Heanor Talent Celebrated

The business and creative talent of the future was celebrated in Heanor on Saturday at the Heanor Young Entrepreneurs Test Town Project.

Young people were invited to showcase their business ideas at the Market Place event as they competed to become ‘Heanor Young Entrepreneur’ and win advice and assistance to help their project develop.

Three young people stepped up to promote and launch their ideas - the I AM Collective, The Candy Floss King, and Alinta Knitting.

The young entrepreneurs hope to develop their ideas and stimulate business, potentially benefitting the town through new shops and retail outlets.  All three had very different and well-thought-through business ideas, showing their potential, enthusiasm, creativity and innovative thinking.

  • Winner – Alinta Higgs – Alinta Knitting
  • Highly Commended – Charlotte Collins – I AM Collective
  • Highly Commended -  Edward Smith – The Candy Floss King, Edward Entertainment


Heanor Traders Association (HTA) and Amber Valley Borough Council (AVBC) were delighted to support the youngsters to showcase their activities and provide access to business support and mentoring to develop their concepts to full businesses.

The event was well supported by the local community who enjoyed the stalls and entertainment including the Heanor Gate School “Love Heanor” dance commission, Steel Band, Quartet and Choir who created a vibrant atmosphere.

The Test Town event was also designed to help showcase what Heanor has to offer and to encourage young people to come back into the Town. This was achieved by Saturday's event and will continue to be over the coming weeks and months.

Leonie George, vice-chair of HTA, said: "While it was a lot of hard work, both organising and promoting the event and setting up on the day, it has been very worthwhile and I would like to thank everyone who helped make this event happen.  We have seen a significant increase in footfall in the Town and have enabled local people to see what the Town has to offer.

“We also expect that some of the young entrepreneurs will go on to establish new businesses in the Town and help contribute to its further regeneration.  We are very grateful to the Young Entrepreneurs who demonstrated their energy and enthusiasm for their business ideas.  We wish them well in their future endeavours and hope to see them open new businesses in Heanor in the not too distant future."

The winner of the event Alinta Higgs of Alinta Knitting, was recognised for their business plan and the steps taken to deliver their vision.  They will be put forward to the national Test Town UK final to compete to become the UK Towns Entrepreneur of the Year and potentially benefit from £10,000 worth of business support.

Amber Valley Borough Council’s Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Councillor Kevin Buttery said: “We are a delighted that Heanor Traders Association grasped the opportunity to work with us and Carnegie Test Town to deliver a new event and support the Young Entrepreneurs of the future.

“The event presented a new opportunity as part of the Council’s regeneration work to support new businesses, create jobs and encourage new businesses to our market towns. We would like to congratulate all of the entrants on the strength of their business ideas and look forward to seeing them flourish.”

Full photos from the event can be viewed in our online event magazine by visiting www.ambervalley.gov.uk/magazines/testtown. A biog of the winners is also available to read here.

Test Town Presentation 1

Test Town Presentation 9

For further information contact:

Heanor Traders Association on telephone 07948 421503 or email heanortraders@gmail.com

Joanne Bamford, Amber Valley Town Centres Development Officer, on telephone 01773 841485 or email joanne.bamford@ambervalley.gov.uk

Photos available: Contact Joanne Bamford

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