A NEW Costcutters store has opened on Heanor Market Place as our campaign to jump-start the town centre gathers momentum.
The franchise, which sells groceries, is owned by the Patel family from Hartley, in Kent, and brothers Peter, 36, and Ketan, 38, will appoint a local manager.
With supermarket giants Tesco at the bottom of the hill offering free car parking, Peter hopes that changes can be made to the pay-and-display car parking regulations in the Market Place.
He said: “It would be great if the first half hour was free so people could jump out, go to the bank and maybe get a bit of shopping.”
“Straightaway we realised that something was needed at this end of Heanor. Staff have told me there was a store here before that only lasted two months. We’re hoping that our prices will be more competitive. The response so far has been positive. People are saying they needed a store here – so hopefuly this one will survive. We’re looking for local support.”
The Patels were told about the Heanor site by Costcutters and the shop, which opened on Saturday, October 8, will employ nine part-time staff members. Peter said: “We’ve been looking for empty sites where there’s a need for a convenience store. We have generally tried to trade where there’s more of an elderly population.”
The family, whose business also includes shop refits and house extensions, recently sold five grocery stores and now plan to follow up their Heanor venture with another shop in Southend next year.
In July more than 100 traders and residents from the town filled in an online survey with their views on what could be done to improve the town. The survey organised by the News and the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce now aims to use the compiled results as the starting point for a plan to help the town. People are being urged to attend a public meeting set for Wednesday, November 30, from 6pm, at the Wilmot Street Centre, to discuss the next steps to help Heanor.
The organisers want the meeting to be a positive one with a view to compiling a list of actions, as they feel it is now or never for action to be taken to halt the downward spiral in .
The meeting will focus on where to invest and how to work together to improve the town, as well as discussing the possibility of introducing a ‘business improvement district’ in the area.
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