A raft of measures over the next two years aimed at improving the town centre will cost a total of £187,000, it has been revealed.
Erewash Borough Council is set to approve plans next week, which include two hours of free parking in Ilkeston town centre from 8am to 10am, said to cost the authority £80,000.
A total of £30,000 is being put aside for a grants scheme for shops under which businesses can apply for grants of up to £1,000 each to cover light repairs and renewing shopfronts.
Other measures include introducing 80 ‘self watering’ hanging baskets – 40 in Ilkeston and 40 in Long Eaton – at a cost of £12,000
Councillors also plan to hire a cherry picker to clean out gutters which they say will cost £12,000 over two years.
And a plan to cover up empty shop fronts with more old photos, children’s art and town centre maps, will take up £3,000.
All the cash is being taken from the £250,000 put aside for regeneration of Ilkeston town centre – a pot of cash made up of council money and £50,000 of section 106 cash from the Morrison’s supermarket to be built off Nottingham Road.
“A number of residents commented that the first action the council should take is a clean-up, making the town centres more attractive to local shoppers and visitors,” a spokesman for the council said.
“The proposed light repairs grant scheme will help shop owners enhance their shop fronts to encourage more people into the town centres.”
The Revive project, which saw empty shops, including Burtons in Bath Street used as spaces to exhibit local artists’ work, is to be extended at a cost of £16,000.
A further £34,000 is to go towards bringing big events, including a mini cinema screen, to Ilkeston.
To find out what you can expect to see in the Market Place, see next week’s Advertiser.
These measures are expected to be given the go-ahead when they go before the council’s executive committee, made up of leading Conservative councillors, on Wednesday June 19.