About Chesterfield

Annual employment trend remains positive

Year on year the figures for employment remain positive with 8,660 fewer people out of work across the East Midlands, when compared to October to December 2015, according to figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). This means the East Midlands’ Unemployment Rate of 4.5% remains well below the national 5.1% and better than anywhere else outside of Southern England.

In Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire the number of people claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance in January 2016 fell by 6,935 compared to the same month in 2015.

In Chesterfield the number of people claiming the out of work benefit dropped to 893, which is 587 lower than the figure released in January 2015 (1480), and remains below the national average (1.4% compared to 1.5%).

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber, said: “While the quarterly increase in unemployment and fall in employment were disappointing, the annual trend is more positive and reflective of what our member businesses tell us about their recruitment activities.

“The East Midlands remains in a healthy position as a key driver of the UK economy, thanks to its broad base of businesses which have created jobs and opportunities for local people over the past 18 months.

“However, there are uncertainties around things like changes to apprenticeships funding, the introduction of a new National Living Wage and the continued rollout of auto-enrolment and we can’t yet fully appreciate what impact these might have on business.

“Today’s figures demonstrate that while our labour market remains flexible and vibrant, it’s not immune to shock, so it’s vital that business policy continues to provide the right support and environment to facilitate job creation, particularly in the production sectors, where the East Midlands’ real strength lies.”

Growth - Chesterfield Gateway Enhancement Scheme

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield

University of Derby agrees new partnership to support school sport

The University of Derby is showing its support for school sport competitions in the county and the annual Derbyshire Schools’ Sports Awards after agreeing a new partnership with Derbyshire Sport and the Derbyshire Schools’ Sports Association (DSSA).

The partnership is part of the university’s ongoing work to create greater links with local schools and encourage more young people with an interest in sport to consider studying at the University of Derby.

In addition the university’s new £10.8m sports centre will play host to several county finals in the DSSA competition calendar.

The partnership was launched at the Derbyshire School Games U16 Badminton Team Championships, organised by Derbyshire Sport, which saw around 50 pupils from schools across Derbyshire competing.

Hari Punchihewa, Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the work of Derbyshire Sport and the Derbyshire Schools’ Sports Association in this way. The University and its Team Derby brand are serious about sport and have much to offer any young person with an interest in sport.

“This includes a range of sport and exercise courses, a range of first-class facilities, a performance sport programme for badminton, basketball and volleyball, and scholarship and bursary opportunities for talented athletes participating in British Universities and Colleges Sport.”

Ilana Freestone, Derbyshire Sport Director, said: “Derbyshire Sport and the DSSA are excited to be working with the University of Derby in this way. This new partnership will support a range of high quality competition opportunities for young people and allow their sporting successes to continue to be celebrated at the annual awards evening.”


Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Leisure

Brave daughter jumps out of plane for Ashgate Hospicecare

Karlie Johnson from Brampton has completed a charity skydive challenge and raised over £2000 to show her gratitude to the team at Ashgate Hospicecare after they provided excellent care for her Dad, Dave.

Dave Johnson, 53 was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer on Christmas Eve 2013. Despite undergoing chemotherapy to stabilise the tumour, which was successful to begin with, Dave was readmitted to hospital where he was put in touch with Ashgate Hospicecare.

Sharing her story, Karlie, 23 said:-

“The care is definitely more personal than in a hospital and Dad definitely relaxed at the hospice knowing that he was getting the care he needed. The facilities were really amazing too. Things that we take for granted like having a bath after a long day – that was all dad wanted and they allowed him to have one. He was given a private room too that had a patio with a table and chairs. It was like a little sun trap – we’d take dad out there when he was having a good day and we’d sit in the sun and eat chocolate and share cans of pop. I treasure those memories from his last few weeks, and it was Ashgate Hospicecare that made it all possible.

