This centre could be built on part of Chesterfield's Donut roundabout

How the enterprise centre could look. Picture supplied by Chesterfield Borough Council.
How the enterprise centre could look. Picture supplied by Chesterfield Borough Council.

A planning application has been submitted seeking permission to build a three-floor enterprise centre for small businesses as part of Chesterfield's Northern Gateway masterplan.

Chesterfield Borough Council wants to build the centre on part of the Donut car park to meet demand for office spaces to house start-up and growing small businesses.

How the enterprise centre could look. Picture supplied by Chesterfield Borough Council.

How the enterprise centre could look. Picture supplied by Chesterfield Borough Council.

If approved, work would start next March and take a year to complete, and the building would include 32 air conditioned offices of different sizes.

The enterprise centre plan would mean the loss of 60 of the 255 spaces on the Donut car park. However, the council insists these spaces would be replaced by the extra capacity on the neighbouring Saltergate multi-storey car park, which is being built alongside it also as part of the Northern Gateway scheme.

The Donut car park would remain open during the construction of the enterprise centre.

Councillor Terry Gilby, the council's cabinet member for economic growth, said: "These plans are a vital piece of the jigsaw in the Northern Gateway scheme and we know from the enquiries we get from start-up businesses how much this type of office space is needed in a town centre location.

"Like our existing innovation centres at Dunston and Tapton, this centre would be designed as a place that start-up or new businesses can let on ‘easy in-easy out’ terms with a view to them growing as businesses, expanding and moving in to larger premises in the borough.

"This means we can also support the wider local economy through this development as all those businesses create jobs for local residents.

"Having a centre like this in the town centre also means that the employees who work there will support other local businesses and provide extra footfall in the town centre area," he added.

The proposed new building has been designed by Chesterfield-based Whittam Cox Architects and is being supported by funding from the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund.

Andrew Dabbs, board director at Whittam Cox Architects, said: "As a local practice we are delighted to support Chesterfield Borough Council with the development of a new enterprise centre.

"This is a key milestone in the regeneration of the Northern Gateway that will provide a new and unique commercial offer which we believe will be a catalyst for further investment into this area.

"We are confident that our design proposals will deliver a high quality contemporary project that will act as a benchmark for the future regeneration of the town."

A decision on the plans is expected to be taken by the council's planning committee in early 2019.