Entrepreneur takes helm at partnership that helped him start up his business

An entrepreneur who started his business with help from enterprise agency Erewash Partnership has become its new chairman.
Ian Hopkinson, director of  Derwent Analytics and Harlequin BPI, based on the Manners Industrial Estate, Ilkeston, has taken over from Simon Woods, managing director of educational equipment manufacturer TecQuipment.
Simon, whose company is based in Bonsall Street, Long Eaton, had been chairman for six years.
Ian was employed for 17 years as a chemist, mainly at Celanese in Spondon. He recognised that the process he worked in was a shrinking market and that new technology was changing the situation, so he explored the possibilities and opportunities of setting up his own business, which he did 16 years ago.
“I leaned heavily on the Partnership because I needed skills to run Derwent Analytics that I did not have,” he said.  “They encouraged me and were very helpful.”
Initially, the company made solutions using chemical reactions that were used in everything from kidney dialysis machines to a wide range of industrial uses.
In 2009 Ian's company hit the headlines by producing a solution that meant every time somebody in the UK drank a fizzy drink made by Coca Cola it had been tested by know-how from Derwent Analytics to make sure it was the real thing.
Derwent Analytics later made solutions to clean cosmetic contact lenses and then diversified into other products, creating spin-off company Harlequin BPI in 2012.
The company, which now manufactures and develops health care products such as eye and ear drops and vapour rubs for supermarkets under their own brands and has started exporting to Europe has a multi-million pound annual turnover and 23 employees, in addition to seven at Derwent Analytics.
In July it unveiled a £400,000 investment in building and equipment enabling it to make more than three million bottles of different products, more than doubling capacity.
“It's a great accolade to become chairman of the Partnership,” said Ian, a board member for seven years.
“As a businessman I have become more successful than I thought with the honour of leading a progressive economic regeneration agency.”
Partnership chief executive Ian Viles said the board was delighted that having helped Ian, particularly in his early days, he had become chair and was putting something back in.”
“His business has grown and become a classic example of the spirit of enterprise that the Partnership promotes and encourages,” he said.
Ian said TecQuipment had been a stalwart supporter of the Partnership since it began 22 years ago and Simon had followed this tradition.
“Simon has been a pillar of strength and stability during difficult and challenging economic circumstances.
“We have been fortunate to benefit from his knowledge and wisdom and he hands over the leadership to another safe pair of hands.”
He added that Simon was heavily involved in the Partnership's move to new headquarters at Bridge House, Long Eaton, and refurbishing the former offices at The Old Police Station in Ilkeston which set a good example of local philanthropy and continued the agency's strong presence in the town.

Free 24-hour festive parking in Erewash

Erewash Borough Council will once again offer 24-hour FREE parking in all its car parks, with the exception of Long Eaton Railway Station, over the busy festive season.
The council has confirmed that its car parks will be free from Monday 19 December to Monday 2 January inclusive – an initiative aimed at giving a major boost for town centre traders and shoppers during the run-up to Christmas and over the festive break.
Councillor Michael Powell, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Regeneration and Planning, says:
“The Christmas free parking scheme is part of our commitment to the on-going drive to help and support our town centres and we know this good news will be warmly welcomed by both residents and visitors to the borough.
“We have excellent markets and shops in Ilkeston and Long Eaton - as well as local shops in villages across the borough - so we hope residents will use the free parking to show their support by shopping locally.”
All of the council’s car parks are part of the scheme, with the exception of the Long Eaton Railway Station commuters’ car park.

Museum goes festive 

Santa, trees, tinsel and all things festive will be at Erewash Museum in December as it begins the countdown to Christmas.

Throughout December the museum will be transformed into a winter wonderland when visitors can drop in anytime to see the festive displays, while children can take part in a seasonal-themed activity trail.
Father Christmas will call in to the museum for two Santa Saturdays – on the 3rd and 17th December between 11am and 3pm – when children can meet him in the Stables. Admission to the grotto is £1.50 per child which includes a present. 
Saturday 10 December will be a family fun Super Santa Day between 11am-3pm. Santa won’t be in his grotto to visit on this day but he will be around and there will be the chance to meet some reindeers, while children can make some reindeer food to leave out on Christmas Eve. There will also be craft stalls for some Christmas shopping ideas. Admission is £1.50 for children over the age of 1. Adults (16 and over) free.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“Erewash Museum is a much loved place and to see it transformed into a Christmas wonderland is magical and our Santa days are certain to be popular with families with the festive season in full swing.”
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

Christmas lights switch-on in Long Eaton

A magical evening of festive fun, seasonal sights, live music and free family entertainment will all be on offer when Long Eaton’s big Christmas Lights switch-on event is held on Thursday 24 November.
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Abey Stevenson, will ‘light up’ the town at 7pm to officially launch the Christmas season, but the evening has a Santa sackful of fun on offer.
Long Eaton Silver Prize Band will get the event underway on the pedestrianised Market Place at 5.30pm before a Take That Tribute takes the stage at 6.20pm when the crowds will be able to sing along to the classic hits – with a generous sprinkling of Christmas songs as well.
One of the highlights of the event will be a heart-warming illuminated procession featuring handmade puppets made by pupils from the town’s Dovedale School using recycled plastics in workshops with professional artist Anna Roebuck. The children will begin their procession at 6.40pm at Long Eaton Town Hall and will lead the Mayor to the Market Place for the official switch-on.
There will also be a fun fair and more to keep the whole family entertained.
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
“Our annual celebration to turn on the festive lights display is always a wonderfully warm family event and is the perfect way for us all to join together to welcome the start of the Christmas season and to celebrate all that our town centre has to offer.”
Once the lights have been switched on, the Take That Tribute band again belt out the hits from 7.30pm and the music and celebrations are expected to continue until around 8.30pm.

Erewash remembers

The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Abey Stevenson, will join local residents and civic guests in Long Eaton at this year’s Remembrance Service on Sunday 13 November.
Residents planning to attend the parade need to be at West Gate by 10.20am when the march will set off and make its way to the War Memorial in the Market Place for the Act of Remembrance and wreath laying at 10.45am. A service and mass will be held at St Laurence’s Church at 9.45am prior to the parade.
The Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mary Hopkinson, will join residents in Ilkeston. Those planning to attend Ilkeston’s parade are asked to be at South Street car park no later than 10.15am. The march will make its way to the Cenotaph in the Market Place for the Remembrance Service which will begin with the wreath laying ceremony at 10.30am.
The Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Abey Stevenson, says:
“It is a great honour and it will be with great pride that I will represent the borough of Erewash at the Remembrance Service in Long Eaton. It is important that we always remember those who have lost their lives in conflict. They gave their lives for their country and so that others may live.”