About Chesterfield

Work progresses on Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre

Work on high-quality office accommodation which will support new and growing businesses in the town is on track to be complete by the summer – despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre is now weatherproof – meaning another key milestone has been reached in the project programme.

Councillor Dean Collins, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic development, said: “It is fantastic to see this building progressing with such pace. Our contractor – Robert Woodhead has worked incredibly hard and overcome many challenges to make sure they can deliver this project without delay in a Covid-secure environment.

“I’m confident that this enterprise centre will provide the space and support for businesses to express their entrepreneurial spirit and start or grow local businesses in the borough. This will help ensure that we a creating a thriving borough with lots of opportunities for young people to develop excellent careers in our town.”

In January glazing was added to the building, which is of a high standard for maximum thermal efficiency. The first fix for mechanical and electrical engineering has begun and work is set to begin on the brickwork and cladding very soon.

Dan Cove, Project Manager from Robert Woodhead Limited said “Works are progressing really well despite a few challenging days with the snow and ice. The team on site are working to enhanced covid secure measures too so that has added to the operational complexities of the scheme. It’s taking shape and you can see what a great addition this will be for Chesterfield.”

Work dividing the interior and installing a lift has begun.

Andy Dabbs, Board Director at Whittam Cox Architects, said: “As a local practice we are delighted to see progress still being made on site despite the pandemic.

“The Enterprise Centre is such an important part of the Northern Gateway regeneration in Chesterfield, providing a new and unique commercial offer which is designed to be a catalyst for further investment and development. As well as providing high quality facilities for businesses wanting to locate in the town centre, the architecture will provide a new contemporary landmark which will enrich the urban fabric of the town.”

Contractors Robert Woodhead have also achieved an ‘excellent’ mark in the initial Considerate Constructor Scheme assessment, which aims to raise standards in the construction industry. The building also remains on target to achieve an ‘excellent’ rating for its environmental sustainability.

Find out more about office facilities at the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre here.

Whittam Cox Architects and Robert Woodhead Ltd. support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Conference hears how digital upskilling and a human-first approach is key to developing resilient post pandemic future workforce

With demand for digital skills increasing by 36% in the last 12 months, digital upskilling in schools, colleges and businesses will be key to Chesterfield thriving post pandemic. That was the message from leaders at this year’s Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference.

At the virtual, live-streamed conference, it was revealed that the pandemic has brought digital skills to the forefront of work and education and opened up a number of exciting new employment opportunities in the low carbon economy.

Leaders speaking at the fifth annual conference stressed that collaboration between education providers and businesses is key to young people taking advantage of these opportunities post 16 and thriving in the workforce post pandemic.

Speaking at the conference Rachel Quinn, Head of People and Skills at D2N2 LEP said: “Covid has given us the impetus to push forward to use and develop technology to connect people and work better. However, we have to make sure that everyone can participate and make sure the connectivity exists and that everyone has the digital access and skills they need to succeed and thrive. Getting that connectivity right, for the economy and through into our education system is absolutely essential.”

Chesterfield College reported growth in the demand for digital skills in the area and has invested in a digital skills centre. James Lund, Interim Director of Sales at The Chesterfield College Group said: “Apprentice recruitment is starting to return to pre-Covid levels, and we anticipate digital skills being a growth area over the next two to three years. Similarly, we have also seen a growth in demand for apprenticeships in health and social care and construction.”

To ensure young people maximise the opportunities, headline speaker, author and former headteacher, Richard Gerver urged the conference to “look to our inner child in order to succeed and thrive in a post pandemic workforce.”

He said: “By changing our mindset and encouraging people to meet change and uncertainty with curiosity, awe, wonder and questioning rather than fear, young people will see the opportunities rather than obstacles.”

He warned of the long-term impact of change and uncertainty on the self-esteem of young people and urged people to remember the importance of softer skills alongside technical skills.

Mr Gerver added: “Covid has been the most horrific experience in most people’s lived experience but it won’t be the first or last time we have to cope with profound levels of change in our personal lives. All too often our reflex when dealing with a problem is to go direct to the technical or strategic solution, but we need to understand the human first and
that has never been more true than it is now, particularly when thinking about our future workforce.

“Dialogue between educators and businesses is more important than ever to support young people with career development. Real partnership is the key to success.”

