A SLEEPY part of South Derbyshire has been thrust in the limelight by named as one of the top thirty towns in Britain.
The Times newspaper has judged Melbourne as number 15 in a list based on their history, housing, amenities and looks.
It was described by The Times as a Georgian town which is ‘the dream location for many people from Derby and Loughborough. There’s a great community spirit, a town band and a local history research group as well as sports clubs. Good restaurants and cafes’.
Bob Wheeler, leader of South Derbyshire District Council, said: “The Times is right to commend Melbourne for its ‘great community spirit’.
“In Melbourne, people get involved. It has a very wide range of social, sporting and activity groups, as well as support networks set up by locals.
“As an example, people came together to establish the Melbourne Community Care group which offers services such as befriending and voluntary car driving.
“Others in the town support community care through fund-raising events including the Open Gardens Day, which will take place on May 11 this year.
“There’s a year-round commitment to community involvement with the Melbourne Carnival, the Melbourne Festival, including the art and architecture tours, where locals open up their homes so that artists and craftspeople can sell their creations.”
The district council is improving and adding to the activities available in the town by its support for the development of the Melbourne Assembly Rooms, where a former secondary school and leisure centre is becoming a cultural focus for the town.
The council was awarded £50,000 of Olympic legacy funding from Sport England to support this project.
Councillor Wheeler added: “Quite simply it’s the people that make Melbourne and South Derbyshire so special.”