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 in summer.
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.”