Town Team to help save high street

A struggling high street is set to get a boost from a Town Team set up with the backing of retail guru, Mary Portas.

Thanks to £10,000 funding from the government-commissioned Portas Pilot scheme, more than 20 business leaders in Eckington have joined forces to help transform the town.

NDET 28-2-13 MC 60'Eckington Market Street

NDET 28-2-13 MC 60'Eckington Market Street

Geoff Wheatley, the group’s chairman, said: “We want to increase footfall through Eckington and make it more attractive to residents and visitors.

“We also want to see increased communication between businesses, so we all know each other like we used to.”

He said the group is currently working on establishing a social media presence, with a planned relaunch of the town in the pipeline for the end of the year.

At a meeting of North East Derbyshire District Council, cabinet members voted unanimously in favour of the scheme.

It was agreed that £9,000 of the funding will be spent on improving the area currently subject to Yorkshire Water sewage works, with £1,000 earmarked to faciliate the Town Team itself.

Cllr Graham Baxter MBE, leader of North East Derbyshire District Council, said: “There’s a very active business community in Eckington and we’re delighted to support this group, which brings together their thinking and enthusiasm for the benefit of the town. We look forward to working with businesses and the parish council over the coming months.

“As a council we’re committed to supporting our town centres by investing in improvements, such as those planned in Eckington town centre, and through the provision of free parking in our car parks across the district.”

To find out more about the Eckington Town Team, follow @EckingtonTT on Twitter, or email