Full steam ahead as Erewash MP names the date for new station opening

Erewash MP Maggie Throup is delighted to announce that trains will begin stopping at Ilkeston’s new railway station on Sunday 2nd April 2017, with an official opening expected to follow later in the summer.
 
The details were today confirmed to Ms Throup in an email from Network Rail and will come as welcome news to the people of Ilkeston who have waited over 50 years to be reconnected to the railway. 

The new £10 million station project was made possible because of a £6.6 million Government infrastructure investment package administered through the New Stations Fund.
 
Announcing the date, Maggie said: 
 
“I am delighted that at long last we finally have a firm date for passenger trains to begin operating to and from Ilkeston’s new station.
 
“The station will not only transform the way local people travel, but will undoubtedly give a significant boost to the local economy and attract new business to the area.
 
“Sunday 2nd April 2017 will be a historic day in the life of our town as we finally cast off the dubious title ‘the largest town in Britain without a station’, and I for one cannot wait to be on that first passenger train as it pulls into Ilkeston Junction after an interval of over 50 years.
 
“This investment by the Conservative Government demonstrates the commitment we have made to improving Britain’s aging railway infrastructure. However I now want to see even more investment to make sure we connect the station up with the rest of the town to maximise the benefits.”
 

Helping shape Stanton’s future

An important planning document that will drive the development of the Stanton site looks set to be formally adopted by Erewash Borough Council this week.
 
A full council meeting on Thursday (19 January) is expected to confirm that the Stanton masterplan is accepted as the key guide for any developer wanting to put together a realistic planning application for the site.
 
The document – known as the Stanton Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) – has been produced by the council, with the process including a six week consultation with residents and stakeholders.
 
Stanton Regeneration Site features in the council’s Core Strategy as a key site for redevelopment and is seen as one of the biggest development opportunities the borough has ever seen.
 
The council wants to see the site provide around 2,000 homes, business and industry development to provide local jobs, a primary school, shops, open spaces, a wildlife corridor, improved public transport, increased pedestrian and cycle access to surrounding areas and other community facilities.
 
Councillor Michael Powell, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:
 
“Development of the Stanton site is vital if we are to achieve our targets for job creation and new housing, so this masterplan is one of the most important planning documents for Erewash and for the future development of the site. It aims to address all the issues that surround this site and set out the expectations that we, as a council, have to provide a quality redevelopment for the residents of this borough
 
“There has been a lot of hard work in putting it together but now we have a masterplan that is a clear guide to help developers put together planning applications that are likely to be successful. It is a giant step towards moving this important site forward.”
 
A previous planning application seeking outline planning permission for the redevelopment of the site on behalf of site owners Saint-Gobain PAM UK Ltd was withdrawn in July 2015 when they were advised that the proposals failed to meet the requirements of the Erewash Core Strategy.
 
The masterplan includes guides to where different uses should be located and how development across the whole site should be phased, and is aimed at helping the site owner secure a developer.
 
A meeting of the Council will be held at Long Eaton Town Hall on Thursday 19 January at 7pm.

Regeneration agency accredited again and  praised for putting its customers first 

ENTERPRISE agency Erewash Partnership is again top of the crop for the way it treats its customers, according to an organisation that monitors national standards for service. 
 
The Long Eaton-based regeneration agency received a clean bill of health on 30 benchmarks in a re-assessment by Customer First to keep its valued accreditation which was first awarded in 2008.
 
There are three sets of customers – people referred from jobcentres under the National Enterprise Allowance  programme to a scheme run by the Partnership to help them set up their own businesses; tenants of managed workspaces including offices; and 450 members across all business sectors.
 
Assessor Mike Wildey said: “Erewash Partnership is an organisation that genuinely puts the customer at the heart of what they do and deserve to remain compliant with the Customer First Standard – well done.”
 
And Lisa Yeardley, customer relationship and events manager, heaped further praise on the Partnership, which is based at Bridge House, Derby Road, and is now in its 22 year of encouraging enterprise and helping to regenerate new life into the area's economy. 
 
“There have been some fantastic areas of strength identified during your assessment which highlight your achievements as well as some sound suggestions for continuous improvement,” she said.
 
Partnership chief executive Ian Viles said: “I and my team are delighted to retain this recognition for the way we deal with our customers, helping them in a variety of ways to set up, build and promote their businesses and so benefit the area.”
 
The Partnership's experience and triumph will be used to help other organisations improve their customer service. Its success means that the Partnership can use the Customer First logo on its website and materials.

