Council applaud Chesterfield businesses' resilience during Covid-19 pandemic which has set town set on 'swift recovery'
The resilience Chesterfield business and residents have shown during the ongoing Covid-19 crisis has been applauded during a council conference to improve the town’s economic prosperity.
Figures shared at today’s (March 31) Celebrate Chesterfield event – which aims to promote the town as a contemporary destination to inward investors revealed that SMEs are reporting growth in turnover and staff numbers during the pandemic.
The virtual conference organised by Destination Chesterfield in association with Addooco IT also highlighted that estate agents in the borough are achieving up to 103 per cent on asking price with up to eight buyers per property.
Despite the pandemic, more than £1bn of regeneration projects are currently underway in the town, including the multi-million pound Chesterfield Waterside, Glass Yard, Northern Gateway and PEAK schemes.
Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council Dr Huw Bowen praised the sector’s can-do attitude during the pandemic.
He said: “There is a fantastic landscape of development happening in the town in the middle of the pandemic.
"I think it says everything about Chesterfield in terms of the ambition of the place and the fact we are not going to just bunker down but actually get on and invest in quality developments right across the town and borough.”
It comes as work has also begun on a McDonald’s restaurant and drive-thru on the site of a long-derelict former multi-storey car park at West Bars – creating 65 jobs when the fast-food branch opens later this year.
Staveley received £25.2 million from the Government’s Town Deal programme earlier this month – a move which has been billed as one of the largest economic programmes in the neighbourhood in recent history.
Speaking at the conference Ivan Fomin, Chair of Staveley Town Deal Board commented: “We want Staveley to become a place to start, to stay and grow to deliver inclusive growth opportunities for the people of Staveley over the next five years.”
A total of 1,100 businesses in Chesterfield temporarily closed during the latest lockdown.
But the council’s chief executive admitted he is ‘optimistic’ many companies will reopen re-open and access the support and grants the local authority has set up to enable businesses to re-start.
Nearly £60million in business rates relief and grants has been distributed by Chesterfield Borough Council to businesses over the course of the pandemic.
“Our first priority is to support existing businesses to survive and restart,” added Dr Bowen.
Marketing the town, he said, was critical to the council’s Economic Recovery Plan post pandemic and praised the work of Destination Chesterfield in its work to attract inward investment.
He said: “We want people to relocate and start up in business here, so we are working closely with other Derbyshire councils and the East Midlands Chamber to make available start-up funding to encourage entrepreneurs to the town and borough.”
Chair of Destination Chesterfield Peter Swallow commented: “Chesterfield has proved time and time again that it is a resilient and strong town which consistently performs well in the face of adversity."
If you were unable to attend the live Celebrate Chesterfield 2021 event, presentations are available to watch via the online platform until April 14.
For free access to the platform contact [email protected]