“To say thank you to the hospice for the amazing care they gave I decided to skydive in memory of Dad to raise money for them. Dad said he was going to do one for charity before he was diagnosed with cancer, so when he got poorly I said I would do it instead. I was waiting until he got better so he could come and watch, but sadly he passed away before I did it.

“After many months of fundraising, I finally did my skydive and managed to raise a grand total of £2067.06! I work at The Rose and Crown in Brampton and they’ve also pledged to raise £5,000 for the hospice’s £1 Million Urgent Bed Appeal.”

After just 4 weeks at the hospice, Dave sadly died on 7th October 2014 whilst Karlie was on holiday in Turkey.

Karlie adds, “I’m not sure what we would have done without the help of Ashgate Hospicecare. They took a load off of our shoulders so we could just focus on dad and how he was. They were amazing from start to finish and always kept us in the loop.”

Ashgate Hospicecare, Chesterfield, provides specialist palliative and end of life care to local people and their families across North Derbyshire and the High Peak and Dales. It costs £8.5m each year the charity, which receives an NHS grant of £2.5m but has to raise a further £6m to ensure these vital services continue to be provided.

Dave Johnson

Posted in About Chesterfield, Celebrate Chesterfield

Brookfield Community School smashes Badminton County Finals

Following their triumph in the district competition, run by the Chesterfield School Sport Partnership, Brookfield Community School went one better last week when they lifted the Derbyshire Schools Badminton trophies in both the Key Stage 4 Girls and Boys competitions.

After comfortably progressing through the group stages, the girls met another impressive Chesterfield team, Hasland Hall Community School, in the semi-finals, where they registered a 4-1 victory. They then met Ockbrook School in the final, where excellent serving and movement across the court gave them a 5-0 whitewash.

The boys also made it out of the group with ease, before edging a tight semi-final against Friesland. They completed the job with a 4-1 win over hosts John Port School in the final, making it back-to-back county titles.

Brookfield science teacher and badminton coach, Mr Petty, said: “I’m really proud of them, the girls winning 5-0 and the boys 4-1 in the final. It’s hard to even pick a man of the match because hardly anyone lost a game all afternoon. But I’d give it to Tom Else, the boys’ captain.”

Olympic Silver Medalist and Team Derby badminton player, Gail Emms, was also at John Port School in Etwall to present the winners with their trophies and speak to the competitors. She commended them for their efforts, adding: “It’s great to see so many young players here, playing to such a high standard.”

Alex Fletcher, part of the winning boys’ team, said: “Everyone played really well. Gail Emms was nearly as good as us! We’re proud to win as a team.”

Mark Tournier, Partnership Development Manager at the Chesterfield School Sport Partnership, said: “It is a fantastic achievement for Brookfield Community School to be crowned county champions, and a real celebration of the level of participation in badminton across Chesterfield with over 40 teams competing in local qualifying events. Badminton continues to grow in popularity with young people in Chesterfield and to see our schools teams performing to such a high standard in the county finals is testament to the participation base we have established.”

The event was held at John Port School on Thursday 11th February. Both teams will now go on to represent Chesterfield at the Regional Finals which will be held later in the year. There they will face the best teams from neighbouring counties.

brookfield community school

Posted in About Chesterfield, Celebrate Chesterfield, Leisure

Nearly £3.5m raised for Macmillan Cancer Support‎

An impressive sum of money totalling almost £3.5m has been raised in support of Macmillan Cancer Support over the past year – thanks to the efforts of kind-hearted local people.

One of the latest developments for the charity, to which some of the money will go towards, is the new state-of-the-art Chesterfield Royal Macmillan Cancer Centre which will bring together vital treatment, care and support in one purpose-built facility – providing joined up services closer to home.

Macmillan has committed £2.5 million to help build the new centre at the Chesterfield Royal Hospital. Building work began at the end of last year and the centre is due to open in autumn 2016.

Gini Smith, Macmillan Fundraising Manager for Derbyshire said:-

“Because of all your help, in 2015 Macmillan was able to commit £3,429,658 in Derbyshire helping to support the 41,248 people living with or beyond cancer locally. That means there are now around 40 Macmillan professionals working in Derbyshire.

