Bank Holiday boating bonanza!

One of the biggest Bank Holiday events to be hosted in Erewash is on its way . . . when Ilkeston hosts the prestigious IWA Festival of Water, a colourful spectacle that is expected to attract thousands of people from all over the country.
 
The free event takes place throughout the holiday weekend - on Saturday 26th, Sunday 27th and Bank Holiday Monday 28 August on the stretch of canal alongside the Gallows Inn on Nottingham Road and off the water on the adjacent playing fields.
 
The annual festival, organised by The Inland Waterways Association (IWA), will bring three days of entertainment - with up to 130 boats, including leisure, trade, heritage and working narrowboats, expected to be at the festival and all decked out with colourful bunting.
 
On offer will be a wide range of attractions both on and off the water, making it a fun day out for all the family. The playing fields site will include a display of classic cars, craft stalls, birds of prey, children’s rides and a chance to listen to live music and enjoy a real ale bar.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“We have worked closely with IWA and invested in and supported this free event to enable this national festival to be brought to our wonderful borough.
 
“It will be a milestone event, full of colour and fun. We are expecting thousands of people to join us for what will be a landmark festival and a celebration of the beauty and rich history of the Erewash Canal.”
 
The Inland Waterways Association is a national charity working to protect and restore the country’s 6,500 miles of canals and rivers and announced last year that it would be bringing its annual IWA Festival of Water to Ilkeston in 2017.  
 

Erewash celebrates another hat-trick

Erewash Borough Council has again retained its Green Flag awards at three popular leisure sites in the borough, it has been confirmed today. (Wednesday 19 July)
 
The good news means Long Eaton’s flagship West Park and Straw’s Bridge Local Nature Reserve at West Hallam have secured the prestigious award for the third time while Victoria Park at Ilkeston celebrates the honour for a seventh successive year.
 
The Green Flag award is the benchmark national standard for England and Wales and is presented to high quality parks, green spaces and nature reserves that have excellent facilities and are well-maintained and well-managed.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“This is another tremendous achievement and more good news for Erewash. We are very proud to fly the Green Flags at the three sites, which are now rightly confirmed as among the best in the country.
 
“Our continued success is testament to the hard work of our dedicated team who work all year round to manage these sites and we also send out a very big thank you to the volunteers and the Friends Group members who enthusiastically help us to maintain and further develop the popular sites. They play such a big part in making them such beautiful places for all to visit and enjoy.”
 
West Park is the largest in Erewash at 127 acres and dates back to the early 1900s. It is enjoyed by thousands of visitors every year and has seen substantial investment over the last few years. It offers an extensive range of sports and recreational facilities including an outdoor gym trail, a skatepark, a splashpad water park, bowls, tennis and football and cricket.
 
Victoria Park dates back to 1896 and a major heritage project to restore key Victorian features within it has just been completed after the council secured a £740,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.
 
Straw’s Bridge Local Nature Reserve features three ponds that are surrounded by woodland, scrub, meadow and wetland – while it is also connected to the Nutbrook Trail. It attracts many types of birds but is particularly famous for its swans, leading to its affectionate nickname ‘Swan Lake’.

Going swimmingly!

Fabulously fun family pool parties have again been lined up at two Erewash leisure centres to provide some splashtastic summertime fun for the school holidays.
 
Erewash Borough Council’s popular pool parties are held at its swimming pools at Victoria Park Leisure Centre in Ilkeston and West Park Leisure Centre in Long Eaton.
 
Music, an inflatable obstacle course and fun and games for the whole family are on the agenda and this year’s party dates for the diary are:
 
Victoria Park Leisure Centre, Ilkeston – Saturday 29 July and Saturday 2 September between 3.30pm-4.15pm and 4.30pm-5.15pm.
West Park Leisure Centre, Long Eaton – Saturday 5 August and Saturday 26 August between 3pm-3.45pm and 4pm-4.45pm.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Our pool parties are incredibly good fun and have become a firm favourite for the summer holiday. So dig out the swimming costumes and have a splashingly good time!”
 
The parties are limited to 100 places on a first come, first served basis on the day. All summer pool parties are free for junior summer swim members. 
 
Admission for others is £2.40 for juniors (5-16th birthday) or £1.80 with a leisure card. Adult admission is £4 (£3.40 with a leisure card). A family admission (two adults and up to three children) is £11.60 (£11 with a leisure card)
 
The parties are for 5 years to adults, but children under eight years must be accompanied by an adult.

On your marks . . .  it’s the Bloom judges!

Both Ilkeston and Long Eaton’s flower power and bedding displays have been judged in the Large Town Category of the annual East Midlands in Bloom awards – with residents now keeping their fingers crossed for success when the results are announced in September. 
 
Erewash Borough Council hosted visits by the regional judges over the last week and were given guided tours of both towns to see floral displays provided by Erewash Borough Council and to meet schoolchildren, artists, local residents and the Friends groups which support the Bloom initiative.
 
Places visited in the Ilkeston area included Straw’s Bridge Local Nature Reserve, Clarksfield Community Allotments, Victoria Park, Stanton Road Cemetery and the General Havelock public house, which has entered the Business in Bloom category.
 
In Long Eaton the tour included visits to the library grounds, Wilsthorpe Road allotments, West Park, the ReVive Shop Project to meet local artists and the Penneyfields estate to look at residents’ gardens.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Both our towns look absolutely stunning again this summer and we are very grateful for all the compliments and lovely comments we receive from residents who love our summertime displays.
 
“We are very proud of them and it is a credit to the hard work that is put in by our teams – but we also send our heartfelt thanks to those businesses and individuals in the community who also join in by providing their own wonderful displays. Together we help ensure a colourful, clean and welcoming look for residents and visitors. Our success in this prestigious competition over the years has been outstanding and we hope for more success in 2017.”
 
Residents in Draycott again hope to win an award as a community entry – while Breaston in Bloom volunteers and residents hope to scoop an award with their first entry into the competition. 
 
Results of the East Midlands in Bloom 2017 competition will be announced at an awards ceremony in Boston, Lincolnshire on Wednesday 13 September.
 

It’s the anniversary Triathlon!

There is still time to enter this summer’s Erewash Triathlon – one of the borough’s biggest and most popular events on the sporting calendar.
 
The 2017 Triathlon celebrates its 10th anniversary and takes place on Sunday 20 August at West Park in Long Eaton, with hundreds of competitors from across the country expected to once again descend on the town for the popular event.
 
Anyone aged 15 years and over can enter the event, which is popular with people of all abilities from the complete novice through to seasoned triathletes.
The Erewash Triathlon starts with a 400m swim in the West Park Leisure Centre pool followed by a 16km bike before competitors complete the event with a 5km run within West Park. 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“The triathlon as a sport continues to grow in popularity across the world and so we are delighted to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our very own Erewash Triathlon. This sporting event provides fun as well as serious competition and is always a brilliant
family-friendly experience for competitors and spectators alike.”
 
Erewash Borough Council is once again working with Stuweb Race Timing Solutions to stage this year’s triathlon.
 
Triathletes can register now online at www.erewashtri.com