Friday, August 12, 2022

£20m Levelling Up bid set to move forward for Ilkeston

A bid for up to £20m of government funding for three projects to help regenerate Ilkeston town centre looks set to be approved next week.

A meeting of Erewash Borough Council’s Executive on Tuesday (5 July) is expected to agree that the bid should be submitted to the nationwide Levelling Up initiative as part of the drive to improve the town centre.

A report going to the meeting says that a seven week public consultation earlier this year produced clear results that have helped shape the ambitious bid, with residents particularly highlighting a desire for a better range and quality of shops, including restaurants and services for children, and action over vacant properties.

If approved by Executive members, the bid will go to the government next week and focus on winning funding for three inter-linked regeneration projects covering South Street, the Market Place, Bath Street and Station Road.

Details of these project proposals include:

  • The purchase and refurbishment of the derelict Grade II listed Ritz building with a view to letting it out as a possible food court, market hall or entertainment venue.
  • Tackling the long term empty shops on Bath Street where there are currently 10 properties that have been vacant from 4 up to 23 years. The proposal is to support whole building refurbishment by offering to buy the leasehold of refurbished commercial units in these buildings or, failing that, to acquire the buildings and appoint a development partner to carry out the refurbishment.
  • A third project aims to raise the overall quality and attractiveness of the area to attract further private sector investment and boost the welcoming vibe for residents. Suggestions include more greenery, new gateway features to the main shopping streets and innovative new lighting schemes for the Market Place.

Councillor Bryn Lewis, Erewash Borough Council’s lead member for town centres, says: “We have put together a high quality bid thanks to the input of local residents whose valuable contributions and suggestions were paramount in helping us shape the proposals. They were very clear in what improvements and actions they would like to see. This is a great opportunity that offers the prospect of making a real difference.”

The meeting of Council Executive is at Ilkeston Town Hall on Tuesday 5 July at 10.30am.

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