Chesterfield bosses reveal their memorable moments of 2019 - and what 2020 holds in store
While 2019 has been another year of political uncertainty, one thing that has remained consistent is the ambition of Chesterfield to progress.
The town has seen big changes over the last 12 months, which the borough council and Chesterfield Champions say will provide a solid platform for further growth and development in 2020.
2019 was the year that major developments started to come out of the ground, resulting in jobs and exciting new venues being created in the town centre.
The new Premier Inn hotel opened in April 2019 on the first and second floors of the former Co-op department store on Elder Way, forming part of the Northern Gateway development. It created 37 new jobs and is currently achieving an occupancy rate of around 90% at weekends and an impressive 60% during the week – helping the town increase its number of overnight stays and footfall.
Increasing footfall was high on the agenda for Chesterfield town centre in 2019 with retailers, the council and Destination Chesterfield coming together to collectively promote the town, helping attract visitors and new businesses to high streets throughout the borough.
Vicar Lane Shopping Centre received national recognition for its contribution to increasing footfall in the town centre in December when it won the gold award in the Re:wired category at the prestigious REVO Gold Awards which recognise and celebrate the best examples of innovative retail property technology.
Vicar Lane and its owner Alterx have worked with tech specialist Maybe*Tech to engage with the Chesterfield audience. The findings have led to a new approach to the leasing of empty shops with Steeplegate coming to life again as a venue for independent brand
2019 was also the year that jobs at created Markham Vale exceeded those employed there when the site operated as a colliery. 2019 was the year that Chesterfield welcomed Spanish train manufacturer Talgo following the opening of its UK head office at Barrow Hill.
And the town isn’t showing any signs of slowing down in 2020. More jobs are set to be created at Elder Way in 2020 as the basement and ground floor of the former Co-op are transformed into restaurant, bars and a gym by the developer Jomast.
Further buildings are also set to come out of the ground at Northern Gateway and Chesterfield Waterside, while planning approval was granted in late 2019 for the David Lloyd Adrenalin World at Peak Resort in Unstone.
Exciting times are ahead for visitors, residents and businesses in Chesterfield in 2020.
Destination Chesterfield’s Champions were asked to reflect on 2019; what were their highs and memorable moments, and also asked to look ahead to what they believe 2020 holds in store for them and the town.
Name: Lee Ashley, Job Title: Director, Company: Spire Recruitment Ltd
“I have been impressed with how all the plans for our town have come together. It is great to see so many businesses doing well and playing an active part in making Chesterfield a prosperous area. The amount of construction work in the region is great, all the new additions to our town are brilliant and give people reasons to visit the town centre. The fact so many new companies have chosen Chesterfield as their home is positive as well – the economy in Chesterfield is very stable and long may that continue! 2020 is a year we are really looking forward to and we wish everyone else a Happy New Year.”
Name: Craig Evans, Job Title: Chief Operating Officer, Organisation: UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA)
“It is great to see apprenticeships taking centre stage in Chesterfield now and for the foreseeable future. They are an important route to further education. They allow young people to have a real job with training, earn while they learn, develop their skillsets and understand their full potential. UKATA currently employs five apprentices and three former apprentices and, as a former apprentice myself, I understand first-hand the very real benefits apprenticeships provide both to the business and the individual.”
Name: Zhanna Troshina, Job Title: Sales and Marketing Executive, Company: RA Information Systems
“Chesterfield has experienced a huge expansion of the businesses operating in workspace industry over the last five years and has an abundance of new business premises, modern office, innovation and multi-use accommodation. The industry growth is predicted to continue with flexible workspaces becoming increasingly required. Rapid urbanisation may increase workspace business rates and reduce availability in cities, which will result in Chesterfield being considered as a convenient and ideal location. These positive trends show a prodigious opportunity for the town’s future.”
