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Sign of the times

The preservation of historic cast iron street name signs continues, with Erewash Borough Council working to refurbish original signs in and around our town centres.
The council is keen to preserve as many of these signs as possible, many of which date back to the 1900s or earlier, as they are an important part of local history.  Most signs of this style are attached to private buildings and permission is needed from the property owner before any work can be undertaken.
Councillor Michael Powell, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:
“We are delighted to have restored and reinstated a number of historic street signs already and it is the council’s policy to always retain street name signs that have historic importance to the borough and will continue to do so with the help of property owners.”
If anyone has a cast iron street name sign attached to their property that is in poor condition, they are asked to email the Green Space & Street Scene Team at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and provide a photo of the sign so that it can be considered for refurbishment.  A consent form will then be forwarded.     

Businesses and more jobs created after agency helps would-be entrepreneurs 

FIFTEEN people have now successfully set up their own businesses after benefiting from advice and  support on the D2 Business Starter Programme run last year by enterprise agency Erewash Partnership.  
More than 100 would-be entrepreneurs attended a series of free workshops in Erewash and Amber Valley.  This has resulted in creating 21 jobs. 
The Partnership is now preparing to run the programme again in each of the two areas on behalf of East Midlands Chamber. This is part of a county-wide initiative that is funded by Derbyshire County and City Councils and Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership.
The programme is available to residents in Erewash and Amber Valley, who have to enrol and register through the agency, whose headquarters are based in Long Eaton.
An individual tailored package of support is offered, which includes one to one mentor support and a series of workshops, these are led by experienced professionals and are designed to compliment the mentoring sessions.
Workshops include subjects such as an introduction to self-employment, marketing, business planning, bookkeeping and social media.
The free half-day workshops will begin in Erewash on April 11 and continue until May 25. Workshops will be repeated in the autumn in Amber Valley.
The largest number of jobs created has been at The Factory Kitchen, a licensed restaurant in Mundy Street, Ilkeston.  Owners Kevan and Jane Pierrepont, who were previously in engineering, set up the business in August.  They now employ six members of staff in a variety of positions. 
“It was good. It gave us a fresh insight to help our new business which was different to before,” said Jane.
Mark Ratcliffe accessed all areas of the programme and attended all five workshops.  Mark set up Marlon Training Associates in Ripley which trains people who work with new computer systems, processes and working practices.
Previously, Mark had worked for a high street bank for 31 years. He realised he could use his skills and experience but required help and support to set up and run his own business.
“Each workshop was really useful with good practical advice and the mentoring was excellent,” he said. 
Partnership chief executive Ian Viles said: “Any successful entrepreneur will say that starting a business is not easy and there is an old saying that if you fail to plan, plan to fail.
“Our programmes provide would-be business owners with sound, helpful advice, based on proven techniques which is backed up by years of successful experience by mentors – to hopefully eliminate potential pitfalls and so give a solid foundation. 
“We are delighted with the number of people who have started their own businesses, boosting the mixed local economy. We wish them every success and are confident others will follow.”

Helping the homeless 

The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Mary Hopkinson, will formally launch the overnight charity ‘Sleep Out’ in Long Eaton to support the drive in raising awareness of the needs of the homeless in the community.
The Sleep Out will begin at 8pm on Friday 6 April alongside the war memorial in Long Eaton Market Place. The event has become a popular annual event organised by the Long Eaton-based Canaan Trust – an independent charity which supports those who find themselves homeless.
Councillor Chris Corbett, the Deputy Mayor of Erewash, has again pledged support for the charity by signing up for this year’s event – meaning he has taken part in every overnight sleep out since the event was started several years ago.
Residents, sports clubs and other organisations are invited to join in the fundraising event and help raise as much money as possible. Those taking part will ‘bed down’ in the area around the war memorial until 7am the next morning.
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Mary Hopkinson, has also given her backing to the charity and its annual fundraising event:
“The Canaan Trust offers vital support every single day of the year to those people who find themselves homeless and the Sleep Out is one of its most important fundraising and awareness-raising events. I salute the people of all ages who take part and would encourage residents to sign up for this year’s event to help raise even more money.”
Anyone interested in signing up for the Sleep Out should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or telephone 0115 946 4903. Children under 16 can take part if accompanied by an adult. The young people will bed down on the floor of St Laurence’s Church, which stands alongside the War Memorial.
The Canaan Trust, which is based on Main Street in Long Eaton, is a charity that has been working to help homeless people in the borough for more than 20 years. Visit Facebook/longeatonhomeless for more information.

Could you be tea room volunteer?

More volunteers are needed at the popular Old Stables Tea Room at Erewash Museum as it marks its two year anniversary.
The Victorian themed tea room is managed by the Friends of Erewash Museum and staffed entirely by volunteers, many who have been there since the beginning. The amounts of days that the tea room is open have been extended, meaning that extra hands are needed on deck. 
Helen Martinez, manager of the museum, says at least five volunteers are needed and they can do as many or as few hours as they wish, whether it is one day a week or one day a month.
The Victorian-themed tearooms were opened alongside the learning, community and exhibition centre development at the museum, which was completed thanks to funding from Heritage Lottery Fund, Friends of the Museum and Erewash Borough Council. Volunteers help serve tea, coffee, cakes and sandwiches. They will also be given food hygiene training. 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“The Old Stable Tea Room has been a great success since it opened two years ago and the volunteers that give their time are a great asset to the community. 
“With spring upon us and lots of exciting activities in store at the museum we just need that extra bit of help to ensure that the tea room continues to thrive.”
Lynne Thorpe, a volunteer at the tea room, says: 
“We meet some lovely people here and our customers come from far and wide.  It is enjoyable and we always try to make people feel welcome. Even if someone could help out on the odd occasion to sell ice creams outside in the summer it would benefit us.”
Barbara Priestley has volunteered at the tea room since it opened. She says:
“I am sure that anybody would find it rewarding. We have a lot more people coming here now than when it first opened. Where else in town can you get a sandwich for £1.20 and a coffee for £1.50?”
The tea room is open Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday 11am until 3pm and Monday to Saturday 11am until 3pm in the school holidays. 
Erewash Museum is in Ilkeston town centre, a short walk from the Market Place. Opening hours are Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10am-4pm, and Monday to Saturday during school holidays.  Admission is free. Contact 0115 907 1141, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or visit the Facebook page /erewashmuseum 
Photo: Pictured from left: Lynne Thorpe, Sue Preston, Caroline Hailwoods and Lynne Mills.