CHESTERFIELD CHAMPION: ‘The town is lucky to have an active business network’

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My name is Angela Tooley and I am 41 years old.

I live in Nottingham, however I’m the head of Enscite, ERDF and innovation centres for the University of Derby.

I am married to Jason, who is owner and director of Tank Farm Services and have two sport-mad sons, Ryan and Max.

Having married into a family of inventors and entrepreneurs, I know first-hand the thrills and challenges of running a business. I am passionate about ensuring the university provides local businesses with the best environment and support possible to enable them to grow and create jobs for the local economy.

The university opened a new campus in the heart of Chesterfield in October 

Initially, we are providing undergraduate courses in health and social care, business and management and engineering and IT. As well as a student campus, we have opened an Innovation Centre providing six small units for local entrepreneurs and a programme of ERDF funded business support to businesses operating in the D2N2 area.

In 2017 we will open our ERDF funded ‘Fab Lab’ offering rapid design, prototype and testing capability to local businesses, as well as launching a wider offering of short courses and professional development programmes available to local businesses.

1. What development do you think will make the biggest difference to the town?

The new Chesterfield Waterside scheme is a really exciting opportunity for all those who live and work in the town centre.

Also, whichever side of the fence you sit on with HS2, it will bring investment and opportunities to Chesterfield for the next generation.

2. How would you describe Chesterfield to someone who has never visited?

More than just a spire and a road leading to the Peak District. From George Stevenson and Erasmus Darwin to Gordon Banks and John Hurt, this town has been a resting point for some of the country’s most notable names of the last few centuries.

3. What are the positives of running a business here?

Without a doubt, the people. From the day we started work on the building we have been made welcome by everyone we have met in the town and business community.

4. Who or what do you turn to in Chesterfield for business advice?

Chesterfield is lucky to have a very active business network through Destination Chesterfield, Made in Chesterfield and the Chesterfield Innovation Centres at Dunston and Tapton, to name but a few. We have been welcomed into this network and have v realised how our support complements the existing support already out there.

5. Who do you admire in the community?

The great unsung heroes of business – entrepreneurial role models who bravely trod their own path and contributed directly to the economic growth of the town.

6. What advice would you give to someone establishing a business here?

Get out, network and find out what support is out there.