Name: Jane Manfredi, Job Title: Proprietor, Company: proMUA & Beauty Training
“Having my business in the centre of Chesterfield, it’s great to see new developments happening. The Northern Gateway scheme is very exciting and, with projects already completed in the town centre, it’s definitely encouraging new businesses to come to Chesterfield creating job opportunities. It’s good news that plans for the Chesterfield Innovation Centre has been passed so I’m looking forward to seeing the development of that in 2020.”
Name: Clare Talati, Job Title: Director, Organisation: Derbyshire Education Business Partnership“Made in Chesterfield; raising the awareness of careers - in manufacturing, engineering, science and technology – has been a real highlight for us. We have worked with Destination Chesterfield to reach 3,000 students r since the campaign began in 2014. It’s great that it continues in 2020 as it helps inform young people in the area about the opportunities available and the skills employers value and look for. Bringing the world of work to life for learners is at the core of what we deliver. To that end, in 2020 we will also be expanding the work we deliver with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities schools.”
Name Julie Richards, Job Title: Principal and Chief Executive Officer, Organisation: Chesterfield College
“It is exciting to know that Chesterfield College is playing a part in developing a learning culture within our town and we are helping to build a community of learning to support growth and prosperity.
“We support young people and adults to progress into successful careers by giving them the skills and experiences they need. Ensuring local companies have the ability to develop their workforce effectively and are able to meet the need to develop technology skills is a key part of how we support businesses to grow and thrive.”
“In 2019, we played a part in raising awareness of the need for fair funding for colleges through the national ‘Love our Colleges’ campaign. We want to ensure the Government understands the important role further education plays so we will continue to campaign for fair funding in 2020 and beyond to ensure we can carry on inspiring futures and changing lives for our community.”Name: Stephen Gordon, Job Title: Executive Director, Company: Banner Jones Solicitors“Working in a business sector that is notorious for using lots of paper, we’ve decided that it’s time to be different and are striving to become ‘paper-lite’. We’ve already started the process and, in some departments, we are already working without paper. This not only helps us to reduce our carbon footprint but also produces a better, clearer working environment for our staff.
“As a business. we take the wellbeing of our staff very seriously and have recently appointed a dedicated Performance & Wellbeing Coach to provide support when needed. To continue with this focus on mental health we have decided to make ‘Mind’ our charity of the year in 2020 and will plan various fundraising initiatives around this. We’ve always been a big supporter of local charities such as Ashgate Hospicecare and they will also remain close to our hearts in 2020.”
Name: Tim Benson, Job Title: Associate, Company: AECOM
“Investment in infrastructure will continue to increase over the next 12 months, providing many employment opportunities in transportation, power generation and new housing. In addition to the delivery of new infrastructure is the challenge that the climate emergency puts on the way we use existing infrastructure. These demands require new thinking and new solutions, presenting plenty of opportunities for school leavers to get involved straight away through our apprenticeship programme.”
Name: Mark Ross,Job Title: Managing Director, Organisation: Redbrik Estate Agents
“We are already excited about the opportunities for real growth in 2020 and for Redbrik to become more of an integral part of homeowner's lives. We have always prided ourselves on our innovation and the ability to solve our customers' problems, and we plan on doing this next year through the launch of new services to the property sector. There will be fantastic opportunities for people who love customer service, marketing and property to join our expanding team – watch this space! In 2020 we would also love to get over 2,000 runners on the start line of the Redbrik Chesterfield Half Marathon, and double the amount we’ve raised so far for the charities.”
Name: Leah Shortt, Job Title: Operations Manager, Company: Learning Unlimited
“The range of career routes opened up by the number of apprenticeships available is really exciting. I would encourage any school leaver in 2020 to look beyond traditional routes into employment and explore the options available to them through apprenticeships. You can achieve university-level qualifications and get vital skills at the same time as earning a wage.”
Name: Anna Melton, Job Title: Director, Company: In the Works PR
“The town leaves 2019 on a high and I am so proud to be part of it. Spades have gone into the ground at major developments this year which is what people have been waiting for. So much happens behind the scenes with commercial developments that often the development can seem like a white elephant because they don’t happen immediately. It’s definitely not the case in Chesterfield. I am hugely optimistic for the town, my business and my team in 2020. It’s definitely going to be a Happy New Year!”
