North West Leicestershire District Council (NWLDC) has allocated a further £777,000 towards the regeneration of Coalville as local businesses and organisations pledge their support to build confidence in the town.
The money allocated by the council has been allocated to three significant projects in the town:
- Improvements to Marlborough Square (£577,000)
This project will see a redesign of the square to make it easier for pedestrians to use and reduce the presence of vehicles, including buses and taxis. This work would be the first improvement work carried out in the square since the 1990s. As well as improving the way the square looks and making it a better space for small events, it is hoped that the public realm work will increase footfall in the area and attract new businesses to relocate to some of the currently vacant units. The council’s Enterprising Town Centres grants, which are open to businesses relocating or growing within town centres, will also help with this.
- Improvements to Memorial Square (£25,000)
Memorial Square is the heart of Coalville, important to local people as it sits at the crossroads around which the town grew and is also home to the Memorial Clock Tower. The investment made by the council is intended to kick start interest in improving the square, redesigning it to create a better space for Remembrance and other appropriate events, as well as being home to commemorative artwork. Other funding for the project will be sought from local businesses, public campaigns and applications for local community funding schemes.
- Ashby Road traffic calming improvement (£175,000)
Research amongst residents has revealed support for the removal of the traffic calming measures along Ashby Road. The £175,000 allocated by NWLDC will support the Leicestershire County Council plans to invest in Snibston Country Park. The main work would be to straighten the carriageway, by removing the existing build outs and vegetation which currently act to slow vehicles down. This work, along with sensitive tree planting, would create an attractive route into Coalville town centre.
This additional takes the council’s committed investment in Coalville to almost £3 million from 2015 to 2019 and comes as people from businesses, schools and organisations across the town pledge their ideas for making a difference in the town.
John Reddington, Managing Director of David Wilson Homes, was one of many representatives of Coalville businesses and organisations that attended a workshop, where they pledged what they would do in the next year to build confidence in the town.
“I pledged to contact the independent restaurant owners in the town centre and work with them regarding a small discount offer for new home owners in the area,” John said. “We are building much needed homes in and around the Coalville area and we need these people to support the town. By offering discounts to attract people initially, they will see that Coalville has independent retailers and good restaurants that they can visit, rather than going elsewhere. I hope businesses take me up on this offer.”
Other pledges included offers to support young people into the world of work, promises to promote events and activities and even free children’s bus travel to Coalville by the Sea pledged by the managing director of Arriva Midlands.
Councillor Richard Blunt, Leader of NWLDC, pledged to invite one young person to shadow him for the day and take a tour of Coalville to discuss the barriers that might block some young people’s ideas.
This tour has already been arranged, with Courteney Broughton, who is currently working with The Hero Project CIC on projects and activities aimed at young people.
Councillor Blunt said: “We’re two years into a four year project to build confidence in Coalville. The council has done a lot so far, including grants for businesses to improve their shop fronts, free after 3pm car parking and supporting events like the Coalville Colour Run and the ballet at Century Theatre.
“We’re now looking to the rest of the Coalville community – businesses, organisations and individuals – to see what they can do to support the town. We were so pleased to see such a wide range of people from across Coalville at our workshop pledging their time, money and effort to helping the town. We look forward to seeing the fruits of their labour and further improvements in Coalville.”
Other pledges included:
- Andrew Walker, Fleet Auction Group: “I will offer to mentor young people and instil confidence. They can come to the workplace and experience a multitude of different environments for as long as they wish.”
- Bev Smith, Chief Executive, NWLDC: “I will ensure the council is ‘open for business’ and develops a positive partnership with young people.”
- Carol Brookes, Able 2 Consulting: “I will book a meeting with Coalville Heroes to talk about how and if I can support them.”
- Chloe Witham, Newbridge High School: “I will promote school projects to school pupils through Twitter. I will liaise with school lettings to arrange ‘space’ for projects. I will help to coordinate school projects to promote local heritage. I will find tie for GoMad sessions in school.”
- Cllr Alison Smith, Deputy Leader, NWLDC: “I will ask for volunteers on Hermitage FM to run projects for young people.”
- Dave Cliffe, Voluntary Action Leicestershire: “I will organise a community event in Greenhill in August.”
- Deana Wildgoose, The Hero Project CIC: “I will meet with Able 2 Consulting to establish links with them. I will arrange our attendance at a Chamber of Commerce meeting. I will work with Arriva on an art project. I will plan collaboration between schools, community groups and businesses.”
- Debbie Bass, Sugar and Ice: “I will promote skills growth within young people in Coalville.”
- Heather Wood, Sure Start: “I will have conversations with colleagues and managers about cohesive community working.”
- John Jacobs, Coalville Heritage Society: “I will work hard to see a heritage centre in the town.”
- Jon Sketchley, Hermitage FM: “I will promote any positive community activities on Hermitage FM”
- Karan Sheffield, local resident: “I will support the Hero Project, use Facebook and Twitter to promote activities and events.”
- P Wilkinson, emh group: “I will support working with young people in Coalville through things like our apprenticeship scheme.”
- Rob McClumpha, County Drains / Belvoirdale Primary School: “I will help the Choose Coalville project to connect with local businesses via the North West Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce.”
- Sharon Eason, Meals in Fields: “I will work to ensure the success of a new after school club at Ebenezer Baptist Church, encouraging primary age children to research and record life in Coalville in the 1960s.”
- Simon Mathieson, Arriva Midlands: “I will offer free travel for children to Coalville by the Sea on 4 August.”
- Sophie Bass, Sugar and Ice: “I will support community groups and Coalville businesses via the Sugar and Ice social media accounts.”
- Stuart Warburton, Coalville Heritage Society: “I will work towards promoting the heritage of Coalville to all age groups through digital access and events.”
- Terry Williamson, Snibston and Coalville Preservation Group: “I will assist in bringing back the Coalville Miner’s Gala for remembering local mining heritage.”
- Vicky Utting, Leicestershire County Council Public Health: “I will share our mapping and network across partners.”