More free support on offer to help potential entrepreneurs take first steps in business

A second free programme to help would-be entrepreneurs in Amber Valley and Erewash set up their own business starts next month.(October).
 
Enterprise agency Erewash Partnership is delivering the starter workshops plus mentoring support behalf of East Midlands Chamber as part of a county-wide initiative that is funded by Derbyshire County and Derby City Councils and Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership.
 
Residents of Amber Valley or Erewash who want to take part have to enrol and register through the Partnership, based in Long Eaton. 
 
They will be offered a package of tailored support, and arrangements will be made for them to attend five workshops. The workshops will be followed by advice, support and guidance from an experienced mentor, at no cost to the participants.
 
Experienced professionals will lead the workshops, which will take place at Amber Valley Borough Council offices in Ripley Town Hall. This follows those held in the summer in Erewash, which were well attended.
 
Starting on October 10 and finishing on November 30 the five half-day workshops include subjects such as getting the basics right, understanding your market and how to reach it, business planning, bookkeeping, and starting with social media.
 
Now in its 23rd year of supporting enterprise, the Partnership has an excellent record of helping people start businesses, nurturing them while they develop and continuing to give advice and help once established.
 
In Amber Valley 11.4 per cent of the economically active population is self-employed, which is higher than the national average of 10.8 per cent that are self-employed, according to figures for the year up to last September. 
 
Of 4,400 businesses in Amber Valley, 88 per cent are micro businesses employing fewer than 10 people. 
 
Councillor Trevor Ainsworth, Amber Valley Council's cabinet member for regeneration, said his authority was pleased to be working with the Partnership on this business starter initiative.
“The workshops will be a great support, they have been specially tailored to provide the necessary tools and foundations for anyone considering starting their own business,” he commented.
 
“This programme is flexible so people can pick and choose where they need support and which workshops to attend. There is also an ongoing mentoring offer which is invaluable to this programme, giving reassurance and guidance through the journey to self-employment.” 
 
Over the last three years the Partnership helped 275 businesses set up in Erewash and Amber Valley. To do that it delivered more than 1,600 advisory sessions. It also helped more than 500 established businesses.
 
Chief executive Ian Viles said: “We are delighted to be helping entrepreneurs taking their first steps towards hopefully becoming the business successes of tomorrow.”

West Park’s bandstand review

Erewash Borough Council has fenced off the bandstand in Long Eaton’s West Park for safety reasons as it carries out a detailed review of the condition of the structure and the extent of repairs that may be needed.
 
An initial inspection of the bandstand has revealed that the cast iron guttering has decayed  and nearly rotted through in sections, while the timber fascia – which has the guttering and ornate brackets attached to it – is also rotten.
 
There are also signs of decay to the ridge beams in the roof and further investigations are needed to gain a full picture of the bandstand’s condition.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“We took the immediate decision to put fencing around the bandstand as there is potential that heavy debris could fall. The fencing will remain in place while we carry out a full review and look at the options for repair. This may take some time so we thank park users for their patience and understanding and will update everyone when we know more.”
 

More funding for rural areas

Another three rural community projects in Erewash look set to share a funding payout of just over £28,300 as part of Erewash Borough Council’s Rural Community Grants Scheme.
 
Councillors at a meeting of the Council Executive next week (Tuesday 12 September) are expected to approve the grants, the fourth round of payouts since the scheme was launched in October 2015.
 
The council invested £250,000 in total for the scheme to run over four years to 2019 with the aim of proving funding support for projects that help residents living in the borough’s rural communities.
 
As part of the scheme, voluntary and community organisations are encouraged to apply for a grant by working with their local parish council, which can apply for support on their behalf.
 
