Business owners ‘left out’ of £4.86m plans to transform Staveley town centre launch organisation to share their views

Business owners in Staveley say they feel ‘left out’ of £4.86m plans to transform their town centre – and have now launched an organisation to make sure their views are heard.

Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 2:06 pm
Staveley businesses/residents angered over town regeneration plans. Seen Briany and Billy Cooney, of the Old Rectory Guest House; Keith Bannister owner Harleys bar; Paula Smith of Hair with Attitude; Simon Bannister of Tillys tavern; Linda Bannister of Harveys bar and Emma Watson manager Harveys bar.
Staveley businesses/residents angered over town regeneration plans. Seen Briany and Billy Cooney, of the Old Rectory Guest House; Keith Bannister owner Harleys bar; Paula Smith of Hair with Attitude; Simon Bannister of Tillys tavern; Linda Bannister of Harveys bar and Emma Watson manager Harveys bar.

Keith Bannister, of Harleys Inn, and Bill Cooney, of W.P Cooney Builders, set up the Staveley Improvement Team (SIT) to ensure that those living and working in the area are fully involved in plans for the town centre.

The regeneration plans are part of the Staveley Town Deal Programme, which was awarded £25.5million by the Government and comprises 11 projects that have now been approved to improve the quality of life for residents through new employment opportunities and access to better facilities.

But both Keith and Bill say they feel ‘left out’ of the plans and are urging Chesterfield Borough Council – the authority responsible for delivering the Staveley 21 project in the town centre – to speak with business owners and residents to find a true picture on how the area can be improved.

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Keith said: "The people who are on the Staveley Town Deal Board and those who are in control of the funding haven’t got a business in Staveley.

"If they get it wrong then all the businesses are going to have to suffer. Local people feel left out. We haven't been involved in these projects and we want to be.”

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Keith claims the Town Deal Board meetings are not open to the public and says there is no town centre office or Facebook page where people can find out what’s happening and give their views.

He added: “It's our town and we want a say in the plans for the town centre.”

The regeneration plans are based around the masterplan developed last year and includes Wi-Fi connectivity and environmental improvements to ensure Staveley town centre is attractive, with good retail and leisure facilities.

Chesterfield Borough Council (CBC) said the project will receive almost one-fifth of the available funding (£4.86 million) and its delivery is fundamental to the Town Deal Board’s vision ‘for Staveley to be a place for people to start, to stay and to grow’.

A CBC spokesperson said: “There have already been several opportunities for members of the Staveley community to comment upon the council’s plans for Staveley town centre. This has included one-to-one conversations with local retailers, but of course we can always do more and are committed to doing so.

“It is for this reason that the Town Deal team is based at Staveley Healthy Living Centre to enable residents and businesses to learn more about and comment upon all eleven projects as the Board’s focus changes from planning to delivery.

“The Town Deal Board has also established a dedicated Communications, Engagement and Consultation Group with a programme of activities already planned to further promote the value and benefits of the Town Deal.

“We would encourage those that wish to express their opinions on the proposed improvements to Staveley town centre to do so through these established channels. At the end of the day, we need to work together to deliver an enhanced town centre offer where local retailers and businesses can thrive.”

Keith and Bill are hosting the first public meeting of SIT at Harleys Bar, Market Street, at 5.30pm on April 13.

Email [email protected] or [email protected] for more information.

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