COLUMN: Chesterfield Champion Chris Ash believes the future for Chesterfield’s business community is bright

Stanton Moor, a part of the Peak District which Chris is so fond of.
Stanton Moor, a part of the Peak District which Chris is so fond of.
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I’ve lived in the Chesterfield area for about 20 years. I’m married and have three children, Joe, George, and Billy who have all been born and raised here.

I set up Skills for Careers in 2005 to deliver high quality training to both adults and young people in the workplace.

As the business has developed we’ve begun to work with employers and young people, identifying apprenticeship opportunities and matching employers to young people keen to start a career via the apprenticeship route.

Based in Dronfield, we currently employ 15 staff from across the region and last year alone we helped over 300 people start apprenticeships.

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

I love the proximity to the Peak District and the fact that we are centrally located for so many other places.

The changes to Chesterfield town centre and the surrounding retail parks also make a great place to shop!

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

As a family we love the outdoors so spending time walking, cycling or exploring the Peak District is high on the list... as is finding a great coffee shop!

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

The boys would probably pick Nandos!

For me though, The Eyre Arms in Hassop does great country food with a lovely open fire for those cold winter days.

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

There are some exciting, new and growing businesses and the local developments such as Waterside will provide a real boost to the area.

Chesterfield is centrally located and working both locally and nationally means transport links are key.

We can now be in London and Edinburgh in less than two hours - I’m not sure how many other towns/cities can offer that.

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

The future for Chesterfield and its small businesses looks very bright.

I believe that it is important for us all to work collectively in order to have a clear and strong voice both locally, regionally, and nationally.

Chesterfield sits in two Local Enterprise Partnership regions and this is a great opportunity to maximise the financial support and initiatives made available.

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

I would speed up the pace of development, allowing the new exciting ideas to come to fruition much sooner!

I would love to see the Chesterfield Waterside project complete as this will provide employment, leisure and retail opportunities locally which can only be a good thing.

7 - What three words best sum up Chesterfield?

A fantastic location!