Champions Column: My vision is for the town to build on its distinct identity

I am Matthew Jones, the owner of Matthew Jones Photography. We are a commercial photography business located in Chesterfield and working across the UK.

By Champions Column
Friday, 22nd July 2022, 5:00 pm
Updated Monday, 25th July 2022, 9:00 am

We are a small team, comprising Cindy, who looks after the finances and Sarah, my assistant, second shooter and also an award-winning fine art photographer.

What was the greatest achievement for your business over the past year?Despite, or maybe because of, Covid, we’ve increased our reach and picked up clients from much further afield. This has led to some really interesting and challenging projects.

The construction and industrial sectors seem to be booming at the moment.

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This week's Champions columnist Matthew Jones is the owner of Matthew Jones Photography.

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

Friendly, optimistic, characterful.

What are your favourite places to visit in Chesterfield and why?I love to visit Chesterfield town centre. There are many great places to eat and drink in the evening and, in the daytime, there are lots of events and markets through the year.

One place I haven’t been to yet is Chesterfield Escape Rooms – that’s on my to-do list.

Why do you love working or doing business in Chesterfield or North Derbyshire?There is a great feel and atmosphere here. I think this is because the area has a distinct identity based on its location, geography and industrial heritage. It’s also quite beautiful in places.

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?I don’t have any opportunities right now for apprenticeships. However, as my business grows, this is something I will look at.

Good quality apprenticeships that that lead onto careers are vitally important.

How are you, your business or your team supporting local people?We are a small team and our impact is minimal; however I always take the opportunity to promote the area and hopefully being an optimistic, friendly and supportive fellow I can add to and be a part of this great place.

What support or advice has your business received recently and how has it benefited your business?You are only as good as the team around you and, to some extent, it’s a similar story with the businesses, organisations and community around you. I’ve met some great role models through my job and hopefully I’ve picked up a few things along the way.

Which upcoming development do you think will have the greatest impact on the town and why?The Staveley Regeneration program is important for a number of reasons.

The development of Markham Vale will have a significant impact on the local economy by bringing in investment, providing jobs and work for local suppliers.

What is your vision for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire in 2030? What do you think the town needs to achieve this?I think the area needs to build on its distinct identity and take control of its own narrative.

Heritage, outstanding natural beauty, modernity, friendliness, community, inclusiveness, liveliness and vibrance, entertainment choices and a strong economy that provides well paid, rewarding jobs and opportunities for young people.

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