With the population expanding and businesses prospering, a £24.1m Clay Cross Town Deal has been granted, opening the door for a possible railway station in the town.
Members of Totally Locally Clay Cross, a voluntary led campaign which supports small, local companies, have welcomed the idea.
Karen Tait, from The Hub at Gladstone Buildings, a community center in Clay Cross said: “We feel that a train station in Clay Cross would really help with the regeneration of our little town.
“It would bring more people in, that would ordinarily bypass Clay Cross for Chesterfield or Alfreton as a base. It would certainly help local businesses as more people move to the area. We would welcome the project with open arms.”
Clay Cross is on the Midlands Main Line but does not have a station, with the nearest being in Chesterfield and Alfreton.
Craig Farrell Yates, who runs 5a Botanicals, an independent store selling houseplants, accessories and dried flowers said: “It would be so, so good for business. I’ve had lots of people from Nottingham and Sheffield areas who’ve said they would come visit the shop if they could get here easier.
“I think it would make a huge difference to my business personally, I know loads of people who will travel an hour or two to visit a plant shop but obviously at the moment it’s pretty much limited to people who drive”
Jane Louise Pattison, founder of Jane-Louise Photography added: “I moved my studio to Clay Cross in November 2018. In that time I have seen so much regeneration and the high street is a different place to when I first came. I am so proud to be a part of the local community and do what I can to help support other businesses.
“Families are coming from Matlock, Sheffield, Worksop and further out to use my service. They are also then supporting the local businesses around my studio.
“Having the train back would be a huge boost to our local economy, making it easier for families to access the many varieties of businesses within the local area from cafes to plant shops, traditional sweet shops and the many workshops that take place. The train station could make Clay Cross a busy town like it once was.”
Another young business owner, Georgia Churchill, an artist and designer at Georgia April Art said: “Having a quick and easy transport link would help us share this community with more people and support our local independent businesses.”
Lynsey Wright, working at Do Or Dye Hair Salon said: “I think it’s a fantastic idea to reopen the train station. It’s linking Clay Cross back to towns like Chesterfield, cities like Sheffield in a more direct route. Buses can be long winded and put people off.”
North East Derbyshire District Council is progressing work on the plans to re-open the station and consultants will prepare a feasibility study into the options. The study will focus on the needs of the residents and businesses in the area.
Shay Tipler from Obsessive Recessive Reptiles, a hobbyist reptile breeder said: “Clay Cross is really developing at the moment, so it would be amazing to have an easier transport network between towns and cities to encourage visitors.
“It would also create new jobs in the area and help boost the local economy as well as making life easier for families wanting days out without travel hassle.”
Lauren Watson, owner of Pluck It London beauty salon has been in the beauty industry for 16 years. For seven years she had her studio on Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands, but came back to Derbyshire during the pandemic and established her new business here.
She said: “Reopening the Clay Cross train station would be a God send for me. I have a lot of clients that travel far and wide for Microblading. It would be such a great thing for Clay Cross to be known on the map.”
Lottie Burks, a manager at Jilbee Land Play Centre, a local children’s club added: “Clay Cross is not great for accessibility, as buses are often late or do not turn up. A frequent train service would really improve our connections to the surrounding areas and bring more people with children who do not drive, into Clay Cross and into our play center!”
The location for the potential station has not been decided, but possible areas have been highlighted including next to the former Biwater site and the location of a previous railway station.
Maire Zoo who runs Zoo Glamor Clay Cross, a hair, beauty, makeup, microblading and aesthetics salon said: “As a local salon owner I have clients who already travel from outside the area for our coloring and color correction services.
“If Clay Cross was to have its own station I know that it would benefit our existing clientele and for a hundred percent would help to expand it. I get a lot of inquiries from people out of the area who don’t drive and they currently find it difficult to access.”
Gail Hannan, Totally Locally Clay Cross champion who runs Cup & Saucer, a local tea-blender, and retail shop said: “As a small business owner based in Clay Cross, I have customers spread all over Derbyshire and further afield. Opening up the train station would definitely benefit my small business making my shop more accessible.
“I believe it would be a positive move for all our independents and our local community.”