CHESTERFIELD CHAMPION: ‘The people are what make this town so welcoming’

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My name is Michael Heath and I am a director of Start Financial Planning.

I am 33 years old, married with two young children – aged four and six – and have lived in Chesterfield all my life.

I am a director of Start Financial Planning, a financial advisory firm which I established earlier this year with my business partner Steve Taylor. Prior to this I was a director of Cheetham Jackson, where I managed national business which often took me away from the town I love.

Therefore in April this year, over a beer in the White Swan with Steve, we decided it was time to come home and build something different and that is focused firmly on Chesterfield.

We employ four people but are actively looking to grow and are currently recruiting for both administrators and financial planners. Our offices are located on Beresford way off Dunston Lane.

1. What do you like best about living in Chesterfield and why?

I love the surroundings of the town, its close links to major cities and the varied activities on offer that are all within close proximity, but most of all I love the people.

It has taken some time to get to know the business community but everyone is so supportive and helpful to one another.

2. What are your favourite ways to spend your free time in Derbyshire?

My family and I like to spend the sunny days enjoying walks around Chatsworth House and the children particularly enjoy exploring the gardens there.

We also enjoy making the most of local parks, with Somersall being a walk away and Queens Park for the space to take bikes and scooters.

3. Where is your favourite place to shop locally and why?

My wife and I enjoy eating at Casa and Calabria because of the quality of the menus and the beautiful surroundings.

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

There are some fantastic businesses in Chesterfield that we are lucky to be able to work with. It is a small enough town that people know each other but the offerings from Chesterfield businesses rival that of many larger cities.

5. How do you see the future for Chesterfield and its small businesses?

I see the future for Chesterfield to be very exciting. The many developments and regeneration projects in the works will only improve our offering as a town and hopefully attract more visitors from other areas.

6. If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you do to improve Chesterfield?

I would like the speed of some of the outstanding development projects pick up more traction, but understand there is a process to follow. Seeing derelict buildings and cleared plots of land regenerated or at the very least tidied up would further lift Chesterfields image.

7. What three words best sum up Chesterfield?

Welcoming, cohesive and evolving.