Celebrating 2019 as a year of progress for Chesterfield
My last blog of this year and of the decade! As the end of 2019 moves ever nearer, I think it’s important that we look back at the progress we’ve made as a town this year, as well as looking ahead to the future we’re creating.
Chesterfield has truly had a transformational year and decade. Developments in the area have made huge progress, with some passing major milestones and others being completed, like the successful opening of both the Premier Inn in the former Co-Op building and the new Saltergate Car Park which together have spearheaded the Northern Gateway development.
The former site of the old Queens Park Sports Centre has also been revitalised with the addition of some much needed 3G pitches which are hugely popular with the many grassroots football teams in the area.
As well as construction, it’s been a big year for retail both nationally and in Chesterfield. Although the high street economy as a whole is under threat from the internet it doesn’t have to be the case. I believe that the high street and online can work together and be equally successful in their own space. ALTERIS, the new owners of Vicar Lane Shopping Centre, have proven this.
They are using Facebook to engage with shoppers and drive the redevelopment of the Vicar Lane area. They have asked shoppers what ‘offer’ they want and are responding accordingly and reaping the rewards via the resulting increased footfall. Pop-up shops, free classes, movie screenings and more at Vicar Lane have helped to bring people into the town centre helping Chesterfield’s high street performance remain above the national average.
We can all play a part in Chesterfield’s future retail success– Vote with your feet by shopping local; it really does make a difference.
The public / private sector partnerships in Chesterfield are as strong as ever. Its effect is felt in every area of the borough from major developments like Markham Vale and Chesterfield Waterside through to spectacular events like the Christmas lights switch on and regular themed markets.
This collaboration is key to Chesterfield, and its people and businesses continuing to thrive. It also gives us an excellent excuse to celebrate our success with the annual Retail Awards and Food & Drink Awards. More importantly for me, these events recognise young talent – and having met the young chefs, Chesterfield College students and apprentices at this year’s Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, I can confirm that the town has a wealth of it.
I feel confident as we go into 2020 and a new decade that Chesterfield’s future is bright and is in safe hands.
Best wishes for the New Year!