Chesterfield: A review of the year
In a year in which the UK experienced one of its hottest summers on record, Chesterfield’s investment potential also heated up.
The town was named as one of two locations shortlisted by the Spanish train manufacturer Talgo for investment. While we may have missed out on securing the factory, Talgo announced that Chesterfield will be the home of the company’s £9 million innovation centre.
The interest shown in Chesterfield by Talgo also brought the town to the attention of worldwide investors. And we didn’t have to wait long, at the end of 2018 it was announced that I-Grunwerg, an award-winning supplier of houseware and catering products, is moving its operations to the former Franke Sissons site at Sheepbridge, creating 60 jobs in the town.
Going into 2019, the town will also see the opening of the much-anticipated Premier Inn hotel in the former Co-op. The opening of the 92-bed hotel will put Chesterfield on track for further growth. It was revealed at the town’s annual investment summit organised by Destination Chesterfield earlier in the year, that converting an additional 5% of Chesterfield’s day visitors into overnight stays would transform the town’s visitor economy.
James Berresford, Chair of the Derbyshire Culture, Heritage, Arts and Tourism Board, who spoke at the summit said: “Chesterfield has its foot on the ladder of being world class and is on track to transform its visitor economy.”
2018 was a time of growth for the town and borough and it shows no sign of slowing in 2019. With this in mind, Destination Chesterfield asked the town’s business leaders what their highlights had been in 2018 and what they are looking forward to in 2019.
Name: Simon Paterson
Job Title: Senior Project Manager
Company: Future Foundations
“It’s been a great 2018 for Future Foundations and the people we work with. We delivered the National Citizen Service (NCS) in no less than three regions of the UK. Chesterfield alone saw over 400 graduates which, between them, completed over 24,000 hours of social action. They generated thousands for our local charities, making a positive impact on Chesterfield and its local residents. Lives were changed and lives were saved.
“2019 will see us deliver NCS to over 650 young people across five regions in the UK. It’s a real privilege to help shape the future leaders of tomorrow and I look forward to building strong working relationships with even more local businesses and charities.”
Name: Craig Evans
Job Title: Chief Operating Officer
Company: UK Asbestos Training Association (UKATA)
“2018 has been a formative year for UKATA. We celebrated 10 years of excellence which we recognised by hosting our own Awards, recognising the work of our members in helping to raise awareness of the risks associated with working with asbestos and providing recognised training. We were also delighted when our Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign won Campaign of the Year. We built on the campaign further by partnering with the Department for Work & Pensions, offering free asbestos awareness training to unemployed people.
“Raising asbestos awareness on a local and national level via social media and events across the country will continue to be a focus for us and 2019 will be a very busy year for the association with several large partnerships confirmed with Health & Safety Events, Contamination Expo and Department for Work & Pensions.”
Name: Chloe Maudsley
Job Title: Head of Operations
Company: Derbyshire Institute of Sport
“What a year 2018 was for us! Nineteen athletes from Derbyshire competed at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, two of whom were from Chesterfield; Liam Pitchford and Alicia Barrett. In 2019 we’re looking forward to more athletes from Chesterfield accessing our programme and new businesses in Chesterfield able to offer support to our programme.”
Name: Leah Shortt
Job Title: Operations Manager
Company: Learning Unlimited
“2018 has been a great year for us. We hosted our first ever National Apprenticeship Awards in November which bought together all of our employers, partners, apprentices and staff from right across the UK to celebrate all of the successes we had achieved together over the last year. We were also thrilled that employer engagement was described as ‘exemplary’ by Ofsted. And at a time when apprenticeship reforms have been very challenging, we are pleased to have seen significant growth compared to figures nationally.
“There are lots of exciting developments happening in and around Chesterfield in 2019. In particular, we’re looking forward to the development of Chesterfield Waterside and the HS2 station, which will bring significant growth and investment opportunities to the local and wider communities. This in turn will naturally allow us to increase participation of apprenticeships and work experience placements for the next generation of apprentices and students. Next year also promises to be a positive year for us here at Learning Unlimited as we head into our 10th year and celebrate our very special milestone anniversary.”
Name: Pasquale Pollio
Job Title: Director
Company: Nonnas Chesterfield Ltd
“This year for the first time we were awarded Best International Restaurant in the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards. It was genuinely a touching moment that we could finally share with our team who have supported us the past nine years. Chesterfield is simply blossoming year in year out.
“Going into 2019, we want to keep growing, developing our team and creating menus that inspire, bring Italian culinary culture to the forefront and why not smash a few boundaries?! We are so proud to be part of the community and I can’t wait to see Chesterfield take its place on the culinary map.”
Name Councillor Tricia Gilby
Job Title: Leader of the Council
Organisation: Chesterfield Borough Council
“2018 seemed to be dominated by working hard on the bid for the Talgo train company bid. After we got down to the last two from an original list of 30 not winning the factory site was a big let down but it has really put Chesterfield on the map as a good place to locate a factory. Plus our plans for regenerating the Staveley Works corridor are now much further advanced. Whilst we didn’t get the factory we were successful in gaining the rail research hub at the unique Barrow Hill Roundhouse and Talgo are looking to base their UK HQ here. So, Chesterfield may once again be the home of a railway pioneer. As most Chesterfield primary school students know George Stephenson, the father of the railways, lived at Tapton House and is buried in Holy Trinity Church on Newbold Road.
