Ilkeston is in the Erewash Borough which is part of Derbyshire and has a population approaching 44,000. It is strategically placed close to the M1 and the cities of Derby and Nottingham.
Positive changes are now happening to this former mining area with the Ilkeston Railway station about to open, plans to regenerate the old Stanton Ironworks and the latest boost for the town centre with redevelopment of the former Co-op building.
The town is one of the largest towns in England without a station and has been without a railway link since 1967. It is expected to open 2 platforms and a car park before the year end and will have direct links to Nottingham, Chesterfield, Sheffield and well beyond. It is anticipated this will attract more businesses into the area and also increase property values.
The redevelopment of the Stanton Site is viewed as the biggest development opportunity Erewash has ever seen. This is seen as a key regeneration site and is featured in the Council’s Core Strategy for redevelopment to provide, among other things around 2,000 homes, a business park, land for general industry and community facilities.
Plans are progressing for the redevelopment of the Co-op building, which is one of the town iconic buildings, into mixed residential and commercial use. The ground floor already has several new shops, a gymnasium, a new coffee shop and a couple of office units. It is hoped the first and second floors of the building will be converted into 31 one-bedroom flats and 38 two-bedroom flats. All will be provided with a car parking place.
Ilkeston also provides many visitor attractions including Victoria Park which is in a beautiful setting on Manners Road and has been awarded The Green Flag for the sixth year running. It has recently undergone a total refurbishment, has a bandstand, bowling green and lots of green open space along with colourful flowers from early spring until late autumn. Close by you can visit and enjoy the Victoria Park Leisure Centre.
The Erewash Museum is just a short walk from the Market Place and has many special events for all ages and has free admission for everyone.
Another popular visitor attraction is Straws Bridge just to the south on the A609 which has also been awarded the Green Flag. It’s a ready nice walk around part of the lake where there is an abundant of bird life.
Businesses in the town can get free impartial and confidential advice from the Erewash Partnership who also works with Erewash Borough Council. A particularly good joint scheme is the Golden Hello grant. This provides advice and a grant to start-up businesses who occupy previously empty shops.
Erewash Sound 96.8 radio has been very much part of the town for approaching 10 years and brings everyday the latest news and local information from around Erewash together with great music and chat from their local presenters.
The Ilkeston College has been recently be redeveloped on Pimlico and is now part of the Derby College and is designed to meet the needs of local businesses.
Market days in Ilkeston are on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in the Market Place and into Bath Street when you can always be sure of a warm and friendly welcome from a wide variety of stall holders.
Close to the Market Place you can find the Scala Cinema and fairly nearby the Ten Pin Bowling venue.
Ilkeston enjoys many town centre activities throughout the year and includes a massive classic car event in August, its 764th Charter Fair for 4 days was held last October and there are many community events leading up to Christmas.
As you may have read the government is cutting back on the upgrades to the railway system. One casualty is Midland Mainline which runs from St Pancreas through to Sheffield via Loughborough, Leicester and East Midlands Parkway. This is of vital importance to the economy of the East Midlands. The planned electrification is being ‘paused’.
HS2 (High Speed 2) is the High Speed railway planned between London, Manchester and Leeds. The line between Birmingham and Leeds part of the overall project is due to be completed in 2033. With the delays just announced there must be doubts as to the timing of this project. However at this present time the plans are for the line to go through the west of the Nottingham area. The likely site of the station will be at Toton Sidings. This depot is bordered by Long Eaton, Sandiacre and Toton.
If buying a house or flat near to the proposed line we strongly recommend an HS2 search (£18.00) to see whether or not the property will be affected.
Legal Aid and Criminal Cuts –
Many of you will have followed the on going disputes between lawyers and the government over criminal legal aid cuts. This firm no longer carries out criminal work. The criminal department transferred to VHS Fletchers Solicitors in August 2014.
The dispute is over two issues. The first issue is cuts in rates of 8.75% due in July 2015. The second issue is probably more serious for criminal firms. This is the proposal to drastically limit Duty Solicitor Contracts to certain firms in January 2016. Most criminal firms who do not obtain a contract will find it difficult to survive if this scheme comes in. Substantial amounts of work are received by criminal solicitors through the duty solicitor scheme.
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