Name: Neil Johnson, Job Title: Managing Director, Company: Derbyshire Building Control Partnership (DBCP)
“With a number of large-scale developments starting to come out of the ground in Chesterfield, construction in the town will take a dramatic leap forward in 2020 and this will present opportunities for Chesterfield’s communities. There are many building projects, big and small, scheduled for 2020 and it’s great to see Chesterfield’s ambition and investment continuing at a good pace. This is really exciting for myself and the DBCP team to be involved with – it will certainly keep us busy in the new year.”
“The increase in construction projects, not only in Chesterfield but across Derbyshire as a whole, places greater demands on our services. So, I see opportunities for growth with recruitment as a major opportunity for DBCP in 2020. We’ve already got a great team, but we’re on the look-out for good building control professionals. There’s a great career opportunity for them with DBCP in 2020”
Name: Peter Swallow, Job Title: Managing Director, Company: Bolsterstone Group Plc
“A highlight for me has to be the creation of Destination Chesterfield of which I am Chair. It has brought together the business, charity and education sectors to really make a difference in driving forward the town. I don’t know of any other town or city that has achieved this and we should all be proud of what has been achieved. By working together, we really have made a difference and established a solid platform for further investment, jobs and opportunity for Chesterfield over the next decade.”
Name: James Pogson, Job Title: Director, Company: Northern Tea Merchants
“Northern Tea Merchants has been working hard throughout 2019 to reduce the amount of plastic used across the company and, in particular, tea bags, and that will continue going into 2020. We completed our final Biodegradable Tea Bag Paper test on the 30 October in 2019 and have produced over 500,000 biodegradable bags so far. We will continue working hard and carrying any further research necessary to continue to minimise the amount of plastic we use. ”
Name: Mark Hill, Job Title: Commercial Property Director (Jomast Developments), Organisation: Elder Way
“In 2020 there is a huge opportunity for us to transform the ground floor and basement of the former Co-op on Elder Way. Right now, the space is empty, but in 2020 I am confident we will see new businesses here. The Premier Inn is open and trading well and now is the time to bring restaurants, cafés and bars together at Elder Way and create a brand new leisure quarter in the heart of Chesterfield.”
“Chesterfield Borough Council has done a great job in supporting inward investment over the last decade. It has been open, welcoming and, most importantly, supportive of investors like us. I know this played a big part in attracting Jomast to invest in the former Co-op building on Elder Way. We’re very glad we took the plunge three years ago to invest in Chesterfield and it’s great to be part of the town’s future with such a landmark development.”
Name: Cllr Tricia Gilby, Job Title: Leader, Organisation: Chesterfield Borough Council
“In 2020, we plan to build dozens of new council homes, set the council and Chesterfield on the right path to carbon neutrality, develop our third innovation centre for new start-up businesses and attract more visitors through our expanding festivals and events programme. We also have the opportunity to boost the fortunes of Staveley by sealing a £25m town deal.”
“Our £2.1bn growth programme. 2020 is a big year for Chesterfield Waterside with new homes, a new office block and a new car park set for construction; also, for Peak with David Lloyd due to build their first Adrenaline World. We hope the Government will confirm the funding for a new £90m road to bypass Brimington and fully commit to HS2, which will bring enormous benefits to Chesterfield. These developments will create thousands of new well-paid jobs for local people”.
Name: Dom Stevens, Job Title: Destination Chesterfield Manager, Organisation: Destination Chesterfield
“In 2020 The team at Destination Chesterfield are looking forward to relaunching the Chesterfield Retail Awards as the Chesterfield High Street Awards. The new look awards are the culmination of the feedback from past entrants so we are confident that they will reflect the breadth of businesses and activities, that together bring vitality to our high streets across the borough. We’re very excited by the opportunities the new High Street Awards bring not only to businesses and people that enter them, but also the borough as a whole. We want as many people to be involved as possible in 2020. It’s a great opportunity for the retail sector and everyone involved in it.”