CHESTERFIELD CHAMPION: Walking and cycling in the Peaks is the best way to relax

Chesterfield Champion Rob Gregory.

Chesterfield Champion Rob Gregory.

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I was brought up in Chesterfield and have always been proud of my roots and shout about where I come from.

I’m now 32 and apart from a few short periods away, I have lived and worked in Chesterfield since returning home frm university.

I now run a software agency here called Magnifica, which I set up in its current form, with my business partner Craig Pickles 16 months ago. We work with a range of local and national clients from our offices at Tapton Innovation Centre.

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

The thing I like best about living in Chesterfield is the fact that I am close to my large group of family and friends. Having that constant support network means a lot and that’s why I really can’t see myself living anywhere else.

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

Everyone says it but it’s the Peak District. When time allows walking and cycling in the Peaks is the best way I know to relax and have fun with family and friends. I’m also an Explorer Scout Leader and have recently become more involved in that side of things again, after a year working hard on my business and getting married.

3 - Where is your favourite place to eat out locally and why?

Favourite place to eat out locally is either the Red Lion at Stonedge or the Old Poets Corner in Ashover. The Red Lion is great for a special meal out with a larger group and we like nothing more than a mid-week glass of wine and meal next to an open fire at the Old Poets.

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

The great thing about setting up and running a business in Chesterfield is the support on offer, everything from Destination Chesterfield to the Innovation Support Team. We have become part of a great business community that aims to source services locally and work together in promoting the town as a great place to do business.

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

The key to the success for the small business community in Chesterfield is to collaborate more, shareknowledge and expertise, and to attract inward investment. Chesterfield has a wealth of resources and skills within its workforce and business community and as such I predict a very bright future for the town in terms of business growth and sustainability.

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

I would find a way for any empty retail space to be filled with shops or used in other ways. As a town we have historically scored highly in terms of high street occupancy, however right now there are still some empty or derelict shop fronts. If nothing else local artists should be able to use some of the empty space to exhibit their work.

7 - What three words best sum up Chesterfield?

Gateway, community, growth.