Concerns over people sleeping rough outside prominent Chesterfield building

The scene outside the former Victoria Centre in Chesterfield.
The scene outside the former Victoria Centre in Chesterfield.

Concerns have been expressed about people sleeping rough in the doorway of an empty building in Chesterfield town centre.

A member of the public has sent the Derbyshire Times these pictures which she took outside the former Victoria Centre on Knifesmithgate on Tuesday.

The scene outside the former Victoria Centre in Chesterfield.

The scene outside the former Victoria Centre in Chesterfield.

The woman - who did not want to be identified - said: "I, as a taxpayer, am sick of seeing folk who don't want to be helped.

"I'm not saying any more - you wouldn't be able to print it."

The Victoria Centre shut nearly two years ago and mystery still surrounds the future of the prominent property, which used to be occupied by a number of businesses.

It is just a few feet away from from the new Premier Inn hotel, which is due to open in April.

Night shelter project still operating

There were 18 people sleeping rough in Chesterfield in autumn 2018, according to latest Government estimates.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, previously told the Derbyshire Times there was 'no reason' for people to be sleeping rough on the streets when a night shelter is available in the town.

The night shelter project - which will run until March 31 - sees a different church opening its doors each night of the week to offer people security, a hot meal and a warm bed.

There are only a few rules: everyone must be treated with respect, no alcohol, drugs or weapons are allowed, smoking is only permitted in certain areas and once people are booked in, it's not possible to leave and come back.

For more information about the project and to find out which church is open on a particular night, people should visit Pathways at 120 Saltergate or call 01246 498204. Alternatively, the council's homeless prevention team can be contacted on 01246 345825. If anybody requires assistance outside of normal office hours, call 01629 533190.