Businesswoman Returns Home To Unveil A Plaque And Open Partnership's New HQ

ENTREPRENEUR and television personality Saira Khan returned to her home town of Long Eaton today (FRIDAY) to officially open the new headquarters of enterprise agency Erewash Partnership.Bridge House Opening

Saira, who was born in Long Eaton, went to school there and still has family there, said she felt humbled and privileged to be opening Bridge House on Derby Road.

Unveiling a commemorative plaque, she told guests, most of whom had worked to transform the building which had been empty for years: “If somebody had hold me when I was a pupil at Harrington junior school I would be talking to you important people I would have said 'get off'.'

“I'm a working class girl from this small town and I have achieved because of the values of the local people – friendliness, hard work, helping each other and building a strong community, ”said the businesswoman who rose to fame as runner-up in the first series 10 years ago of The Apprentice.

Saira said Bridge House, which also has suites let out to local businesses, plus a meeting room, was just what Long Eaton needed.

“There's lots of potential out there for young people and entrepreneurs.  Bridge House allows such people from lots of businesses to come here and create a business community.”

Welcoming guests, Councillor Val Custance, deputy mayor of Erewash, remarked that the Partnership, which inspires enterprise, was celebrating its 20th anniversary.

“During this time the officers have assisted with the formation and development of numerous small businesses within the area,” she said.

“This is a terrific achievement and I know that the borough council would like to offer its congratulations and thanks for the partnership work that has been carried out in order to promote economic and social wellbeing throughout the borough.”

Partnership chief executive Ian Viles thanked all those, including the board and staff, who had helped make the move of the headquarters from Ilkeston to Bridge House possible.

This included the borough council, Derbyshire County Council which had given a grant towards cycle facilities, and the generosity of contractors, one of whom had given building work worth more than £4,000 and another who had fitted the access system for a nominal £1.

Later in the evening Saira presented special business awards at a glittering dinner held in Trent College, Long Eaton, to mark 20 years of the Partnership.

Museum goes on tour

Award winning Erewash Museum is to go on the road for the first time . . . with impressive touring exhibitions heading to four community venues in the borough.

Erewash Borough Council will launch all four history displays on 15 February in an exciting new venture funded by Arts Council England that will feature artefacts and images from the Museum’s collection.

All the exhibitions will stay in place for eight months and are expected to be popular with local residents, history groups and schools.

Long Eaton Library will host an exhibition on the history of Long Eaton Co-operative Society, while Long Eaton Art Room will focus on the town’s historic Fletcher family and their role in the local lace industry in the 19th and 20th Centuries.

Borrowash Library will offer the chance to see ‘Excavating Erewash’ - archaeological artefacts found across Erewash, including a large collection of prehistoric flint tools.

The fourth venue is Sandiacre Library which will feature a ‘Lace in Erewash’ display of lace artefacts and other items produced in Long Eaton.

In the weeks after the exhibitions open, the Museum team will also be organising special events at the venues with local groups for residents and school visits.

Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:

“This is an exciting development and builds on the incredible success of our Museum, which continues to go from strength to strength as one of the best and most popular facilities around.

“We have an extensive collection at the Museum and we are thrilled to be breaking new ground by going on tour with these fascinating displays.”

More businesses given golden hellos as a welcome gesture to boost town centres

MORE people have been given a helping hand under a scheme that supports new and growing businesses in Erewash.

The Golden Hello grant, run by enterprise agency Erewash Partnership on behalf of Erewash Borough Council, gives money to help businesses move into new and empty premises in Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres and now also Sandiacre.

Six business owners have recently been awarded grants. Each has received £500 initially, which is followed by a similar amount after 10 weeks of trading.

Petals Flowers has moved across from one side of Bath Street in Ilkeston to bigger premises across the road which had been a menswear shop for decades.

The premises at the junction with Pelham Street are larger but more importantly have five windows which give more exposure.

Ruth Gough bought the florist business two years ago and last year, in its first full year under her ownership, the business won the best window display in Ilkeston under the Good Town Traders scheme.

