“We go into 2021 with hope” – Peter Swallow – January 2021
Destination Chesterfield chair, Peter Swallow has outlined his hopes and aspirations for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire as we enter the new year…
Following what has been a very difficult year for everyone, we go into 2021 with hope, in the knowledge that a vaccine will soon hopefully eradicate Coronavirus, there is an undercurrent of excitement and energy going into the New Year.
With light at the end of the tunnel, we can now not only look forwards but also back at what has been achieved, despite the pandemic.
While we may have felt that 2020 was a year in limbo, now that we have time to reflect, we can see that the town made significant progress in the face of adversity enabling us to go into 2021 with a firm foundation for growth.
Pre Covid our strong and proud Shop Local message came to the fore during lockdown. As our high street closed, we opened our laptops and phones and shopped locally virtually with help from Destination Chesterfield and the local media. They sprang into action and brought attention to the myriad of independent retailers and market traders to ensure we gave them our business.
The very real experience of the high street closing I believe, has made us value it even more. We have missed the opportunity of being able to ‘pop’ into town and meet up with friends or simply bump into them while out on errands.
It is the strong community spirit that exists in Chesterfield that makes us resilient as a town and able to face the catastrophic effects of a pandemic head on. I am proud that we didn’t bunker down and ride out the storm- we chose to fight it head on instead. This resilience has enabled us to identify opportunities which have emerged during the pandemic; one of these being the growth in demand for quality office space, a fact which is acknowledged by virtually all commercial property advisors and consultants.
Experts agree that working from home is not a long-term option for a number of reasons. I know that I am fed up with it! Instead, they predict that we will combine home and office working.
Rather than having a single large office, large companies will want to spread risk and look to regional markets like Chesterfield in which to establish satellite offices.
Chesterfield could not be better positioned to capitalise on this opportunity in 2021. Three new office developments will open – the Enterprise Centre at Northern Gateway, No.1 Waterside Place at Chesterfield Waterside and Glass Yard on Sheffield Road.
The offices will of course benefit the town centre as office workers will create critical footfall in local shops, stores and market stalls.
It is this forward thinking, resilience and community spirit that will ensure Chesterfield thrives in the face of a global recession, just as it did 10 years ago when the council established Destination Chesterfield. If history repeats itself then we have much to look forward to in 2021 and beyond.