The green light is expected to be given next week for the following grants:
 
£12,500 to Sandiacre towards the restoration of the lock adjacent to Lock Lane as part of Derby and Sandiacre Canal Trust’s wider canal restoration project which will cost over £55,000. The grant will help the Trust start the necessary remediation work. 
£5,820 to West Hallam for new and more energy efficient LED lighting at the village’s community hall. There are no windows in the hall and replacing the current poor lighting will enhance the experience of the many people and groups that use the facility.
£10,000 to Sandiacre Town Football Club towards maintenance equipment and storage facility for a new 3G artificial pitch. 
 
Councillor Carol Hart, Leader of Erewash Borough Council, says:
 
 
“We are very well aware of the excellent work being carried out by local groups and parish councils for the benefit of residents in the rural areas of our borough. We continue to show our commitment to supporting these groups - their hard work is inspiring, especially when we know these remain financially challenging times.”
 
The meeting of Council Executive is at Long Eaton Town Hall on Tuesday 12 September at 10.30am.
 

Open to change

Changes to the opening hours at Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre are expected to get the go-ahead next week after figures show low levels of usage during the daytime on weekdays.
 
Councillors at a meeting of Erewash Borough Council’s Executive next week (Tuesday 12 September) are expected to agree that the centre will be closed between 7.30am and 3pm Monday to Friday – a move that is expected to save the council just over £65,500 a year. 
 
A report to the meeting shows that over the last five years visits to the centre by residents during the day are very low as current demand shows 89.87% of usage is during the evening and the weekend.
 
The proposal would not currently lead to any permanent staff being made redundant but the reduced opening hours would give the council the opportunity to make further savings by deleting all the permanent posts that are currently vacant at the centre.  Councillors are expected to refer this to the General Purposes Committee with a recommendation that the vacant posts are deleted.
 
Responses to a public consultation on the revised opening hours saw little objection to the proposal and all comments received showed an understanding of the council’s position.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Everyone is well aware that these are financially challenging times for all local authorities and we continue to look at ways to save money and be more efficient. At our Sandiacre sports centre it is clear there is very little demand from the general public to use the centre during weekdays and that the high demand is for the evening and weekends. This offers us the opportunity to make a substantial saving every year - but it also opens up opportunities to focus and develop the activities and the excellent facilities we offer during the times when the vast majority want to use the centre.”
 
The centre opened in 1975 and is in the grounds of Sandiacre Friesland School. A successful partnership agreement between the council and the school is in place which will see the school continue to use the sports hall and a range of facilities during term time.
 
If agreed, the new opening hours at Sandiacre Friesland Sports Centre would be Monday to Thursday 3pm-10.45pm, Friday 3pm-10.30pm, Saturday 8.30am-6pm and Sunday 9.30am-7pm.
 
Despite the reduced public opening hours, the council could still open up the centre during the day for specifically targeted sessions  if needed – like GP referrals –and it was economically viable to do so.
 
The meeting of Council Executive is on Tuesday 12 September at Long Eaton Town Hall at 10.30am.
 

Sparkling savings on firework tickets 

Tickets for this year’s Erewash Bonfire and Fireworks display are now on sale, with sparkling discounts on offer for tickets bought in advance.
 
The 2017 extravaganza is at Long Eaton’s West Park on Saturday 4 November and is once again expected to attract thousands of people. Organised by Erewash Borough Council, it is one of the biggest community bonfire and firework displays in the area and this year’s theme is ‘Heroes and Villains’.
 
The council is offering value for money savings on all tickets bought in advance – a family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children) is £10, instead of the £15 payable on the night. Adults can snap up a ticket for £5 while anyone aged 16 and under or 60 and above pay £2 – both a £1 saving on the on-the-night price. Admission is free for children aged 5 and under.
 
Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s Lead Member for Culture and Leisure, says:
 
“Bonfire Night might seem a long way off, but it makes sense to get your tickets sorted now and save some money at the same time! Our display and celebration is by far the biggest and best for miles around and is enjoyed every year by thousands of people – so we’ll see you there!”
 
Tickets are now available from West Park Leisure Centre, Long Eaton; Victoria Park Leisure Centre, Ilkeston; and Ilkeston and Long Eaton Town Halls.