Ruth used the grant for new counters and fittings. “The Golden Hello scheme is fantastic, a real help to people and their businesses,” she said. “I could not have moved if it was not for that,” she said.

A similar sentiment was expressed by Gillian Manners who had run Gillian's Beauty Treatments on Bath Street for seven years.

She moved the business to a shop on Granby Street and re-named it Indigo Nails and Beauty, using her grant to buy new stock, advertising and a processing machine for card payments.

“I would not have been able to move without this grant so I am very grateful,” she said. “Trade has definitely picked up, helped by free car parking.”

Richard and Mandy Muir were able to toast the scheme's success and say cheers when they transformed a former empty unit on South Street into a micropub.

Called The Brewery Tap, it is an extension of The Muirhouse Brewery which Richard started in 2011 and runs from Enterprise Court, an Erewash Partnership unit on the Manners Industrial Estate.

Mandy, who runs the micropub and function room, said the money had been spent on signage, repairs and buying glasses.

“The grant was very useful to us in setting up the bar which we have financed ourselves without any other help,” she said.

Dragonflies craft and gift shop on Lower Bath Street, previously on Station Road, received a grant.

In Sandiacre, India Food 2 Go takeaway has opened in a former clothes shop that had been empty for nearly a year. Owner Mohammed Zaman, who has taken on six staff, used his grant for refurbishing the premises.


He is very grateful for the Golden Hello assistance. “It's a fantastic scheme to help businesses get off the ground,” he said.

At Long Eaton, Tax Assist Accountants have moved into a former clothes shop on the High Street. Part of a franchise, directors Phil Marriott and Carl Whitehead have had a business in Shepshed for several years. In addition to rotating between the two shops they have two part-time staff at Long Eaton. Their grant was used for a new shop front and refurbishment.

Erewash Borough Council lead member for planning and regeneration Geoff Smith said: “I'm pleased that we have been able to support a variety of businesses by giving them a helping hand through the Golden Hello scheme.

“I'm particularly pleased that we were able to extend the scheme to include Sandiacre as well as the town centres of Ilkeston and Long Eaton.”

A study in fitness?

An all-new student membership at a New Year knockdown price has been launched for Erewash Borough Council’s leisure centres . . . . to offer an affordable way for young people to stay fit and healthy.

The all-inclusive Health Club membership is aimed at full time students aged over 16 and is just £19 a month direct debit – which is less than £5 a week.

Membership covers use of facilities at all four of the council’s leisure centres, including
3 state-of-the-art gyms, 5 swimming pools, 2 sauna and steam suites, Jog Derbyshire classes, running track, free programmes and goal setting sessions and a wide range of group exercise classes.

Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:

“Helping our young people have an active and healthy lifestyle is one of our key priorities - but we recognise that fitness membership has to be affordable for students. This is a great offer that gives the chance for young people to make use of the whole range of top quality facilities we have at our leisure centres.”

Student membership can be signed up for at any of the leisure centres - Rutland Sports Park, Ilkeston, 0115 930 2033; Victoria Park Leisure Centre, Ilkeston, 0115 944 0400; West Park Leisure Centre, Long Eaton, 0115 946 1400; Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre, Sandiacre – 0115 949 0400.

The council has other packages on offer to residents, with details at any of the leisure centres or at

Museum’s Lottery bid on track

Erewash Museum’s bid to win nearly £450,000 of funding for its showcase plans for an all-new learning and visitor centre is now ready to be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund ahead of the end of February deadline.

Erewash Borough Council has been working on the major grant application over the last year after it secured a ‘first round’ grant of £39,500 from the HLF to develop the exciting proposals – which would see the Museum’s coach house, stables and hayloft transformed into a new exhibition, learning and community venue with improved visitor facilities.

Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:

“This is an exciting project for our award winning Museum and there has been a lot of hard work put in to prepare the masterplan and the comprehensive bid for what is substantial funding. We have talked to residents of all ages about this project and we are delighted at the positive support we have received - and I know they will join us in eagerly awaiting a decision from the Heritage Lottery Fund.”

The ‘round two’ bid for full funding will see the HLF review the application alongside others submitted nationally, with results expected to be announced in June this year.