BUY LOCAL - Spotlight on Heanor Town Centre
10th August 2011
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When I first started to research this blog, I thought it wouldn’t take me long.  I had been listening to all of the talk that ‘there’s nothing in Heanor’ and ‘there are very few shops left’.  Well that turned out to be completely wrong!

There are over 100 separate shops open for business just in the town centre.

That’s right! Over 100! It took me three full afternoons to get round as many of them as I could, spending just 5 or so minutes with each to find out more about who they are and what they offer in their shops. Every single one had a friendly face and a smile behind the counter.  Each one was knowledgeable about their product/service and was more than willing to spend a few minutes with me talking about themselves and Heanor. Most were local and all were clearly proud to be serving our local community.

I had intended to do a very short couple of lines on each business, but now I’ve found out how many there are it’s just not practical, even though each one deserves to be in the spotlight. I wanted to share with you a little about each so that when you went in you would feel like you almost knew them already, but they were all so approachable and friendly this would take forever to explain.

Everything you could want (well, nearly!)

What I will say though, is that there is not much that you cannot buy in Heanor. Perhaps the main exceptions to this, in my mind, are a good quality butcher and school clothes (although you can now get these locally thanks to Asda in Langley Mill).

Yes the market is declining and there are some empty shops which are bringing down the overall feel of the town, but there is movement in that too, with activity at the old Boots shop over the last week, and other premises that have been dormant for a while coming onto the market.

I’ve heard people say that there is nothing but charity shops and takeaways here, but what would you think if I was to tell you that for every charity shop there is more than one bank/building society, two hairdressers and as many shops providing health, beauty and related services. Yes, there are nine hot food outlets of varying types, but we also have

•    2 furniture shops, 1 second hand shop and 1 carpet store
•    3 opticians, 2 florists
•    4 shops selling cards, gifts and other confectionary
•    2 electrical retailers
•    5 estate agents/letting agencies,
•    3 cafes, 2 bakers / deli’s, 3 restaurants
•    2 general chemists, 3 grocers/general stores and 1 newsagent
•    1 computer games outlet and 1 computer sales/repair
•    1 clothes shop (now also including menswear in their range)
•    2 pet shops, 1 craft supplies retailer
•    1 motor factor, 1 garage
•    2 hardware / DIY stores
•    2 pubs, 1 leisure arcade
•    6 different businesses providing professional services, including financial advice, insurance, legal services, a travel agent and a security firm.
•    1 independent camping/outdoor supplier

Most of these shops are owned and run by local people like you and me.  Most are not big chains with bottomless pockets or reserves to throw at expensive shop-fronts, top-end displays and shop-fitting. They are salt of the earth local people who have set up to provide a service and hopefully make a living helping local people. Their shops may not be as ‘sexy’ as the big chain stores in the cities, but the service you get is personal and caring, and the prices are generally incredibly competitive.

Celebrating our Independents

In one way you could say that we have a huge opportunity here in Heanor.  Other towns are bemoaning the standardisation of their high streets – having nothing but the big brand shops meaning that their town looks no different to any other high street in the UK. 

We have more independent businesses than many other towns and that is something we should be celebrating.  We should be embracing the fact that we don’t have big chain stores here and turning our independent town centre into a real showcase for other towns to aspire to.

So please don’t listen when someone tells you there’s nothing in Heanor. Get out there into the town and look for yourself. Use these shops and support them, I almost guarantee you will be really surprised!

And with the price of petrol these days there’s never been a better time to BUY LOCAL.

About the Author

Sarah A

Member since: 10th July 2012

Hi, I'm Sarah. I've lived in Heanor with my family for over 10 years and I'm passionate about our beautiful little corner of this historical county. If you know of something that's great about our area,...

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