Business leader urges Chesterfield to work together after EU vote

Peter Swallow, chairman of Destination Chesterfield.
Peter Swallow, chairman of Destination Chesterfield.

A senior business leader in Chesterfield says it is crucial the town works together and supports each other in the aftermath of the vote to leave the European Union.

Voters in the town gave their support to the Leave campaign in Thursday’s historic referendum - with 60 per cent of the electorate backing Britain’s exit.

The result has sparked growing uncertainty in some sectors as the country begins its first steps towards life outside of the EU.

But Peter Swallow, chairman of networking organisation Destination Chesterfield, says he is confident the town can continue to move forward despite Brexit.

He said: “Now that the decision has been made to leave the European Union, we all need to do what we can to make it work both in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire and use the period of uncertainty we are entering to seek new opportunities.

“It is more important than ever for Chesterfield’s business, residents, public sector, charities and schools to bond together and support each other.

“Together we have weathered the previous storm of the recession and come out stronger for it, which is evidenced by the regeneration taking place in the borough and the current unemployment rate, which is at its lowest ever level.

“As a town, we are obviously doing something right and now, in this period of uncertainty, it’s important to keep doing that.”

The referendum result came just days after the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, during a visit to Chesterfield, said the emphasis was on local businesses and people to work together to help boost the economy.

He said: “The government is not going to build us a good economy; it has to be the whole people and above all businesses that do it.”

Mr Swallow added: “Chesterfield is a step ahead in this respect in that it already has the Chesterfield Champions scheme - a powerful network helping to drive the development of our economy, shape our future and showcase our town.

“In the current weeks, months and years, as the UK negotiates its exit from the EU, the Chesterfield Champions scheme will provide a much-needed common platform to bring the business community together, and to provide support in the changing commercial environment.”