“Looking to 2019, the 89 bed Premier Inn and the new 530 space, 24/7 safe and secure, multi-storey car park will open at the Northern Gateway. Plus the new all weather 3G multi use sports pitches, regenerating the former Queens Park Sports Centre site, will be ready for play. All of which show Chesterfield is a thriving and healthy place to live, work and play. These projects would not have come to fruition without the Council’s investment and leadership.”
Name: Phil Bramley
Job Title: Editor
Company: Derbyshire Times
“The 2018 highlight for our business was undoubtedly the successful buy-out of our parent company by JPIMedia which means that the Derbyshire Times can continue to loyally serve our local community, as we have done for over 160 years.
“While for Chesterfield, a key success has to be the arrival of the observation wheel in town was a huge success. It was enjoyed by a staggering number of people and brought thousands of visitors into the town centre. It’s also been great to see work starting on the new Saltergate multi-storey car park this year. There’s so much going on in Chesterfield, as we highlighted in our Billion Pound Town supplement earlier in the year, but it really brings it home when you see the skyline changing.
“For the Derbyshire Times, 2019 offers us some exciting opportunities to further develop the way we present and deliver news and stories to our readers on-line, alongside our traditional newspaper. 2019 will also be a huge year for Chesterfield, with so many of the major developments which have been planned for Chesterfield for so long, becoming a reality.”
Name: Neil Johnson
Job Title: Managing Director
Company: Derbyshire Building Control Partnership
“2018 was our first full year in business after establishing it in 2017 and we have been welcomed with open arms into the business community. It’s been a fast-paced year for Derbyshire Building Control Partnership. We’ve marketed ourselves, introduced new processes and brought new people on board, which together has all helped drive the business forward. It was great to have this recognised at the end of the year at the Derbyshire Times Business Awards when we shortlisted for the New business of The Year.
“For Chesterfield, the highlights are seeing the Northern Gateway project coming along so well, with the works to the former Co-Op building on Elder Way and the progress on the new multi storey car park. It’s also good to see the progress being made on skills in Chesterfield, particularly the closer links between schools and the business community.
“We’re in a very privileged position at DBCP to work closely with the council, architects and developers in Chesterfield and across Derbyshire. I feel that 2019 is the year that we will see buildings starting to come out of the ground for a number of key residential and commercial developments. There is a real sense of excitement amongst the DBCP team for both developments in the town and the business going into the New Year.”
Name: Peter Swallow
Job Title: Chair
Organisation: Destination Chesterfield
“Year after year Chesterfield never ceases to surprise me and 2018 has been no different. Highlights for me included both the Retail Awards and Food and Drink Awards, proving that these sectors are not only growing but thriving in Chesterfield. We’ve also made significant progress on key residential and commercial developments in this town in 2018, including the transformation of the former Co-op, Northern Gateway and Chesterfield Waterside, all of which leave us well-positioned to respond to the needs of both workers and residents that further investment in the town will bring.
“I believe that the interest shown in the town by Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has further put us on the map for investment from both the rail sector and overseas companies. As a result more exciting investment opportunities will present themselves in 2019. Chesterfield may be the final resting place of the father of the railways George Stephenson, but Talgo’s and HS2’s investment all point to the town becoming recognised as a pioneer of rail travel. 2019 is a year I am very much looking forward to.”
Name: Anna Melton
Job Title: Director
Company: In the Works PR
“2018 was challenging and exciting in equal measure which has enabled the team and business to develop and grow. A real highlight was working with so many local businesses from a diverse range of sectors. I never cease to be amazed at the wealth and variety of businesses that are in Chesterfield – many of whom lead the way in what they do. I feel honoured that we are involved with so many of them.
“Next year I will personally celebrate living and working in Chesterfield for 20 years. It’s delivered on every level for me since I moved here in 1999 – homes, jobs, great schools for my children and a fantastic destination to establish and grow my business. If 2019 continues in the same vein as every other year (and I see no reason for it not to) I have lived here, then it’s another year I look forward to welcoming.”
Name: James Pogson
Job Title: Director
Company: Northern Tea Merchants
“Like Chesterfield attracting interest from Spanish train manufacturer Talgo, we also successfully took the Northern Tea Merchants brand overseas in 2018. A highlight for me was visiting Peru in August, courtesy of PromPeru (the Peruvian Chamber of Commerce). A definite standout of the trip was being invited to attend the huge exhibition that is Expo Amazonica as a VIP guest and I was even able to shake the President’s hand.
“It is wonderful to see the work now well underway at the Northern Gateway – the work being undertaken here will make such a difference to the look and feel of the town. Seeing the new Saltergate Multi-Storey Car Park shell being built is an exciting development.
“Some developments in town have been a long time coming however we are seeing work now underway and it will be great to see these projects develop further next year. Onwards and upwards for us all in 2019!”
Over 180 organisations have become Chesterfield Champions to support the development of our economy, shape our future and showcase all that is good about the town. Joining the scheme is a direct statement of belief from organisations about their commitment to Chesterfield and its successful future.
For information on how you can become a Chesterfield Champion, please visit https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/champions/