A MAGAZINE aimed at showing off the best that youth culture has to offer in the local area and across the country – and created right here in Ilkeston – hits the shelves today.
Its creator, young entrepreneur Ashley Allen, has worked tirelessly to produce the first print edition of Avenue Magazine from his bedroom in Cotmanhay while holding down a full-time job.
Friends in Ilkeston, Derby and Long Eaton have contributed articles, photographs and artwork to the free magazine which was funded partly from the 23-year-old’s own savings.
The latest edition of the quarterly magazine features interviews with Mercury Music Prize-nominated rapper Ghostpoet and Nottingham singer-songwriter Jake Bugg, who has been played on BBC Radio 1.
“It’s been hard to take it all in,” said Ashley, who works at UKR Transmissions.
“It’s been really surreal finally seeing the printed editions and taking them round shops.
“I never expected to be interviewing people in the charts. It’s just overwhelming.”
The aim, Ashley explained, is to show off the best in local talent and let young people in Erewash know what events there are on their own doorstep.
“In London there are about 20 magazines for young people in a small area,” he explained. “So why shouldn’t there be one like that for the Erewash area?
“About 75 per cent of our readers on the website were from the Erewash area.”
And with between 800 and 900 readers viewing the last two editions, published only on the web, Ashley is hoping for even more success with the printed edition.
The former Ilkeston School student, who last year was nominated for the prestigious Young Star of Enterprise award, is now looking for funding for office space and has contacted local councillors and regeneration agency Erewash Partnership for help.
Eventually he wants to offer work experience to students, unemployed people and budding journalists, photographers or artists in need of experience.
“The plan is to turn it into more of a community project,” he said.
“There’s nothing like this magazine in this area so we hope it will be a great opportunity for people who want to write to gain experience.”
Avenue Magazine is available in Klass Kuts in Cotmanhay and Double Four Taxis in Ilkeston, In A Spin laundrette in Langley Mill as well as shops in Derby from today (Thursday).