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Shirebrook is a town in the Bolsover district of north-east Derbyshire on the border with Nottinghamshire, England. it had a population of 13,300 in 2001, reducing to 9,760 at the 2011 Census. It is on the B6407, and close to the A632 road, between Mansfield and Bolsover.
Shirebrook Colliery operated in the town until April 1993. It had previously been linked underground to nearby Pleasley Colliery. The workforce was roughly evenly divided during the strike of 1984–85, which led to deep community divisions between strikers and workers, and briefly earned the nickname "the Belfast of England".
In addition to two ongoing fabrication-engineering businesses at nearby Langwith, Shirebrook has a large furniture retailer.
Re-titled as Brook Park, half of the entire business park designated as Zone 1 was allocated to Sports Direct after a planning application to Bolsover District Council in 2004 for four giant warehouses totalling 111,000 square metres, with a training facility, helipad and a retail store.
Sports Direct amongst its 3,000 workers employs large number of people who decided to migrate to Shirebrook from eastern states of European Union
The situation caused certain group of locals feel intimidated, reportedly by gatherings in the town square and other open public places, involving drinking and other anti-social behaviour. Councillors and Derbyshire Police therefore introduced in late 2015 a Public Space Protection Order (PSPO), upgraded from the previous Direct Public Policing Orders (DPPOs), banning consumption of alcohol with further restrictions in public spaces.
Many workers are indirectly-employed by agencies using zero-hour contracts, which has attracted media attention for their labour practices and has been referred to as a "gulag". Having declined to appear previously, billionaire owner Mike Ashley was summoned to appear at Parliament before June 2016 to answer questions from a select committee of MPs. Ashley responded in March 2016 by publicly refusing the summons, further declaring the MPs to be "a joke".
Ashley eventually appeared before Parliament on 7 June 2016. Outstanding areas of concern were mentioned, including zero-hour contracts, lower than minimum-wage payments, workers' body searches, intrusive control of workers' personal habits, lateness penalties and sexual harassment. Ashley gave an undertaking to investigate and make changes, but suggested a timeframe of three months or greater may be required.
Ashley was further criticised in 2017 by Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn for breaking his word by failing to enforce the withdrawal of widespread zero-hour contracts that he had agreed to in 2016. Corbyn's request for the UK Prime Minister to condemn Ashley's failure to end the practice was reported in the press as being "sidestepped" by Theresa May.
A Polish couple who supplied workers to Sports Direct were accused of modern-day slavery in 2016. They absconded before their scheduled trial appearance at Nottingham Crown Court in July 2017 and were believed by Police to be in Canada, despite having their Polish passports seized.
In December 2017, the government through their Minister for Faith and Communities, Lord Bourne, announced a £1.26 million aid-package from the Controlling Migration Fund, after a bid from local networking groups Bolsover Partnership and Shirebrook Forward NG20 due to the large influx of Eastern European workers.
The money is a two-year investment intended to improve access to public services, stage community events, improve the shopping and Market Square area and ease pressures on housing, schooling and health services resulting from recent migration.
The project named Building Resilience will see investment into seven core areas:
- Community resilience
- Market Square Enlivenment
- Migrant community access
- Improve access and quality of private sector housing
- Social Norms and UK Laws
- Additional GP resources
- Healthy Workforce Programme
The local secondary school Shirebrook Academy on Common Lane is for pupils aged 11–16.
Shirebrook also has many primary schools and nurseries such as:
- Park Infant & Nursery Schools
- Park Junior School
- Stubbin Wood Special School
- Brookfield Primary School
- Model Village Primary School
Shirebrook once had three railway stations. The last remaining station was on the Midland Railway (later part of the LMS) route from Nottingham to Worksop via Mansfield, and was originally known as Shirebrook West, despite being on the eastern edge of the town. The route lost its passenger services in October 1964, leaving Shirebrook without a station, but the line remained opened as a goods route. On the site of the goods yard a diesel locomotive fuelling depot was opened in the mid 1960s. The station was re-opened in 1998 as Shirebrook railway station for the new Robin Hood Line services from Nottingham to Worksop via Mansfield. A wagon repair and manufacturing business have a rail link with the main line.
Shirebrook North station (originally known as "Langwith Junction", until renamed in June 1924), was opened by the Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway (later part of the Great Central Railway and subsequently the London & North Eastern Railway) in March 1897 and closed in September 1955. By then only one of the four routes converging on it was left- that to Lincoln: the Great Northern Railway's "Leen Valley Extension" line to Pleasley and Sutton-in-Ashfield had closed in September 1931; the LD&ECR line to Beighton via Clowne in September 1939, and that to Chesterfield via Bolsover in December 1951, due to the unsafe condition of Bolsover Tunnel. The filling in of the tunnel began on 10 October 1966, and used waste from Bolsover Colliery. The mouth of the old tunnel can be found on the southern edge of Scarcliffe, emerging just south of Ridgdale Road, Bolsover.
Shirebrook South station was on the Great Northern Railway's "Leen Valley Extension" line mentioned above, opened in November 1901 and closed in September 1931.
Notable former residentsEdit
- John Hurt, born in nearby Chesterfield, lived in Shirebrook until aged five when his father was the vicar of Holy Trinity Parish Church.
- Jason Statham, Hollywood actor.
- Colin Tarrant, actor.
- Ray Wilson, a member of the England 1966 World Cup-winning football team.
- Mason Bennett, Derby County footballer from nearby Langwith, Derbyshire.
The town's football club Shirebrook Town play in the First Division of the Northern Counties East Football League, and are based at Langwith Road. Before the current club was formed, Shirebrook Miners Welfare F.C. was the senior team in the area, competing in the FA Cup on occasion.
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- Sports Direct boss labels MPs “a joke” and refuses summons Chad, local newspaper, 22 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016
- Mike Ashley snubs 'joke' MPs' inquiry into working practices Telegraph, 21 March 2016. Retrieved 2 April 2016
- Nine promises Mike Ashley has made to workers at Sports Direct Chad, local newspaper, 8 June 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016
- Jeremy Corbyn attacks Sports Direct boss Mike Ashley over zero hour contracts ChronicleLive 6 September 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017
- Couple linked to Sports Direct in court again on modern-day slavery charges Chad, Nottinghamshire local newspaper, 11 January 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2017
- International arrest warrant sought for Notts trio who fled trial Chad, Nottinghamshire local newspaper, 2 August 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017
- Minister for Faith Lord Bourne launches a £1.26 million government investment in Shirebrook, Bolsover District Council, 14 December 2017. Retrieved 21 December 2017
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