Ambitious ideas for Market Square and New Square include a host of outdoor events such as live music, cinema screenings and funfairs, as Chesterfield Borough Council seeks to broaden the appeal of the historic town.
A consultation on the draft Revitalising the Heart of Chesterfield (RHOC) masterplan will open to the public on Tuesday, May 24, and run for 6 weeks.
It features plans to scrap the current market layout, in favour of a reduced number of permanent stalls centred around a paved area featuring inlaid artwork, which can host temporary stalls or events as needed.
The authority is looking at ways of better utilising Rykneld Square, with the potential of pedestrianising it.
Main routes including Corporation Street, Packers Row, Burlington Street and Spire Walk would be improved to add to the overall attractiveness and flow of the town, with the addition of planting and street furniture to provide more seating.
The council has budgeted £10.28m to deliver the scheme, this is in addition to the £17million needed for the renovation of the George Stephenson Memorial Hall.
The project is possible thanks, in part, to £20m from Government’s Levelling Up scheme.
Presenting the draft RHOC to the authority’s Cabinet, project delivery manager Steve Wenlock said the reworked marketplace design was the result of engagement with traders and previous public consultation.
He said: “The council has worked closely with traders, the market’s consultative committee and design teams to rework the marketplace design in the light of the consultation findings and has achieved a stall design layout that will be fit for the future, as well as meeting trader needs.”
Mr Wenlock explained the aim of the project was to ‘deliver transformation and regeneration’ of the town, centred around key public spaces such as the memorial hall and Crooked Spire, as well as visitor arrival points.
He continued: “These spaces will be re-imagined enabling a wide range of flexible uses including markets, festivals, events, cultural celebrations and community gatherings, in a programme that will complement the offer of George Stephenson Memorial Hall.”
Government guidelines state the works must be completed by April 2025, and Mr Wenlock said in order to meet this, work on the next design stage needed to start by the end of August this year.