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.
 

Stanton consultation gets underway

The six week public consultation on Erewash Borough Council’s Stanton masterplan is now underway and will run until Monday 24 October.
 

Residents and businesses are being asked to give their views on the Stanton SPD (Supplementary Planning Document) that has been drafted by the council as a key guide for any developer wanting to put together a realistic planning application for the Stanton Regeneration Site.
 
The SPD document can be viewed via the homepage of the council’s website at www.erewash.gov.uk  where a comments form is also available to download.
 
Drop-in sessions for residents and business people to view the documents and talk to planners have also been arranged at the following locations:
 
Stanton by Dale Village Hall – Wednesday 21 September, 2pm-6pm
Sandiacre Memorial Institute, Doncaster Avenue – Friday 23 September, 2pm-6pm
Kirk Hallam Community Hall – Wednesday 28 September, 2pm-6pm
The Stute (Ilkeston Rugby Club), off Hallam Fields Road – Friday 30 September, 2pm-6pm
 
Paper copies of the SPD are available to view at all libraries in Ilkeston, Long Eaton, Sandiacre, Borrowash and on the mobile library in Long Eaton. It is also available at Ilkeston Town Hall, Long Eaton Town Hall and the Shopmobility centres in both towns. For residents living on the boundary edge of the borough, copies have also been placed in Duffield, Spondon and Allestree libraries.
 
While the council would prefer people to share their views via the comments form, comments will also be accepted for the consultation by email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  - or letter. Write to Erewash Borough Council, Planning Department, Long Eaton Town Hall, Derby Road, Long Eaton, Derbyshire, NG10 1HJ.
 
Councillor Michael Powell, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:
 
“This masterplan is an important document that will drive the development of the Stanton site and it is absolutely vital that our residents and business community have their say and help us to shape the expectations we have for the site.”
 
The Stanton Regeneration Site is featured in the council’s Core Strategy for redevelopment to provide, among other things, around 2,000 homes, a business park, a primary school, shops, open spaces, local jobs and other community facilities.
 
All documents (including the SPD, its accompanying Sustainability Appraisal (SA) and Representation Form) are available to view at www.erewash.gov.uk/planning-buildingcontrol/planning-policy/stanton-regeneration-site-supplementary-planning-document.html

Experienced trio join board of enterprise agency helping to boost area's economy

A local entrepreneur, a company finance chief and a university academic have joined the board of enterprise agency Erewash Partnership.
 
They are Shaun Moloney, former managing director of Atlas Composites of Ilkeston, Richard Wall,  finance director of Saint-Gobain PAM UK, based at Stanton-by-Dale, and Bev Crighton from the University of Derby. 
 
Shaun started his working life as an apprentice at Stanton and Staveley (British Steel, now Saint-Gobain PAM UK). He later joined Advanced Composites in Heanor, which manufactured components for motorsports. He worked for various companies in the new carbon fibre technology sector before setting up Atlas Composites in 1997 with two partners.
 
The company was sold in 2003 but three years later Shaun managed to buy it back as sole proprietor. Over the next seven years the company doubled in size and secured agreements and research and development contracts with aerospace and defence firms including Rolls-Royce as well as Formula One companies.
 
With a turnover of £4.5m and employing more than 60 people, the company was again sold with Shaun retained as managing director but, after another re-structuring, he left last year and is now a consultant helping new businesses.
 
Shaun was previously a Partnership director, but had to stop because of commitments. “I have a lot of knowledge of businesses in the borough and international contacts which I feel would be useful in helping the Partnership, “ he said.
 
“It has grown in stature and size which is testament to the current board and we want to continue that. There's a lot we can be proud of with the Partnership's role in supporting local business and the community.”
 
Saint-Gobain PAM  is a primary supplier of ductile iron and cast iron solutions to the UK's key utilities, civil engineering and construction sites.
 
Richard joined the Saint-Gobain group in 2002 and has been in his current post since 2012. There are around 150 employees at the Stanton site.
 
“I'm a relative newcomer to the area but I have learned a lot about the role and the useful work that the Partnership does in regenerating the local economy,” said Richard.
 
“Saint-Gobain PAM and the wider group take their corporate social responsibility to local communities seriously. I see being a member of the board of Erewash Partnership as an opportunity to contribute to the area.”
 
Bev Crighton is employer engagement lead for the Business College at the University of Derby. Her role is to develop the engagement with employers, primarily focusing on employability of both undergraduates and postgraduates. She is also a senior lecturer. 
 
Bev held management roles in banking, newspapers and education before joining the University.
She said: “ I hope we will be able to to facilitate links through the University with business in the Partnership through the use of students, research and academics.”
Ian Viles Partnership chief executive, said: “The board is pleased to welcome these three members, all from different sectors, but all highly experienced and knowledgeable. 
 
“These are challenging times and their experience and expertise will contribute greatly to the Partnership as it continues to grow and support enterprise and help the economy in the Erewash area.”