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Deputy Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council and Vice Chair of Destination Chesterfield reassured the conference that the council is committed to partnership working in order to ensure the future workforce have the post pandemic skills required by local employers.
She explained: “We’re not standing still in Chesterfield. We and our partners recognise that with change comes innovation and with challenge comes resilience. Building resilience and raising the aspirations of future generations is a priority for Chesterfield.

“Our aim is to continue to strengthen links between education providers and local businesses to ensure that our school and college leavers have the skills to access career opportunities available in the borough.”

The annual, free Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Employability and Skills Conference is organised by Chesterfield Borough Council, D2N2 North Derbyshire Careers Hub, and Destination Chesterfield, and is open to businesses, schools and education providers from across North Derbyshire.

Chesterfield businesses that wish to work with the Careers Hub, provide work experience or workplace visit opportunities, recruit apprentices or upskill existing employees, are encouraged to get in touch with Emily Williams, Skills Delivery Officer at Chesterfield Borough Council by emailing Emily.Williams@Chesterfield.gov.uk or calling 01246 959717.


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Chesterfield Borough Council looks to secure the future of The Pavements Shopping Centre

At an Extraordinary meeting of Chesterfield Borough Council on Wednesday 10 February 2021, councillors voted in favour of acquiring the leasehold of The Pavements Shopping Centre in Chesterfield.

The decision is subject to further due diligence and agreement of terms.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “The Pavements Shopping Centre plays a pivotal role in welcoming shoppers and visitors to Chesterfield town centre.

“Assuming we are successful in acquiring the leasehold, the council will be able to control the future direction of the shopping centre; shape the Southern Gateway to Chesterfield town centre; and build on the council’s many other ambitious plans for the town centre.”

Chesterfield Borough Council currently owns the land (the freehold) on which the shopping centre is built but the leasehold is held by a successor company to the CIN Pension Fund which originally built The Pavements back in the early 1980’s. The council then manages and operates the shopping centre through an under-lease arrangement between the leaseholder and the council.

The council has taken specialist advice from property investment advisors, who concluded it is financially prudent for the council to try and acquire the leasehold at this time.

Cllr Tricia Gilby, Leader of the Council, continued: “Through this action, the council is seeking to secure the future of The Pavements Shopping Centre as a high-profile strategic town centre asset whilst at the same time protecting the council’s financial position.

“Negotiations between the council and the leaseholder have commenced, and we would hope that the terms of the acquisition can be finalised by the end of March 2021.”

You can find out more about the Pavements Shopping Centre here.

Businesses in Chesterfield are continuing to trade via click and collect or delivery services during the current national lockdown, while essential retailers remain open as usual. You can find out more on our Shopping During Lockdown page.

Pavements Shopping Centre

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Markham Vale celebrates another successful year, with just 13-acres remaining

Henry Boot Developments and Derbyshire County Council have hailed another successful year for Markham Vale, which saw the scheme secure a £25 million deal and welcome a host of new businesses.

Markham Vale is a joint venture between developer HBD and Derbyshire County Council. Located at Junction 29A of the M1 and spanning 200-acres, it is one of the region’s most successful schemes.

A planning application submission for Chester’s second restaurant concluded a strong twelve months which also saw the signing of a £25m deal with Aver for two units of 221, 518 sq. ft. and 75,500 sq. ft., both due to complete in the coming months. The units will complete the north section of the scheme.

13-acres remain across Markham Vale East and West, capable of accommodating a further 220,000 sq. ft.

2020 also saw the arrival of a series of new occupiers, including Blue Whale Spa, Transcare, which moved into a new 12,500 sq. ft. building and Xbite, which relocated to Markham Vale and more than doubled its warehouse operation.

Simon Ross, Development Surveyor at HBD, said: “Markham Vale has had another successful year and we look forward to welcoming more businesses in 2021 – it’s a very well located scheme and the bespoke build options appeal to companies of all sizes and in a range of sectors. Of 200-acres when construction began, we now have just 13-acres remaining, including the ready-to-let MV55 providing 55,000 sq. ft. of prime warehouse space.”

Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Clean Growth and Regeneration, Councillor Tony King, said: “Despite the obvious challenges brought about by the pandemic, we continue to support businesses at Markham to survive and thrive and the site continues to attract new businesses looking to relocate to Derbyshire signaling confidence in the local economy.”

Henry Boot Developments supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Handelsbanken reports increases in both lending and deposit taking

Local relationship bank, Handelsbanken, has announced its 2020 results, showing ongoing increases in both lending and deposit-taking, as the Bank’s distinct model offers support to local customers through the ongoing crisis.

