I’m really passionate about Chesterfield and its future and was incredibly pleased to land my role with Destination Chesterfield back in September 2012. We’re working to raise the town’s profile to encourage inward investment and help existing organisations to grow and thrive, and it’s an absolute pleasure to promote Chesterfield because there really are so many positive stories to tell.
Organising events such as the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, the Chesterfield Retail Awards and Celebrate Chesterfield is something I particularly enjoy. It’s a fantastic feeling being able to reflect on everything that has been achieved to date and to thank local people for all that they contribute to the town. I also love working with the 160 organisations that support Destination Chesterfield – our Champions – and I’m so pleased that there are so many people who share in our vision for the town and its continued growth and success.
What do you like best about living in Chesterfield and why?
I love how many friendly faces there are in Chesterfield; many of which I’ve met through Chesterfield Champions. There’s so much good customer service here and that makes it a real pleasure to shop and eat out in the town.
What are your favourite ways to spend your free time in Derbyshire?
It’s great to live next to Holmebrook Valley Park and Linacre – they’re both really relaxing spots where I like to run or walk. Inspired by Dom to take up running in 2013, I now enjoy taking part in local races and my husband and I were very proud to compete our first half marathon in Chesterfield last year.
Chatsworth is an amazing attraction to have on our doorstep and last year I had a very memorable birthday at their summer garden party and firework display.
I also enjoy going to the Winding Wheel and the Pomegranate Theatre as well as eating out with friends and family.
Where are your favourite places to eat out locally and why?
We’re very lucky because there are so many great places to eat in Chesterfield!
For a while now my favourite restaurants have been Cocina at Casa Hotel and Calabria on Glumangate, but I’ve recently added The Galleon Steakhouse and The Manor at Brampton to my list after visiting for the first time following their wins in the 2014 Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards.
The Market Pub is also great for fresh, local produce and my husband and I particularly enjoy their voucher offer on a Wednesday!
For coffee or lunch I’m a big fan of Stephenson’s – a hidden gem in the town centre – crowned the town’s best tea and coffee house for two years running. I also love Café Aroma, St Thomas’ Coffee Bar and Meringue Bakery on Chatsworth Road.
There are some exciting new entrants in this year’s Food and Drink Awards – I’m looking forward to trying them all and wish I could be on the judging panel.
What are the positives about running a business here?
There’s a lot of support in Chesterfield to help businesses thrive and grow – from training opportunities, access to funding, mentoring and more. There are also a lot of people who truly care about the town and will really go out of their way to share their ideas to help other businesses succeed.
Through Destination Chesterfield and Chesterfield Champions, Dom and I work closely with partners to keep businesses up to date on current opportunities as well as providing a range of free workshops throughout the year.
How do you see the future for Chesterfield and its small businesses?
Chesterfield continues to grow and develop every year and so there continues to be lots of opportunity. To take full advantage though, businesses definitely need to stay competitive and dare to try new things – like Ibbotson’s which recently expanded its market trade by setting up online. I also think it’s important for local firms to keep working together as much as possible. There are definitely more and more examples of joint partnerships between Chesterfield Champions coming through and that’s really great to see.
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you do to improve Chesterfield?
If I had a magic wand, I’d complete all of the town’s exciting development schemes overnight to grow and improve Chesterfield’s leisure offering.
Although I know it’s unlikely, it would be great to see an ice rink in Chesterfield as I really enjoy skating. Since working with Destination Chesterfield, I’ve been really keen to support local businesses as much as possible and do always feel disloyal spending my money at Ice Sheffield! It would be great if families could enjoy a temporary rink next to Chesterfield Market each December.
What three words best sum up Chesterfield?
Supportive, resilient, growing.
Destination Chesterfield Board and team photography by Amanda McConnell Photography