A weekly newspaper has launched an ambitious campaign to save a Derbyshire town centre hit by shop closures.
The Ripley and Heanor News has joined forces with businesses and community groups to launch ‘Save Heanor Town Centre.’
Editor of the paper, Julie Crouch, said the town was ‘down on its heels’ after suffering a rash of shop closures, including a large supermarket.
She told HTFP that the paper have teamed up with Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce, traders and a newly formed community trust made up of residents with a view to breathing new life into Heanor.
As part of plans to save the town, the News has helped organise a public meeting next month which will see an action plan drawn up to revitalise the area.
The meeting will include a discussion about the results of a survey which was compiled by the Chamber of Commerce and promoted by the paper.
Said Julie: “Heanor is one of our main towns and we have been hugely concerned about what has been happening there.
“It came to a head when a main supermarket closed, causing anger among locals.
“There are some excellent businesses in town and they have been in touch with us, as have residents, saying how concerned they are about the situation.
“We decided to launch our Save Heanor Town Centre campaign because we felt we had to do something to help.
“We have met regularly with traders and the community trust. We have also been to a nearby school to meet the pupils there to see what ideas they have for improving their town.
“The public meeting is intended to see a ‘battle plan’ drawn up, using the survey results to take the next step towards revitalising Heanor’s fortunes.”
‘Save Heanor Town Centre’ forms part of the paper’s larger Staying Alive campaign, which aims to promote towns and their businesses.
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.”