CHESTERFIELD CHAMPION: ‘A relaxed market town full of down to earth people’

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My name is John Lawson. I am the director of Spire Asset Funding and I’m 55 years old.

I am married with two sons, aged 21 and 22, who share the same birthday but were born one year and nineteen minutes apart.

I’ve lived and worked in Chesterfield for all of my life, including at Arkwright and Shirebrook Collieries, GK Group on Chatsworth Road and home-based working as an associate director for Bank of Scotland.

Upon leaving Bank of Scotland in September 2009, I decided that I wanted to form my own company and we are now based at Dunston Innovation Centre employing three people.

Spire Asset Funding is an asset finance brokerage and offers an alternative to traditional bank funding.

We can call on a panel of approximately 70 lenders who will fund a multitude of things that may be required by different types of businesses, business owners and company directors.

In addition to looking at funding for businesses, we can offer funding for any private individual who wishes to purchase a car or any type of vehicle.

1. What’s your best memory of the town?

Growing up in the 70s and being lucky enough to have Queen’s Park on our doorstep.

Every summer the international touring cricket teams would play Derbyshire in the park and it would be packed out.

2. What development do you think will make the biggest difference to the town?

I think that there are a number of exciting developments that will make a difference to the town – the Northern Gateway and Chesterfield Waterside to name just two.

Both of them can help add to the prosperity of the town in their own way.

3. How would you describe Chesterfield to someone who has never visited?

I would firstly mention that it is the place with the iconic Crooked Spire.

Also, it is a traditional but relaxed market town, full of down to earth and friendly people.

4. What are the positives of running a business here?

The transport links and close proximity of many major towns and cities within a 30-mile radius or a two-hour journey and the potential target markets that this may open up is a huge positive for businesses.

5. Who or what do you turn to in Chesterfield for business advice?

The previous leader of the Chesterfield Borough Council John Burrows, was always open to engaging with local business and was a true champion of Chesterfield.

I have also spoken to and discussed ideas with Adrian Williamson – innovation support project manager, who is based at Dunston Innovation Centre. And there is always the East Midlands Chamber.

6. Why did you choose to base your business in Chesterfield?

I am a Chesterfield man and would not move anywhere else. Although our client base is nationwide, we are in the ideal location here.