Entrepreneur takes helm at partnership that helped him start up his business

An entrepreneur who started his business with help from enterprise agency Erewash Partnership has become its new chairman.
 
Ian Hopkinson, director of  Derwent Analytics and Harlequin BPI, based on the Manners Industrial Estate, Ilkeston, has taken over from Simon Woods, managing director of educational equipment manufacturer TecQuipment.
 
Simon, whose company is based in Bonsall Street, Long Eaton, had been chairman for six years.
 
Ian was employed for 17 years as a chemist, mainly at Celanese in Spondon. He recognised that the process he worked in was a shrinking market and that new technology was changing the situation, so he explored the possibilities and opportunities of setting up his own business, which he did 16 years ago.
 
“I leaned heavily on the Partnership because I needed skills to run Derwent Analytics that I did not have,” he said.  “They encouraged me and were very helpful.”
 
Initially, the company made solutions using chemical reactions that were used in everything from kidney dialysis machines to a wide range of industrial uses.
 
In 2009 Ian's company hit the headlines by producing a solution that meant every time somebody in the UK drank a fizzy drink made by Coca Cola it had been tested by know-how from Derwent Analytics to make sure it was the real thing.
 
Derwent Analytics later made solutions to clean cosmetic contact lenses and then diversified into other products, creating spin-off company Harlequin BPI in 2012.
 
The company, which now manufactures and develops health care products such as eye and ear drops and vapour rubs for supermarkets under their own brands and has started exporting to Europe has a multi-million pound annual turnover and 23 employees, in addition to seven at Derwent Analytics.
 
In July it unveiled a £400,000 investment in building and equipment enabling it to make more than three million bottles of different products, more than doubling capacity.
 
“It's a great accolade to become chairman of the Partnership,” said Ian, a board member for seven years.
 
“As a businessman I have become more successful than I thought with the honour of leading a progressive economic regeneration agency.”
 
Partnership chief executive Ian Viles said the board was delighted that having helped Ian, particularly in his early days, he had become chair and was putting something back in.”
 
“His business has grown and become a classic example of the spirit of enterprise that the Partnership promotes and encourages,” he said.
 
Ian said TecQuipment had been a stalwart supporter of the Partnership since it began 22 years ago and Simon had followed this tradition.
 
“Simon has been a pillar of strength and stability during difficult and challenging economic circumstances.
 
“We have been fortunate to benefit from his knowledge and wisdom and he hands over the leadership to another safe pair of hands.”
                                                                                                                                  
He added that Simon was heavily involved in the Partnership's move to new headquarters at Bridge House, Long Eaton, and refurbishing the former offices at The Old Police Station in Ilkeston which set a good example of local philanthropy and continued the agency's strong presence in the town.

Presentation of Freedom of the Borough 

Residents have a chance to give a big Erewash welcome to acclaimed home-grown actor Robert Lindsay when he is presented with the Freedom of the Borough on Saturday 1 October.
 
Erewash Borough Council has organised a public ceremony in Ilkeston Market Place beginning at 5.30pm to ensure as many people as possible can attend to show their support for the star.
 
Robert will be joined by his family as the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Abey Stevenson, presents him with the ribboned Badge of Office and framed scroll.
 
Freedom of the Borough is a rare civic honour that is only granted by a local authority to people who have achieved at the highest level.
 
Robert, who lived and went to school in Ilkeston, has had a glittering TV, stage and film career and remains one of the country’s best loved performers. He became a household name in the 70s playing the title role in popular TV comedy Citizen Smith and has continued to be a force in shows like My Family.
 
His stage career has seen him headline in the West End and on Broadway – while he won multiple awards for stage musical Me and My Girl.
 
Councillor Chris Corbett, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, says:
 
“The presentation of this award is made on behalf of all the residents of Erewash and will be a very proud moment for both this borough and for Robert.
 
“He is one of Ilkeston’s most famous sons and we salute his incredible achievements. It is with great pleasure that we honour a man who continues to be such an inspiration to so many.
 
“A Freedom of the Borough award is very rarely bestowed on anyone and must only be awarded to someone who has achieved at the highest level . . . so what better recipient in Erewash than Robert Lindsay?”
 
Robert attended Kensington Junior School and the former Gladstone Boys’ School in Ilkeston where his love of acting developed. He has written of his memories of growing up in the town and credits his childhood in Ilkeston as the ‘real source of inspiration’ for his acting career and is known to visit his birthplace regularly.
 
Borough Councillors voted unanimously to bestow the award in honour of Robert’s outstanding achievements in his TV, stage and film career.