“I just want to say a personal thank you to everyone who hosted or attended coffee mornings, volunteered their time, took part in challenge events, braved the shave, went sober for October, put a pound in a collection box, or held their own events to raise money for Macmillan.”

Speaking about the new Chesterfield Royal Macmillan Cancer Centre, Sheree Hall, Macmillan lead cancer nurse at Chesterfield Royal Hospital, said:-

“Our facilities were built almost thirty years ago when we had neither the number of patients nor the vast array of treatment options. Currently, patients have to visit different parts of the hospital for treatment, usually on different days. It will be a dream come true to have all our cancer services under one roof.”

Gini concluded; “Macmillan’s ambition is to reach and improve the lives of everyone living with cancer. By 2030, the number of people living with the disease will have doubled, so it’s a huge task to support each and every one of those in some way.

‘With the support of local fundraisers and volunteers, we can keep funding new cancer centres like the Chesterfield Royal Macmillan Cancer Centre and team up with partners like the Chesterfield Royal Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to provide the best cancer care possible here in your community. With your help, we can make sure no one in Derbyshire has to face cancer alone.’

If you’re interested in holding or attending a fundraising event, getting involved with a fundraising group or committee, or would like to choose Macmillan as your charity of the year, please contact Gini Smith on 07790 018400 or email gsmith@macmillan.org.uk

Anyone who has questions about cancer can call the Macmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 00 00, Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm or by visiting macmillan.org.uk.

Chesterfield Royal Macmillan Cancer Centre

Posted in About Chesterfield, Leisure, Visiting

Top Sommelier Offers Italian Wine Specialist Course at Chesterfield College

Italian wine enthusiasts and those with a professional interest in food and drink will soon be able to learn from wine expert, Michele Muccilli, as he brings his fascinating 12 week British Sommelier Foundation accredited course to Chesterfield College in April.

Michele was born and bred in Puglia, Southern Italy and grew up in the vineyards of the area where food and drink is such an important part of the culture and where his passion for the subject grew. Having moved to the UK he founded the British Sommelier Foundation and also works at Sat Bains, Nottingham, recently voted the best restaurant in the UK. He told us:

“The Italian Wine Specialist course offers something for a wide range of people. Whether you are looking to work with wine within a restaurant or hotel environment or gaining knowledge before going on vineyard holidays, the course will appeal to any wine enthusiast. We’ll be looking at a wide variety of Italian wines, learning how a region’s climate, grape and tannins all go to influence a wine’s taste.

“There’s a huge amount of appreciation for good food, wine and beer in Chesterfield, this course provides those with a keen interest in wine to learn so much more, gain a certificate from the British Sommelier Foundation and perhaps start upon the path of becoming a fully qualified Sommelier.”

The course starts on 4 April from 6pm – 8pm on the Infirmary Road campus of Chesterfield College and will last for 12 weeks.  It is a theoretical and practical course that will allow you to learn more about the wines from different regions of Italy and teach you how to pair wine and food for the perfect combination.

Food Awards 2013 104

Posted in About Chesterfield, Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, Leisure, Visiting

Land in Chesterfield sold for 91 home redevelopment

A 10-acre plot of land in Chesterfield has been bought by the UK’s leading privately-owned house-builder Avant Homes.  The developer now plans to redevelop the Newbold Road site to build 91 high-specification new homes.

Charles D’Auncey, director of Harris Lamb, oversaw the sale on behalf of GKN, and said that Avant Homes had been the successful bidder for the site, which a number of developers had identified as a desirable location for a residential development.

“There has been a real demand for quality new homes within the region as a result of its excellent access links and its proximity to the Peak District, but available land to fulfil that need is in short supply.

“ more than met the requirements. Located just four miles from the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the site is just a mile away from Chesterfield town centre and its amenities, lending itself to creating a residential community.”

