Destination Chesterfield chair, Peter Swallow: “This is a golden opportunity to transform the area for future generations”
Destination Chesterfield chair, Peter Swallow shares his optimism for the future of the town, following the government’s recent announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown and a big funding boost for Staveley.
With a clear route out of Covid lockdown now in progress, schools welcoming back children to classrooms and Spring in the air, we have much to be feeling positive about right now, not least a £25.2million funding boost, announced in the recent Budget, which will pave the way for significant regeneration in Staveley.
This is a golden opportunity to transform the area for future generations. Collectively we are working hard to ensure our young people are aware of both the career opportunities and are equipped with the skills they need to achieve their ambitions – and never more so than during Covid.
To ensure young people in schools remain connected to businesses during these trying times I am delighted to see the launch of three virtual workplace tours. Produced as part of the Made in Chesterfield campaign, the films feature three local businesses operating in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector – MSE Hiller, United Cast Bar (UCB) and Woodhead Construction.
At the heart of these films is the understanding of the challenges students and young people in our town are facing as a result of the pandemic. It illustrates why initiatives such as this and the MyFuture careers platform are an integral component to our continued collective future success.
Despite the constraints as a result of the pandemic over the last year, Chesterfield’s regeneration projects have forged ahead. Chesterfield Waterside, the new Enterprise Centre and The Glass Yard all continue to accelerate, increasing local job opportunities as well as opportunities for the town to benefit from the project growth in demand for regional satellite offices by large corporations.
We have all learned a lot, adopted new, sometimes better, ways of doing things and, above all shown we are a resilient and forward-thinking town. Our own Chesterfield Royal Hospital gained national recognition recently with the incredible Covid research work over the last year. It shows that we are a town that is constantly evolving and, more importantly, leading the way.
Who knows, in the words of Charles Dickens we may look back on this period in our history and declare ‘it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’
With normality on the horizon and so much positivity around us right now, it feels more appropriate than ever to be celebrating everything we have achieved together this past year.
This is why I for one am looking forward to Destination Chesterfield’s annual Celebrate Chesterfield business event returning virtually on the 31 March 2021. It is an opportunity for companies large and small to come together and catch up on the latest progress in the local economy.
It is indeed an exciting time for Chesterfield, and we have demonstrated that through businesses and communities working together, we are stronger than ever.