A quarter of a million pounds is has been put aside for Ilkeston town centre – and we want to know what you think it should be spent on.
In his budget speech last week, the leader of Erewash Borough Council announced that, despite freezing council tax for a fourth year, £250,000 has been ring-fenced to help give the town a boost in struggling times.
The Advertiser is getting behind the council as it looks at ways to spend the cash and we want to hear your suggestions.
Cllr Chris Corbett has mooted a shuttle bus, perhaps linking the hoped-for Ilkeston train station with Bath Street, redecoration of empty shops or big events in the Market Place to attract potential shoppers in.
He said he would like to attract names like Primark and Poundstretcher to town and make the most of 1,000 students who will soon be attending the new Derby College campus on the old magistrates court site.
But before any decisions are made he wants to hear from our readers – the people of Ilkeston.
“We need help from resident to tell us how to spend this money,” he said.
“These are just some possibilites but we need other sensible affordable ideas, so please let us know.”
Shoppers on Bath Street this week suggested rent subsidies, getting rid of litter and dog mess and the return of the little shuttle train which ferried people up and down Bath Street.
The Co-op department store’s partial closure has been a big blow to the town, he admitted, saying that in part this has prompted the council to take action on the high street.
During the meeting on Thursday he said: “We do not have any control over decisions made by distant boards which affect a number of towns,
“But out regeneration arm Erewash Partnership and our excellent economic development officer have been talking to the Co-op and their franchisees.”
Paying tribute to Erewash Borough Council’s finance department Cllr Corbett said that £200,000 of the cash has been found through efficiency savings – cash paid to the council by its tax payers.
“We knew difficult times were coming and we recognise that now is the time to use this money,” Cllr Corbett explained.
The remaining £50,000 has come from money promised to the council by Morrison’s as part of its plan to build a supermarket on the Derby College site off Nottingham Road.