Blooming Heck . . . It’s That Time Again!

Erewash gardeners can put their hoes and rakes on standby and dust down their mowers . . . the ever-popular Erewash in Bloom gardening competition is launched this month!

The annual competition for green-fingered gurus is the flagship project of Erewash Borough Council’s Pride in Erewash campaign and sees residents, schoolchildren and businesses put some real flower power into the borough.

This year’s contest will be launched during National Gardening Week with special ‘Bloom’ stalls in Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres where residents can find out more and pick up an entry form:

•    Wednesday 15 April – Long Eaton High Street, 10am-2pm
•    Thursday 16 April – Ilkeston, Bath Street, 10am-2pm


The competition features a wide range of categories as gardening fans all compete to put on the best summertime displays and be crowned an Erewash in Bloom champion.

Entry forms are also available from Long Eaton and Ilkeston Town Halls. Alternatively, residents will be able to enter on-line from Wednesday 16 April at www.erewash.gov.uk/erewashinbloom or forms can be downloaded at www.erewash.gov.uk/pride

In The Swim For Charity

Fundraisers can once again take the plunge and sign up for the annual Swimathon challenge when Victoria Park Leisure Centre hosts the nationwide event between 17-19 April.
 
The Swimathon challenge is designed for all levels of fitness, abilities and ages. You can choose to take on one of the individual 1.5k, 2.5k or 5k challenges or the team 1.5k and 5k - If you wish to take up your own challenge why not sign up to SimplySwim.
 
Thousands of swimmers are expected to take on the Swimathon challenge and go that extra length to help raise funds for Marie Curie who provide care and support for people affected by terminal illnesses across the UK. 
 
To register for Swimathon 2015 go to www.swimathon.org or telephone 0845 36 700 36 for more information. From now until 31 March you will also have a chance of winning £200 of Zoggs swimming products. 
 
Marie Curie is the official charity partner for Swimathon 2015.

Increased Retail Rate Relief

Erewash Borough Council is offering smaller retail premises in the borough a Business Rates support package which includes a discount of £1,500 over 2015/16.
 
To qualify for discount the Rateable Value must be £50,000 or less and you or your business must not receive state aid of more than £167,000 within the next three financial years.  Retailers must sell goods to the public such as florists, bakers, grocers, chemists, charity shops, post offices, or provide services such as hair and beauty, shoe repairs/key cutting, restaurants, coffee shops etc. 
 
The Relief has been increased from £1,000 in 2014/15 to £1,500 for 2015/16 and ratepayers who have already been granted the reduction in 2014/15 will automatically receive it again.
 
For further information contact the council’s Revenues Section on 0115 907 1000 or visit our website www.erewash.gov.uk and download an application form from the Business Rates page.
 

CCTV Upgrade

A major upgrade of the CCTV system in Erewash is now complete thanks to a major investment by Erewash Borough Council.
 
The upgrade has included the installation of new cameras in Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres and the replacement of old recording systems and outdated monitors with up-to-date monitoring stations.
 
Councillor Carol Hart, Erewash Borough Council’s Deputy Leader and Lead Member for Community Engagement, said:
 
“This is a significant investment to help keep our town centres safe for local people and visitors – the new recording equipment including high quality cameras will make it easier to detect crime and allow the Police to take the necessary action against irresponsible individuals.”  
 
The new system has improved the images viewed in the control rooms, which are currently in Ilkeston and Long Eaton Police Stations.

Empty Partnership Offices To Re-Open As A New Home For Businesses In Town Centre

A landmark building in Ilkeston town centre which was the headquarters of enterprise agency Erewash Partnership is to again be a home for businesses.
 
The Old Police Station has been bought by a company solely-owned by Simon Woods, chairman of Erewash Partnership and managing director of education equipment manufacturer TecQuipment based in Long Eaton,  for use by starter and growing businesses and also established businesses looking for high quality premises.
 
Work has now started on some light refurbishment of the building in Wharncliffe Road, after Mr Wood's company, the Lester Point Pension Trust, bought it from the Midlands Co-op.
 
The Old Police Station was built in 1906 of red brick and stone. When the new police station opened on Heanor Road the old one lay empty and vandalised until the former Ilkeston Co-op refurbished it for its own use.
 
Erewash Partnership took over the management of it in 2004 and used it as its headquarters for inspiring enterprise and helping to regenerate the borough. Other firms were based there. It was closed by Midlands Co-op in 2014 and the Partnership moved to Bridge House on Derby Road, Long Eaton.
 
The Partnership is managing the refurbishment work at The Old Police Station, which will include installing a new energy-efficient heating system. 
 
It will also be involved with managing lettings at the building - to be known as The Erewash Business Centre - which is likely to be open later this Spring.
 
Lester Point Pension Trust will pay for the refurbishment work, with no public or Partnership finance involved.
 
There are 16 offices – ranging from 15 sq metres to 35 sq metres –  a conference room and a large car park. The offices will be let on flexible terms, though one will be used by the Partnership for the delivery of business advice and mentoring.
 
Partnership chief executive Ian Viles said:  “This development is a philanthropic gesture by Simon who is an enthusiastic supporter of enterprise in the area and is putting his own money where his heart is!
 
“It is a case of the Partnership working with a private sector investor rather than the local authority. We are using our track record of redeveloping and operating this type of facility to help businesses start and those that are looking to expand.
 
“This is an exciting time for the Partnership. It provides much-needed  high quality office accommodation which complements that operated by the Partnership at Castledine House on Heanor Road.
 
“We did not want to see this important building staying empty. The scheme is a win, win, win situation for the Partnership, Ilkeston, and for businesses.”
 
Simon said: “I'm delighted to be working with the Partnership on this scheme that will see The Old Police Station occupied again, help businesses and hopefully bring new jobs to the heart of Ilkeston.
 
“I feel proud that I'm putting something back into the community and the town centre which has been hit by closures and job losses. This is another demonstration that the Partnership has not turned its back against Ilkeston, but is expanding its vital work in regenerating the area.”