 made available, of which a maximum of £1,000 is due to be spent on repairs and improvements to the ground floor exterior of empty shops.

So far 27 grants have been approved, at a total of £21,826.

A council report states: “Together with a separate scheme to replace boarded up shop fronts with simulated shop fronts this initiative has made a noticeable impact in improving the appearance of Ilkeston town centre and has been extended to Long Eaton and Sandiacre.

“Some of the remaining empty shops in Ilkeston require more extensive works, such as new shop fronts or refits to return them to a condition where they can be let and to become attractive to potential users.”

Some of the shops which need internal work carried out could have as much as £10,000 spent on them. The £33,000 would provide three major grants. Five properties in the town centre have been earmarked to benefit.