I relocated to Chesterfield with my family in 2011 when I became Destination Chesterfield Manager and we love living and working in Chesterfield, it is a great place to bring up a young family.
I was born in Chesterfield and grew up in Matlock before heading to university and then worked promoting historic towns and city’s across the country before the opportunity to return ‘home’ when Destination Chesterfield was launched.
Destination Chesterfield was established in October 2010 to raise the profile of the town as a place to invest, work live and visit and celebrates all that is great about North Derbyshire from the people, the businesses, the buildings and the countryside.
There is a small and passionate operations team promoting Chesterfield, Tara Underhill and I. We deliver many projects supported closely by both the Regeneration team at Chesterfield Borough Council and the 160 businesses who are Chesterfield Champions.
What do you like best about living in Chesterfield and why?
Chesterfield is the perfect place to live, affordable living, good schools and excellent transports links by road and rail. We have the Peak District National Park on our doorstep and an amazing historic town centre with the Crooked Spire and the market square.
What are your favourite ways to spend your free time in Derbyshire?
Spending family time together, that could be a walk around one of Chesterfield’s country parks or nature reserves, taking the boys to Queens Park for a ride on the train and then a Fredericks ice cream or attending one of the many family shows at the Pomegranate theatre.
I am also a keen runner and Derbyshire has excellent testing terrain. You can easily get out into the Peak District countryside, one of the most picturesque places in the world. There is also a great programme of races from the monthly 5k’s in Queens Park to Spire 10 and from the Chesterfield Marathon to smaller races like the Holymoorside 10k.
Where is your favourite place to eat out locally and why?
We introduced the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards to celebrate the best places to eat and drink in the town. There was a perception that there weren’t any good places for food in Chesterfield, which in reality wasn’t the case. The team don’t get involved in the judging of the food and drink awards but we love to go and try out the winners.
I like to try out new places and haven’t been disappointed be that cafes to take the children for a milkshake, real ale pubs with friends or a quality restaurant for that special meal with my wife.
What are the positives about running a business here?
From the day I started at Destination Chesterfield businesses have always been willing to support each other and to passionately promote the town. Chesterfield Borough Council continues to proactively work with existing businesses and those looking to locate into the town. The people and the community they create in Chesterfield are what makes it a special place to run your business.
How do you see the future for Chesterfield and its small businesses?
I see a positive future for the town if we all keep working together to develop and promote the town. There are great opportunities to be gained from the major regeneration projects but also from our existing assets. Through continued collaboration between the public and the private sector we will make sure that these developments support businesses growth, the town flourishes and creates economic opportunity for the residents of Chesterfield.
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you do to improve Chesterfield?
I would like to see continued growth of the cultural activity in the town off the back of the investments at the theatres, concerts at Proact Stadium, the Chesterfield Marathon and the return of the Chesterfield Carnival.
Our location on the edge of the Peak District and the additional visitors the Peak Resort development will create, gives the town an opportunity to further develop its cultural event programme which will attract further footfall, lead to longer dwell times and attract further spend in to the local economy. Future developments in the town should create more event spaces and include the infrastructure for hosting large cultural events.
What three words best sum up Chesterfield?
Community, Passion, Potential
Destination Chesterfield Board and team photography by Amanda McConnell Photography