Welcome to 2019 – Blog of Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield
I’d like to kick off 2019 by saying Happy New Year to you all!
2018 was a formative year for Chesterfield – This was the year that all the hard work that has been taking place behind the scenes started to take physical shape and create a presence in the town.
Delivery of the much discussed Northern Gateway development is within touching distance. The new Premier Inn hotel on Elder Way will open early this year and the Saltergate multi-storey car park is well underway; all of which is beginning the visual transformation and regeneration of this area of the Town Centre.
2019 is the year that we’ll also see spades in the ground at Chesterfield Waterside; bringing new life into the area adjacent to the train station and the town centre, as well as adding to the housing, work and leisure offering of the town.
Chesterfield’s rail offering will come further under the spotlight too. We’ve long appreciated the fantastic connectivity of the town, but it has really been brought to the fore with the interest shown in us a result of the HS2 proposals, and by Spanish train manufacturer Talgo.
How ironic that Chesterfield is the final resting place of the father of the railways, George Stephenson, but the town could also be involved in the start of the next rail revolution. This isn’t a pipe dream this could be a reality. The town may have missed out on Talgo’s train manufacturing facility, but we will be getting its £9 million innovation and training centre at Barrow Hill.
Talgo’s interest in the town wasn’t accidental. This, like the developments that are starting to take shape, is the result of the hard work of many people working behind the scenes marketing the town at home and abroad.
The plans which have been taking shape over many years are starting to come together and arebringing job opportunities with it. By way of example, at the end of last year, I was delighted to hear that I-Grunwerg will be taking over the former Franke Sissons site at Sheepbridge. Opening in May, the company will create 60 local jobs.
It is important, however, that we maintain the pace of progress, and everyone has a part to play in Chesterfield’s ongoing success. Let’s make sure we all take the opportunity to praise and promote the town when ever the opportunity arises rather than talking it down. Praise the development you see and call out the nay-sayers. Chesterfield is still very much on the rise and we must continue to recognise and celebrate that.