Help Us Save Heanor Town Centre
31st July 2011
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Thebestof Heanor and Ripley are really pleased to be involved with a new dynamic organisation dedicated to improving Heanor Town Centre; the Heanor Business Task Force.

What’s it all about?

Good question - Following years of decline in the hub of our town, a group of local business owners have now come together to take action to save our High Street.

Not content with moaning about the state of the shops and the number of empty premises, this proactive team have joined together to form an active task force to halt the decline and restore Heanor to the vibrant bustling Market Town it once was.

But what are they going to do?

Well, they’re a very practical bunch....they’re not looking for handouts of loads of money from the council (although that would be nice!), they’ve started with the small quick steps that can be taken to make the main route through the town look more attractive and ‘open for business’.  Simple things like

•    making sure all the shop fronts are clean and freshly painted,
•    broken window boards spruced up to look more attractive,
•    shutters clean and well maintained,
•    maybe even window boxes and hanging baskets etc.

They are also looking at how the market can be improved; how can we attract new stallholders, or if we can hold a separate specialist market, a farmers market or a craft or flea market for example, to bring new visitors to the town?

The Task Force have already started talks with the council as well.  We know that Cllr Kevin Parkinson is committed to helping develop the town centre, but as we all know budgets are shrinking and it’s not easy to get resources for anything but the most urgent of needs. What the council can do though is open doors for the Task Force and help us get permissions etc to carry out the actions that are identified, where necessary.

Sounds great – is there anything I can do to help...?

Yes, there are lots of things that we can all do to help.

1. Buy Local!
We think that one of the most effective solutions to the problem is for local residents (i.e. you and me!) to get back onto the High Street and use the shops that we already have here. We have a wealth of amazing independent shops with some fantastic offerings and the welcome and level of service you’ll get locally is so much better than a complacent national chain or faceless internet site. Our local shopkeepers are really fantastic people and there’s always a friendly smile and a hello when you walk in. (Look out for more blogs really soon focusing on our local shops to find out exactly what is on offer on our doorsteps.)

Seeing these shops thriving and being successful is also the best way to attract new investors to the town, who will then fill up those empty shops to provide complementary products and services and more choice to the public.

2. Join us!
If you own a business in Heanor why not come along to our next meeting and find out if there’s a way you can help? The meetings are held monthly in JJ’s Furniture Shop (the old Woolworth’s). We’ll publish the date and time of the meeting in our events pages, but we’d need to know if you are coming in advance so please contact either myself through the details at the bottom of this page, or pop in to chat with James Perry at JJ’s.

3. Add your voice!
A really powerful way to help Heanor is to stay positive about the town.  We know it’s not perfect, but please believe me when I say it’s really not that bad.  Having lived in a number of places before I settled here I know first-hand how much more friendly the people of Heanor are and how much more community spirit there is here. We need to grow that spirit and pull together by recognising and celebrating the good things about our town rather than continually lamenting the bad.

But most importantly, we need your thoughts and ideas, and your support and voice in what we are doing. The Task Force have made a great start, but to really make this work we need to get the whole town behind us and involved.
Use the comment box below to tell us what you think and give us suggestions for other great ways that we can improve Heanor.

Let’s get the whole town talking about how we are going to make Heanor the most loved town in Derbyshire, if not the whole of the country!

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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