A new Lead Member whose role will be to target the on-going drive to regenerate Ilkeston and Long Eaton town centres has been appointed by Erewash Borough Council.

The ruling Conservative group confirmed this week that Councillor Dan Pitt has taken up the reins for the newly-created portfolio Lead Member for Town Centres. He will be working with local businesses and looking at new ways to increase footfall in the towns.

His appointment is connected to the council’s ambition to encourage people to stay longer in the town centres and make them more viable by shopping locally.

One of Councillor Pitt’s biggest priorities will be to join the work now underway to put together a bid for grant money of up to £25m for Long Eaton from the government’s new Towns Fund. He will also focus on a bid being put together for Ilkeston should new market town grant money becomes available.

Councillor Carol Hart, Leader of Erewash Borough Council says:

“I believe a new Lead Member to give full attention to our town centres and take a proactive approach is the right move. This is all about investigating new ideas and having a fresh look at the way forward, building on the regeneration work put in over the last few years. We know High Streets across the country are facing the same difficult challenges - but if we can attract more people to live in the town centre, we will then, hopefully, see them shop locally

“Our night time economy in Erewash works well through the town centre bars and restaurants. Now we will continue our work with local traders and businesses to replicate that in the daytime by finding fresh and pioneering ways to encourage people to support their town.”

Councillor Pitt has welcomed the new approach to town centre regeneration:

“I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed to this position, which will allow me to focus on how we get more people into our town centres and, most importantly, to stay in them for longer and show their support for local businesses by shopping locally. It is a difficult challenge, I am well aware of that, but it is one that I fully embrace. I aim to change the negative narrative that surrounds our High Streets and work with everyone to create fresh and exciting ideas that will bring a new positivity going forward.”

Elected to the council in May last year, Councillor Pitt represents the Derby Road West ward in Long Eaton. He has previously worked as a manager in the hospitality industry and for the last five year has taught business and politics in the Higher Education sector. He holds two masters’ degrees, one in international business and the other in political philosophy.