Pupils draw up battle plan in bid to help save Heanor

nrhn 031111'Our findings: Marlpool Juniors pupils afrom years five and six display the graphs they made from a survey they conducted on Heanor Market Place.
nrhn 031111'Our findings: Marlpool Juniors pupils afrom years five and six display the graphs they made from a survey they conducted on Heanor Market Place.

Heanor primary school pupils are joining in the fight to keep the heart of the town centre ticking over.

Marlpool Junior School youngsters spent the whole of September and October putting together their very own battle plan for the town as part of a classroom project.

nrhn 031111'Marlpool Junior School youngsters stand with ttheir shop creations.

nrhn 031111'Marlpool Junior School youngsters stand with ttheir shop creations.

It comes as the The News is encouraging Heanor folk to get together on Wednesday, November 30, at the Wilmot Street Centre to discuss what to do now the results of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce High Street Survey are in.

The town centre has suffered from a rash of shop closures, including the large Co-op supermarket.

The Marlpool pupils from years five and six worked to design their ideal vision of Heanor in the future.

To do so they conducted a survey of their own on the town’s Market Place, researched Heanor’s history and even designed their own shops to brighten up the high street.

Class teacher Ali Atkins said the children thrived on the project.

She said: “It started with the children having a walk up to the Market Place itself. We wanted to find out what shops we had a lot of and what shops were missing.

“From that we thought, ‘let’s do a survey’.

“We then went back up to the Market Place and surveyed the people up there.

“On the whole people were really very helpful and willing.”

The youngsters then made graphs of their findings. From the 100 people they asked, most said they would like to see a butchers return to the high street.

Pupils then set about designing and making their very own ideal store.

Marshall Broughan, ten, from Lee Lane, designed a pet shop. He said: “I have two dogs and two cats at home.”

“I enjoyed the project - the best bit was making the shop.”

The project finished with the school presenting its findings to an audience of parents at an open evening on Thursday, October 20.

Mrs Atkins said the next step for the pupils, aged from nine to 11, was to sit in the public gallery of an Amber Valley Borough Council meeting, so they could see how future decisions on the town were made. Mrs Atkins said: “The skills they have learned on this project will really help them later on in life. It would be nice to think that they had some input into the changes that are going to take place in the town.”