HEANOR: Work to start on community shop project

Market traders and cottage industries could be setting up in a ‘community shop’ in Heanor as soon as April

Moves by Amber Valley Borough Council and Heanor Traders’ Association to turn the former Bet Fred shop on Market Street into a shared premises for several small businesses to showcase their wares, were due to take a step forward on Wednesday night’s full council meeting.

The authority says community shop schemes have been successful around the country and hopes the project will appeal to market stall holders or home industries looking to take the step into a retail unit.

Having already agreed to wave the cost of the new shop’s first year of rates, on Wednesday councillors were set to vote in favour of guaranteeing the rent of the property in the second year up to a cost of £2,000.

With a £12,000 refurbishment due to be completed on the former bookies throughout February, borough council regeneration manager Stephen Jackson says it could be open as soon as April 1 and be a real boost for town footfall.

He said: “It will diversify the retail option in Heanor all through the week - and that diversity will draw more people into the town.”

Mr Jackson, a columnists for the News, said at least five traders have approached the council with interest in taking a space in the 100 sq metre premises.

Heanor Traders Association would manage the venture.