A £4.5million revamp of the Heanor Derby College campus could provide a real boost for Heanor according to the town’s traders.
Last week the News announced proposals to reopen the site between Market Place and Ilkeston Road as a studio college with 300 pupils.
The plans would see the grade two listed former science block, once home to Heanor Grammar School, replaced with a multi-purpose sports pitch and basketball court.
Derby College is currently asking Heanor folk to give their views on plans for the site, which has stood largely empty for the past two years.
The scheme, which could also see a new cyber-cafe built there, is dependant on a £3million funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund being successful .
Chairman of the town’s traders’ association Simon Minto, says the extra footfall in the town centre will be good for businesses.
He said: “I think that extra footfall into the town is fantastic. It’s the largest empty building in the town and it’s great to see that it’s going to be occupied.
“But I think the potential for an internet cafe is very 1990s.”
Manageress at Cafe Heroes Dawn Roberts, says the Market Street coffee house will even look at opening for longer hours to accommodate the new students, who may finish lessons and lectures after 5pm.
Heanor mayor Cllr Bob Janes also said: “I think the town council is quite pleased. We would like to see something constructive done with the site and their plans look good.”
Derby College’s scheme is reliant on having its application to form a studio school approved by the Studio Schools Trust and the Department of Education. A decision is expected by March and if successful, the facility would offer vocational courses for 14 to 19-year-olds and the possibility of work experience at local firms.
Head to www.surveymonkey.com/s/r9s5xwv to have yours say on the plans.