Handelsbanken saw a 1 per cent year-on-year increase in overall net lending to individual and corporate banking customers to £21.7bn.

The Bank also recorded a 15 per cent year-on-year increase in overall customer deposits to £17.6bn, including 19 per cent growth in corporate deposits, in part reflecting its reputation for financial strength and solidity at this time.

Run by a team of 7 local bankers, Handelsbanken Chesterfield forms long-term, personal relationships with individuals and businesses in the North Derbyshire area, working closely with local customers to meet their distinct financial needs, both in the short and longer term.

Phil Walker, branch manager of Handelsbanken’s Chesterfield comments: “This has been a challenging last 12 months for everybody. However, what has stood out for me is people’s resilience, not least our customers and my branch staff, who have kept our branch open throughout.

We have successfully maintained the high levels of customer service that we are known for, and whilst we have met our customers in new ways, the relationships we have with them remain strong as a result. In turn, this has contributed to keeping the bank strong, safe and stable, as we continue supporting our customers through this uniquely difficult period”

Mikael Sorensen, UK CEO, says: “As a bank, we see it as our duty to stand strong and support our customers through the economic cycle. Over the last 12 months we have sought to fulfil this responsibility by keeping our branches open throughout, staying close to our customers and providing proactive support tailored to meet customers’ distinct needs.

“We’ve been encouraged by the trust our customers continue to place in us, which is well illustrated by the steady rise in deposits since the crisis began, as well as by how effectively we’ve been able to deal with any difficulties together. We remain focused on assisting our customers through these uncertain times, as well as helping them prepare for a world beyond the pandemic, both in terms of economic recovery and the longer-term transition to a low-carbon economy.

“Our local, relationship banking approach appears to be particularly valued at times like these. This year and beyond, we will be enhancing this approach through further investment in our digital capabilities. This investment is part of our plans to build a bank for the future, placing expertise and support closer to our branches so that our customers can choose how they want to engage with us and enjoy the best of both worlds – excellent personal service coupled with improved digital platforms and tools.”

Handelsbanken customers enjoy direct access to experienced branch teams who are empowered to make decisions locally and deliver high levels of customer satisfaction, without the presence of product or sales targets.

Handelsbanken’s successful formula has, for the fifth time, led to the Bank topping recommendations for its services in four of the five categories of the Competition and Markets Authority’s independent service quality survey for business banking, the results of which were published in August 20202. For the twelfth year in a row, Handelsbanken has been top-ranked for satisfaction, for both personal and business banking, in an independent survey of British bank customers3.

Handelsbanken plc has been assigned a long term credit rating of AA with a negative outlook by international credit ratings agency, Fitch; and a long term credit rating of AA-with a stable outlook by Standard & Poor’s. The ratings are the same as those given for the subsidiary’s Swedish parent, Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ), and confirm the Bank’s strength, stability and creditworthiness.

Businesses and individuals can contact Handelsbanken’s Chesterfield branch by calling 01246 231750.

Handelsbanken supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Champion of the Week

Phil Walker, Handelsbanken

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Peak Edge Hotel opens new ‘orangery’

The Peak Edge Hotel, a family owned 4-star, modern boutique hotel nestled on the edge of Derbyshire’s Peak District National Park is set to open its new orangery extension in Spring 2021.

Renowned as one of the region’s leading wedding venues, The Peak Edge Hotel will be able to accommodate larger weddings, as well as providing more flexibility for all events. It enjoys its own dedicated bar area and boasts breath taking views over the hotel lake and Peak District National Park.

Combining historic style with modern facilities, including air conditioning, acoustically lined walls and disabled access, this purpose-built space can accommodate up to 200 guests for weddings, events, and celebrations.

Steve Perez, owner and chairman of Casa Hotel, The Peak Edge Hotel and Global Brands said: “Despite the global pandemic the government’s restrictions causing devastating effects on this industry and people’s livelihoods, we continue to strive and invest in The Peak Edge Hotel.

“We believe it is important to continuously improve our property to ensure we continue to offer the best venue, and award-winning experience.

“We cannot wait to welcome brides, grooms, guests, diners and residents back to The Peak Edge Hotel in the very near future.”

Boasting floor to ceiling windows, contrasting with stunning oak beams giving a wide view over the hotel’s lawns, the Orangery is especially opulent with leather upholstery, oak beam bar and open fireplace enhancing the period features and superb light quality of the room.

