Champions column: Delighted to return to Chesterfield and help promote my home town
I’m Melissa Shaw, the newest member of the Destination Chesterfield team. I was really pleased to join the team at the end of September and I’m already getting stuck into things.
I was born and raised in Chesterfield before flying the nest at 18 to De Montfort University where I did my Interior Design BA, followed by my Cultural Events Management MSc.
Now I’m back in my hometown, supporting local businesses and shouting about how great the town is.
What was the greatest achievement for your business over the past year?
I haven’t been with the company for long, but the 2021 Love Chesterfield Awards were a huge highlight for me.
It was the first big in-person event after the pandemic for us and it was so great to see everyone come together and celebrate the best of Chesterfield.
How would you describe Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, using only three words?
Picturesque, varied, up-and-coming.
What are your favourite places to visit in Chesterfield and why?
There are so many great independent cafes such as Vintage Tea Rooms or No.10, and great little restaurants like the Greek restaurant Odyssey, which offers the best Gyros you can get without going to Greece!
How is your business becoming more sustainable?
We use local companies whenever we can for suppliers and try to make sure local produce is used by our caterers. We have a water filling station in our offices, meaning no single use plastic water bottles, and we often hybrid-work meaning we’re not creating emissions by travelling into office if we don’t need to.
Why do you love working or doing business in Chesterfield or North Derbyshire?
I love seeing the town develop. Recently, so many great development projects have started up and the retail and hospitality sector is growing with local businesses, it’s exciting being amidst all of it.
How are you supporting young people in your business through apprenticeships, traineeships or work experience and how are young people contributing to the success of your business?
Destination Chesterfield is involved in lots of campaigns to help support young people. For example, Made in Chesterfield celebrates STEM related activity in schools, apprenticeships and helps connect businesses with schools.
What support or advice has your business received recently and how has it benefited your business?
The company has received funding from the ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) which has been incredibly beneficial – funding such as this has helped elevate the business, meaning we can help elevate the town.
Which upcoming development do you think will have the greatest impact on the town and why?
I believe The Glass Yard development will have the greatest impact on the town. It’s set to be a fantastic retail and office space and The Batch House addition of the development is something that is extremely appealing and is bound to draw footfall to that side of town.
What is your vision for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire in 2030? What do you think the town needs to achieve this?
My vision for Chesterfield in 2030 is a busy high-street with even more great eateries and independent businesses. With the new housing developments arising on the outskirts of town, we’re set for an influx of commuters and settlers into the town which will elevate the town’s economy.