Chesterfield News

Young People Hail Inaugural Made in Chesterfield Week a Success

More than 400 students from North East Derbyshire’s schools have hailed Chesterfield’s very first manufacturing festival, Made in Chesterfield, a success.

The week (10 – 14 November), which was coordinated by Destination Chesterfield, featured a programme of manufacturing dedicated events.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield kicked off the festival by unveiling a new sculpture outside Chesterfield Coach Station, which was a collaboration between, Franke Sissons Ltd’s apprentices and students from Parkside School.

Year 10 Parkside School student Bayley Siddall, who worked on the sculpture’s design said, “It’s given me a real insight into what I would like to do in the future.”

The week-long festival was designed to showcase the town’s successful manufacturing and engineering sector and ignite career interest in the sector from young people as well as bring together the business community.

School events included tours of United Cast Bar Ltd, Franke Sissons Ltd, MSE Hiller, Penny Hydraulics, Corregated Case Company and Kingfield Electronics, as well as making a stainless steel die at NLT, and an open evening at Chesterfield College.

There was also a number of competitions held throughout the week including design a tent with FieldCandy and Crush Design, and a Twitter vs Drone competition hosted by Magnifica Technologies Ltd and Kingfield Electronics, which was won by Brookfield School.

Commenting at a business round table event during Made in Chesterfield Week, Andy Dukelow, Managing Director of Franke Sissons said: “You have to overcome a generation that thinks manufacturing is noisy and dirty.  There are young people leaving school now that haven’t had family members working in industry and view manufacturing as the past. This isn’t the case. Chesterfield has a thriving manufacturing and engineering sector and many companies within it are working throughout the world.”

He added: As a former apprentice myself, I am very passionate about working closely with local schools. Working with students at Parkside School gave us the opportunity to give 10 young people and insight into the manufacturing industry, and show them the different careers and routes they could pursue. Many children think that manufacturing is just solely about working in a factory, but there’s so much more to it and that’s what Made in Chesterfield was designed to show them.”

A highlight of the week included the arrival of the travelling engineering showcase, MANTRA, (Manufacturing Transporter), sponsored by commercial insurance broker Arthur J. Gallagher, on Thursday 14 November at the Proact Stadium. The 14m HGV trailer, packed with state of the art engineering technology has been developed by The University of Sheffield Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, a world-class centre for advanced machining and materials research for aerospace and other high-value manufacturing sectors.

Toby Perkins MP for Chesterfield, joined students from Tupton Primary School on Mantra. He said: “Manufacturing is vitally important for Britain’s future and motivating the next generation of Engineers to see the potential opportunities is a great idea.  I hope that some of the children I met here today will be the Engineers of the future.”

A number of sixth form students were also invited to take part in the annual manufacturing breakfast seminar held at The Proact Stadium during the Week. Hosted by Shorts Chartered Accountants, NatWest and Banner Jones Solicitors, the event brought together key speakers from the heart of local business, putting emphasis on the future of manufacturing within the region.

Made in Chesterfield Week also coincided with UK Trade & Investment’s (UKTI) sixth Export Week. It emerged during the festival that many of the town’s companies are supplying their products globally and also contributing to Chesterfield reputation for manufacturing and engineering specialisms.

11% of the country’s gross comes from manufacturing which contributes £6.7 trillion to the global economy and locally this represents around 20% for Sheffield City Region.

Simon Grandidge, International Marketing Manager for UK Trade & Investment East Midlands said: “The week long Made in Chesterfield festival provided a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the products and services that come from the area and we were delighted to support Destination Chesterfield with our own export themed event, offering advice to local businesses on how to boost their profits by winning business overseas.

“The event formed part of the biggest Export Week we have held in the region yet, with over 400 companies attending across the week, but we still think that more firms should be taking advantage of the support that is available to them through UKTI and other business support organisations.

“Our research tells us that only 14%, some 8,000, of East Midlands companies export – so there is a lot more we could achieve by boosting this figure by just a few percent.

“We will continue to work with our regional partners, including Destination Chesterfield, to encourage businesses to look at overseas markets and to help drive the economy forwards.”

Although the coal mining industry in north east Derbyshire has ended, Chesterfield’s reputation as the centre of centrifuging in the UK continues with MSE Hiller, based at Markham Vale. The company supplies and rents centrifuges and environmental engineering products to the water, food and other industries throughout the UK. Ivan Fomin, Managing Director of MSE Hiller said: “No one in Britain is doing what we are doing. Our products and services are very much in demand.”

Earlier this year United Cast Bar (UK) brought Chesterfield to the attention of the global iron industry after it successfully produced a record-breaking 665mm diameter bar of iron, casting 220 tonnes of material using the continuous casting method.

James Brand Managing director of United Cast Bar said: “While there are fewer jobs in the sector today, he believes there is a wealth of undiscovered opportunities for young people and I urge schools to encourage young people to consider a career within it.

“If we are to develop our young people and retain their talent in the UK, schools must start bringing the manufacturing and engineering sector to their attention. Made in Chesterfield has made a fantastic start in doing this and I very much hope it continues.”

Dominic Stevens, Destination Chesterfield Manager added: “Chesterfield has a rich heritage in the manufacturing and engineering sector and it’s important to celebrate that. We’re really passionate about inspiring young people to pursue a career in manufacturing or engineering but to be able to do that it’s vital to show them that there are hundreds of careers paths they could pursue in the sector.

“We’re thrilled that the first Made in Chesterfield festival went down a storm. Thank you to all of the local businesses that got behind the week by hosting their own events and attending others. We can’t wait to bring it back again next year to more young people.”


If you’re interested in getting involved in next year’s Made in Chesterfield Week, please contact

Source:Destination Chesterfield


Made in Chesterfield United Cast Bar

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