Chesterfield £5m rail training facility will mix ‘heritage and innovation’

A new rail training facility ‘will be a driving force behind the regeneration of a former industrial town, bringing skills and employment opportunities to its population’.

By Christina Massey
Friday, 24th June 2022, 11:40 am

The Derbyshire Rail Industry Innovation Vehicle (DRIIVe) centre, will be located on land at the back of Barrow Hill Roundhouse and is one of the key aspects of the £25million Staveley Town Deal, from which is has been allocated £3.735m funding.

Chesterfield Borough Council has pledged £790k in grant funding towards the overall estimated £5.1million cost of the project, as well as providing the land.

In a meeting of Cabinet on Tuesday, June 21, skills delivery officer Emily Williams told councillors: “It’s hoped that through the provision of rail innovation training and additional commercial space that the project will position Barrow Hill and Staveley as a prominent location for rail technology supporting social and economic regeneration of Barrow Hill, bringing heritage and innovation together.”

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The Derbyshire Rail Industry Innovation Vehicle (DRIIVe) centre, will be located on land at the back of Barrow Hill Roundhouse and is one of the key aspects of the £25million Staveley Town Deal, from which is has been allocated £3.735m funding.

She said the facility was expected to bring in more than £9million of benefits to the local economy, with the creation of 22 jobs and an education outreach programme, designed to teach young people in the area about the employment and training opportunities open to them.

The 1,423 sqm facility will include training, workshop, research and development space, as well as commercial space for rail businesses.

By it’s fifth year, the centre is expected to support around 270 trainees and is the joint effort of Chesterfield Borough Council by Chesterfield Borough Council, Barrow Hill Engine Shed, NewRail, University of Derby and Chesterfield College.

Even during its construction phase it was expected to bring employment and skills opportunities, as well as growth to the local supply chain.

The Derbyshire Rail Industry Innovation Vehicle (DRIIVe) centre, will be located on land at the back of Barrow Hill Roundhouse and is one of the key aspects of the £25million Staveley Town Deal, from which is has been allocated £3.735m funding.

Councilllor Jill Mannion-Brunt described the facility as ‘absolutely fabulous’.

“ I do really welcome the fact that there will be not only attracting people into Chesterfield with high level skills and experience, but also we’ll be able to grow our own,” she commented.

Vice chair Councillor Amanda Serjeant added: “It shows our commitment to high value, high skilled jobs particularly for young people.

“In the Staveley area, the chance to come and train at the site is going to be absolutely crucial.”

Further design work will now take place before a planning application is submitted, and subject to approval the facility should open in early 2025.