Debenhams jobs boost

sp92735  opening day at Toys R Us  l to r Claire Armshaw,Nia Hancock
sp92735 opening day at Toys R Us l to r Claire Armshaw,Nia Hancock
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LEADING retailer Debenhams is coming to Chesterfield in a much-heralded move set to create hundreds of new jobs.

The annoucement comes hot on the heels of Toys R Us opening in the town.

Council and business chiefs say the moves prove that Chesterfield is on the up.

The new 62,000 square foot Debenhams store will be located on the old Focus unit at the Ravenside Retail Park and is expected to open next autumn, creating about 200 new jobs.

Peter Swallow, chair of steering group Destination Chesterfield, said: “This is fantastic news for Chesterfield and reflects the strength of the retail sector within the town and the fact we’re an attractive destination for investors and visitors.”

Debenhams will be the latest addition to Ravenside Retail Park and will join a number of top shops including Next, Currys, JJB Sports and Pets at Home.

Under the plan, developers will make improvements to the entrances and pedestrian crossing points into the retail park.

Rob Hadfield, head of property at Debenhams, said: “The Ravenside Retail Park is an ideal location for us.

“It’s within the town centre shopping area and close to the major road routes coming into Chesterfield.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming local residents to the store and reaching a wider audience from surrounding districts, which, I’m sure, will have a positive impact on other retailers in the town,” he added.

Toys R Us opened at Spirewalk Park, creating 40 jobs last Thursday.

Mike Coogan, marketing director for Toys R Us, said: “We’ve had a fantastic start in Chesterfield.

“Thousands of people have been in the store since last Thursday.

“We’re delighted with the overall response.”

Cllr John Burrows, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “Attracting major retailers – like Debenhams and Toys R Us – is a great achievement for Chesterfield and a significant step forward in our ambition to attract inward investment and create jobs for local people.

“It’s further evidence Chesterfield is bouncing back. We’ve an exciting time ahead for the town.”

l Next week - your views on Chesterfield’s bid to be a top shopping destination. Send your thoughts to comment@derbyshiretimes.co.uk

michael.broomhead

@derbyshiretimes.co.uk