Champions column: ​Attitude of people here can help make this a dynamic and prosperous area

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My name is Andrew Byrne and I am the property development director for Devonshire Property Group.

​Devonshire Property Group is part of the wider Devonshire Group, which brings together the charities, businesses and estates in the care of the Devonshire family, and we have a number of residential and commercial developments across Derbyshire, but with a real focus in Chesterfield.

What was the greatest achievement for your business or organisation over the past year?

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We have had two big projects in Chesterfield over the last 12 months; the development of Hartington Business Park at Staveley, which is now fully let, and starting on site on our large residential project, “The Riddings” at Mastin Moor, which will be the home of the Constructions Skills Hub – one of the Staveley Town Deal projects and to be operated by Chesterfield College.

Our latest Champions columnist is Andrew Byrne from Devonshire Property Group (Photo credit: Matthew Jones Photography)Our latest Champions columnist is Andrew Byrne from Devonshire Property Group (Photo credit: Matthew Jones Photography)
Our latest Champions columnist is Andrew Byrne from Devonshire Property Group (Photo credit: Matthew Jones Photography)

How would you describe Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, using only three words?

I’d have to use a property term….location, location, location

What are your favourite places to visit in Chesterfield and why?

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I enjoy the Canal, the whole link to the industrial past, but now re-purposed for leisure and nature and to contrast the Glass Yard; as a developer, this represents the more modern face of Chesterfield.

“There is a real “can do…will do” attitude in the area, from the council and the business community. The public/private partnership working really sets the place apart from other areas“, ​says Andrew Byrne, property development director for Devonshire Property Group.“There is a real “can do…will do” attitude in the area, from the council and the business community. The public/private partnership working really sets the place apart from other areas“, ​says Andrew Byrne, property development director for Devonshire Property Group.
“There is a real “can do…will do” attitude in the area, from the council and the business community. The public/private partnership working really sets the place apart from other areas“, ​says Andrew Byrne, property development director for Devonshire Property Group.

How is your business or organisation becoming more sustainable?

I am a great believer that the property and construction business has the ability to make some of the biggest differences in our respective journeys to Net Zero.

One of the areas we focused on at Mastin Moor, was creation of a bio-diverse environment in the open

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spaces, with extensive tree planting, use of hedgerows, mixed grasslands and wet areas.

Why do you love working or doing business in Chesterfield or North Derbyshire?

It’s the people for me. There is a real “can do…will do” attitude in the area, from the council, both its members and officers, and also the business community. The public/private partnership working really sets the place apart from other areas.

How are you supporting young people in your business?

We have a wide range of apprenticeships, training and personal development programmes across the group and actively encourage opportunities for work experience. In addition I am a big supporter of the Property and Construction Forum, and the work they do to support schools outreach programmes.

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How are you, your business or your team supporting local people?

The Construction Skills Hub at Mastin Moor is a great example of supporting local people.

It will provide a central point for training in key trades such as bricklaying, groundworks, joinery, electrical installations.

What support or advice has your business received recently and how has it benefited your business?

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Continued support from Chesterfield Borough Council and Derbyshire County Council is essential in seeing the delivery of our Staveley Works project; a major brownfield regeneration scheme in the heart of Staveley, which will breathe new life into this area.

Which upcoming development do you think will have the greatest impact on the town and why?

If the Staveley Corridor is a successful part of the East Midlands Investment Zone this will have potentially a game changing impact on the Town. The ability to bring forward over one million sq ft of employment space, with the jobs that will enable, will make a huge difference to Chesterfield, and in particular Staveley.

What is your vision for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire in 2030? What do you think the town needs to achieve this?

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A prosperous, attractive, dynamic area, building on its past, but very much forward looking.

To achieve this the town needs to continue to work hard, but also shout loud about its achievements to date and ambition for the future.