THIS WEEK marks a chance for the people of Heanor to get behind the fight to restore pride to their historic market town.
The Ripley and Heanor News has teamed up with the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce (DNCC) to launch a new survey asking you what you think needs improving in your town centre.
It may only be the first step on a long road, but the online survey, which you can fill in from today, will provide the chamber with vital information to help shape the future of Heanor’s trade.
The DNCC, which is the third largest chamber of commerce in the country, will then have pages and pages of your views with which to lobby all the right authorities, businesses and organisations on the town’s behalf.
George Cowcher, chief executive of the Chamber of Commerce, said: “The Chamber is delighted to be working with the Ripley and Heanor News on this important initiative to help breathe new life into Heanor High Street.
“By filling out this survey, retailers, businesses and shoppers in Heanor have a great opportunity to tell us what issues and challenges they face and what the Chamber, the News and other local partners can do to address them.
“The town centre here in Heanor is a key driver of local economic growth and employment and it is important that we do all we can to safeguard it by working in partnership to ensure that it has a successful and sustainable future.”
To get the ball rolling we asked a class of Heanor youngsters about ways the town could improve.
The group of Heanor Gate Science College pupils had already been working on a letter writing assignment in their English lessons with teacher Gwen Hyatt.
The Year 10 class were asked to write to newspapers in the surrounding area asking that something be done about an issue on their mind.
Their letters ranged from complaints about too much waste in their town, to a call for more facilities for younger people and a better variety of shops.
English teacher Mrs Hyatt said the exercise was not to just teach the youngsters about the writing skills needed for their GCSE exams next year, but the project has taught them valuable life skills.
Mrs Hyatt’s class were glad to see the launch of the new survey as another platform to air their views.
One of the pupils, Natalia Myszka, 15, of Kew Crescent, Heanor, said she would use the shops in the centre of town more if the bus stops near to her house were improved.
She said: “The bus shelter near me is no good, there is no timetable on the stop – it just looks like a piece of metal because the windows have been smashed.”
Classsmate, Jessie Yates, 14, from Milward Road in the town, said there needed to be more things in the town for younger people to do. She said: “It is so full of take-aways and charity shops and there are too many empty shops.
“Maybe a cinema would be good – there’s not enough for teenagers in the town.”