CHESTERFIELD CHAMPION: ‘The town is friendly and forward thinking’

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I am Ashley Turner and I have worked in Chesterfield for more than 20 years.

I am a 47-year-old father of two, living in Sheffield.

WCEC Architects first opened its doors in the local town of Dronfield in 1972. Since then the practice has gone from strength to strength, growing to over 140 members of staff, relocating to Chesterfield, establishing regional hubs in Leeds and London and being recognised as one of the Top 40 Architects in the UK.

I have worked my way up within WCEC and am the classic example of ‘print room to boardroom’. It’s taken 30 years of hard work to get there however, I am really proud to be CEO of WCEC Architects.

Our designers understand buildings, it’s in our DNA. We are passionate about both design and implementation in order to deliver quality buildings and environments. We create unique responses to every project, with a clear focus on commercial delivery. We’re always trying to develop our team further and have recently been recognised for doing so, being shortlisted for The Sheffield College People Development Award at the Sheffield Business Awards 2016 and are looking forward to the awards ceremony taking place tonight.

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

For me on a personal note, one of the most significant days of my life – my wedding day – took place at the St Lawrence Church in Chesterfield. I have very happy memories of that place.

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

The Chesterfield Waterside development will have a very positive impact on the town once it has been completed. The increase in employment opportunities and quality of built environment will take Chesterfield up a level.

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

A friendly and forward thinking market town.

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

The people are brilliant. Also, the speedy train link and access to the M1 being only minutes away makes the location ideal for travelling to all major cities and surrounding areas.

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

There are various sources. Destination Chesterfield is an essential tool and provides access to numerous individual businesses.

I also find that Chesterfield Borough Council is a really good point of contact for business advice.

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

The practice relocated from Dronfield because the business had grown and a larger building with ample car parking was required.

7. Who do you admire in the community?

Too numerous to mention, however anyone who is running a successful business acts with integrity and has their own unique personality.