Traders are fighting back and bucking the trend

NRHNBE110919f2, Heanor AA computers, Alan and Tracey Barton.
NRHNBE110919f2, Heanor AA computers, Alan and Tracey Barton.

tWO business owners are proving Heanor traders definitely have the fighting spirit.

As shops and punters have been deserting the market town, independent traders have spoken to the News this week to say Heanor still has a lot to offer.

Tracey Barton, 42, is co-owner of AA Computers on Church Street said the family-run company never dreamed of moving out of the town- despite the fact they were forced to vacate their old shop due to a rent hike this month. They have now moved into a new shop just over the road.

Tracey said: “We could have moved to another town, but we moved over the road purely because we wanted to stay in the local area.

“If people have a repair done at our shop they will come back with their sons or daughters and that’s how we make our trade really.”

Tracey agreed with the results from the News-backed town centre survey by chamber of commerce bosses, saying some of the town’s trading problems lie in a lack of free parking near the Market Place.

“How many people come into town for just the one thing and they haven’t got 30p in their pocket for the meter,” She said. “Maybe even if you can just get half-an-hour-free that would be better.”

The Market Cafe on Market Street opened its doors to the public six months ago.

And one of its owners, 28-year-old Simon Minto, says a great community spirit is keeping the business ticking over.

Simon, of Pine Tree Walk, Eastwood, said: “There’s a really nice environment in our cafe. We have a group of ladies come in every day and the other day we all sang happy birthday to one of them.

“There’s a great sense of humour here.”

The Doncaster born man chose to set up shop in Heanor with business partner Seamus Doyle, 38, when they noticed a premises had become available next door to a pub they worked at.

He agrees with a number of the town’s traders in saying high rents and long leases are putting off new businesses from entering the town.

And Simon also added his voice to the 78 per cent of people who filled in the Heanor High Street Survey, run in conjunction with the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, in saying that parking needed to be improved in the town. He said: “The issue is you only get an hour – how can you do everything you want in that time?”

l Let us know your views at news@rhnews.co.uk.