Community centre plan gets backing

NRHN 061011 Bustling: Townsfolk chat to one another before the start of the Wilmott Street meeting which saw proposals for a new community centre in Heanbior discussed.
NRHN 061011 Bustling: Townsfolk chat to one another before the start of the Wilmott Street meeting which saw proposals for a new community centre in Heanbior discussed.

AN ‘OVERWHELMING’ number of people have had their say on plans to set up a new community centre in Heanor at a public meeting.

Members of the Heanor Development Trust met with more than 80 townsfolk to discuss proposals for a community hub in the town at a packed Wilmot Street meeting.

Co-founder of the constituted trust informally known as ‘the Cog’, Ella Mcmanus, 31, said the feedback from attending members of the public after the event had been positive. She said: “After the meeting people were very supportive of the ideas.

“They really understood where we were coming from.”

The development trust, which gets its nickname, the Cog, from its slogan ‘community on the go’ is still to confirm a destination for proposed the centre and is looking at several funding avenues.

Last month it announced it would run the venue on a similar basis to the Strutts Centre in Belper - which makes money through hiring out its main hall and sales from its cafe.

One of the 80 people attending the meeting was founding member of the Heanor Green Belt Action Group Leonie George, 45, of Breach Road, Langley.

She said a community centre would offer a place for her group, which is opposing the development of nearby Greenbelt land, to distribute information.

“A community centre would be very good for the town,” She added. “It can act as a hub for all the different things that are going on in Heanor. People would know exactly where to go if they need information about something. At the moment it’s difficult to know what’s going on.”

Amber Valley borough councillor Kevin Parkinson, a member of Heanor’s regeneration board, first mooted the idea for a community centre in Heanor in 2008.

After attending the meeting at the Wilmot Street Centre on Wednesday, he said: “The evening was a great example of what the community centre could be.

“The trust has made the right type of investment so far, they are a well constituted set of individuals – I wish them the best of luck.

“I wish for nothing more than to have a new social group in Heanor to go alongside the already existing political group and traders’ association.”

l How can Heanor be improved? Contact us at news@rhnews.co.uk.