The popular luxury boutique hotel offers 27 bedrooms, and all boast stunning views over the Derbyshire Countryside, yet you are only a few miles from all major road networks. Historic Haddon Hall, Chatsworth House, the market towns of Chesterfield, Bakewell & Matlock are all on the hotel’s doorstep.

The Peak Edge Hotel supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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University offers free funded consultancy to local businesses

The University of Derby is offering businesses in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire funded consultancy free of charge as part of its commitment to helping the region thrive.

The consultancy service will give companies the opportunity to work alongside the university’s research and technical team to bring innovative new solutions to their organisation.

The project can relate to any area of business and support will be tailored toward the individual needs of each organisation. This could include getting a different perspective on a new idea for your organisation, or if your company is faced with a business problem that you would like support with.

Some of the areas which the University has already developed solutions for include:

  • Business processes and efficiencies
  • New product development
  • Identifying future opportunities
  • Marketing and market insight.

The University of Derby offers a wealth of expertise in a range of industries, from science and engineering to the arts and professional business services. The academic team are at the forefront of the latest industry developments, offering the highest standard of insight and research.

By taking part in the scheme, organisations will receive up to 40 hours of consultancy, and £500 towards any consumables that may be required.

Cara Roberts, Business Advisor at the University of Derby said: “We invite any Chesterfield business interested in exploring the opportunity to access our funded consultancy to contact us today, we look forward to reviewing how this could deliver real benefits to their organisation by addressing challenges or supporting innovation.”

If you would like to find out more about the University’s business consultancy services, or discuss working in partnership with them, Contact the Business Enquiry team on 0800 001 5500 or businessgateway@derby.ac.uk 

The University of Derby supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

University of Derby St. Helena campus, Chesterfield


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Essential Site Skills Managing Director nominated for national award

The Managing Director of Essential Site Skills, Catherine Storer has been shortlisted as a nominee for the National Business Women’s Awards, taking place in May.

The National Business Women’s Awards are made up of 21 categories that allow any successful business in the UK to enter. All entries are judged by up to 4 of the national panel of judges.

Catherine is one of ten women shortlisted in the prestigious ‘Business Woman of the Year – Small’ category, with the awards night set to take place on May 14 at the Copthorne Tara Hotel, Kensington.

After finding out about her nomination, Catherine said: “I was so honoured to be announced as a finalist for Business Woman of the Year 2020. To be nominated and championed by my colleagues for such a prestigious award was an emotional moment for me.

“To have this kind of recognition is incredible, not only as a finalist but for my team that work so hard every day to make a difference to our industry, driving the company forward with unwavering and awe-inspiring abilities. All finalists should be so proud as these awards are empowering and encouraging for all woman in business.”

Essential Site Skills Ltd.  is an Award Winning, UK leading training provider with a reputation for their wealth of knowledge and quality of service within the industry.

The team is passionate about the industry and believe it’s their job to be innovative and creative in their teaching delivery to cater for all types of learners so they can meet their own goals and embrace development.

Their highly experienced trainers and testers ensure that all course participants leave with everything they need to be safe and efficient in the workplace and gain the type of industry card they want.

Essential Site Skills supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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New council homes ready to welcome local families

Local families are set to benefit from new council homes which have been built in Brimington – part of Chesterfield Borough Council’s ongoing work to provide more affordable and accessible housing.

The four new-build properties on Manor Drive – which are the first council homes to be built in Brimington South in over 30 years – are now ready to be let to local families.

The development includes three two-bedroom houses and a three-bedroom bungalow with wheelchair access.

Built by local contractor, Robert Woodhead Ltd, each property features a fully fitted kitchen and bathroom and is decorated throughout. The gardens are also fully turfed with a small patio area to the back.

In response to the climate emergency that was declared by council leaders last July, the council is also committed to ensuring that its existing housing stock is as energy efficient as possible. Each of the new properties on Manor Drive has increased levels of insulation throughout and has electric vehicle charging points installed.

Councillor Chris Ludlow, cabinet member for housing, said: “We’re committed to meeting the housing needs of local people – now and in the future – and these new properties will provide affordable, modern and accessible homes for families in our borough.

“It is important that people looking for a new home have a choice of good quality homes to rent. Our ambition is to create an additional 100 new homes across town by 2023 and with the completion of these properties, along with other ongoing projects, we’re well on track to reach this target.

“It’s also really important that new developments in the borough take account of environmental issues – contributing to a more sustainable future for us all.

“Our new homes are energy efficient, affordable to run and also feature charging points for electric vehicles to make it easier for people to make the switch to greener transport.”

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New Coronavirus testing centres to open in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire

Derbyshire County Council is set to open new covid-19 testing centres in Chesterfield and North East Derbyshire this week.

One in 3 of those who have coronavirus do not have symptoms, so the testing is aimed at those who are still going out to work and mixing with colleagues or the public. The testing will identify people with COVID-19, enable support for those who have to self-isolate and drive infection rates down in the county.

Alongside the test people will be offered advice and help with financial support that they may be entitled to if they need to self-isolate and help to access wider benefits.

Derbyshire’s Director of Public Health Dean Wallace said: “Although rates of those testing positive are coming down we need to do more to try and stop the chain of transmission.

“We know that many people are just not able to work from home so these new centres are aimed at those who have to go out to work and mix with colleagues and the public. It is this group of people who are at the most risk of getting the virus, and with one in 3 who do have the virus showing no symptoms they can easily pass it on to anyone they come in to contact with.

“Please if you are still going out to work come to your nearest centre weekly and get a test to protect your families, colleagues and community.

“It only takes a few minutes and will make such a difference. The quicker we can get on top of this virus the sooner our lives can start to return to normal.”

Other established methods of testing for people with symptoms will continue alongside community testing and people who have a high temperature, continuous cough or have lost their sense of small or taste should book a test online in the usual way.

Derbyshire County Council Leader Councillor Barry Lewis said: “I’m pleased that we are now setting up these new centres.

“It has been a real team effort with colleagues from across the council getting involved to help.

“We’re also grateful to colleagues from Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service who have helped move equipment round the county and helped to get things in place. Thanks also go to the district and borough councils who have helped in providing venues for us to use.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to the fantastic support we have had from the RAF. They joined us just before Christmas and helped us get our Swadlincote sites set up. Thank you to you all.

“Getting a test doesn’t mean you can’t still catch the virus, so please continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance and wear a face covering unless you are exempt.”

Those attending are asked not to bring bags or other items with them that they don’t consider to be essential, but are asked to bring a fully charged smart phone if they have one. Parents or guardians are asked to accompany those aged 11 to 16.

The centre in Chesterfield will be at Queen’s Park Sports Centre, Boythorpe Road, Chesterfield and will open on Wednesday 10 February 2021.

North East Derbyshire’s centre will open on Friday 12 February 2021 and will be at Clay Cross Social Centre, Market Street, Clay Cross.

The Chesterfield and Clay Cross centres will open 7 days a week, 9am to 7pm. To find out what the demand is like at the centres when you want to go along, visit the Derbyshire COVID-19 test centre finder .

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Opportunities highlighted by Chesterfield College on National Apprenticeship Week

During National Apprenticeship Week (8-14 February), Learning Unlimited, the apprenticeship team at Chesterfield College, are highlighting the fact there are hundreds of apprenticeship opportunities available for anyone starting or developing a career in Derbyshire.

With over 97% of the employers they work with continuing to recruit apprentices, they say now is a great time to explore what apprenticeships can offer. They are holding a series of apprenticeship virtual advice evenings and workshops to help people find out more.

Learning Unlimited has helped hundreds of apprentices to start or develop their careers during the pandemic. They work with employers from various industry sectors who continue to develop their workforce and create exciting opportunities in areas such as engineering, construction, health and care, and business support.

With many headlines about the lack of employment opportunities for young people and redundancies across different industries hit hardest by the pandemic, Leah Shortt, Operations Manager at Learning Unlimited was keen to offer some hope to anyone affected.

She said:“Apprenticeships have always offered a way for people to build their future and I am pleased to say that with lots of new apprenticeship opportunities being created across Derbyshire, they are continuing to do so. Many of the employers we work with are delivering essential services and still need to build their workforce.

“Apprenticeships help them to do that at the same time as  giving young people, and those looking to retrain, an opportunity to get the start they need to develop their careers.

“A common myth is that apprenticeships are just for those starting out in the world of work. That isn’t the case. They offer the chance to get qualifications that may be equivalent to university level study, so they can be a perfect way for people to climb the career ladder and get noticed by their employers.

“Our series of advice evenings and application workshops will offer practical advice and support to help people make the most of opportunities that are available now and in the future. The team are looking forward to continuing to help people start their apprenticeship journey and build their career.”

The first virtual advice evening takes place on 11 February 5.30 – 6.30pm. To find out more and register for this event or others in the series visit www.learningunlimiteduk.com/events/.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

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