The Newbold Road site had already been awarded planning consent for the properties subject the developer is committed to paying more than £200,000 toward improvements to the local nursery, infant and junior schools, as well as providing 20 per cent of the houses

Charles added: “Confidence has returned to the housing construction sector as the economy has improved; something the introduction of the Help To Buy Government initiative in 2013 has helped to escalate.

“As a result, Harris Lamb has been working with clients to identify suitable land supplies for residential development and liaising with interested developers to help secure the sale, planning permission and support site-works where appropriate.

“There was a great deal of interest in this site from various UK developers keen to secure a presence in Derbyshire, and the location of this particular parcel of land made it a very desirable asset. We’re confident that the site will be redeveloped to an extremely high standard, thanks to Avant Homes’ Avant Homes’ reputation for creating homes with an innovative design and specification,” he added.

 Construction at the Newbold Fields site will start in the coming weeks and the development is expected to launch in the summer.

Chesterfield News

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Development

Cycling festival inspires 650 infants

Pupils from four years old had the chance to experience a fun day of cycle-themed activities at the 2016 Early Rider Festival, run by the Chesterfield School Sport Partnership and supported by Wheely Fun Wheels.

Spread across 12 stations, there were three cycling activities: Italian pursuit, the team relay and the sprint to stop race. Using the pedal-less bikes, the children could put their prior balance bike training into practice in these fun races.

The remaining stations, which were run by sports leaders from Chesterfield College, were all closely linked to cycling and road safety. These activities aimed to connect with the wider school curriculum. They included the “Think” and “See” stations, where the infants labelled parts of the bikes and then completed a word search to find words related to cycling.

Mark Tournier, Partnership Development Manager at the SSP, said: “We are delighted to welcome nearly 700 infants to take part in the Early Rider Festival. This is much more than festival of cycling, it is a chance to really excite and engage young people in sport and physical activity though a range of activities.

“We have tried to bring the classroom to this event with activities linked to numeracy, literacy and communication, managing feeling and self-awareness and of course physical development. We hope everyone has taken a step towards choosing a healthy active lifestyle through cycling.”

Nick Chamberlin, Mountain Bike Leadership and Cycle Training Manager at British Cycling, said: “Learning to ride a bicycle is a rite of passage in any young person’s life, sadly many young people are not getting the support they need to try cycling for the first time. British Cycling are excited by the innovative work of Chesterfield SSP using balance bikes to introduce hundreds of young people to the excitement of riding a bike.”

Chelsea, a pupil from Whitecotes Primary School, said: “I love riding the bike! And the colouring was fun!”

Mr Petch, a teacher at Spire Nursery and Infant School, said: “It’s fantastic seeing all the activities and seeing so many kids on bikes at such a young age. They’re having great fun and interacting with children from other schools.”

Miss McPhie, of Whitecotes Primary School, said: “I like the links to the work we do at school. By having word searches and handwriting activities, they can have a rest and still learn. The kids also enjoyed the station where they labelled the bike parts and the Young Leader running it was excellent.”

The Early Rider programme is the start of the cycling pathway for young people in Chesterfield schools with progressions to bikeabilty levels 1&2, skills to ride and cyclo-cross competitions on which to progress.

Early Rider Festival Chesterfield 2016

Posted in About Chesterfield, Celebrate Chesterfield, Leisure

NHS offers 10 traineeships to help young people into work

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust is working with Learning Unlimited to offer 10 exciting traineeship opportunities to help unemployed 18-24 year olds in Chesterfield into employment.

Starting at the end of February, the traineeships are in estates, catering and patient experience departments and are a great way to gain essential work experience and develop key employability skills.

Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust is a Top 10 NHS Best Places To Work employer 2015, in awards run by the Health Service Journal in association with the Nursing Times and NHS Employers.

For those succesful, the traineeship programme will last for 12 weeks, beginning with a two week induction period and followed by 10 weeks of work experience. Throughout the programme each trainee will be supported by the NHS Trust and training provider Learning Unlimited. At the end of the programme trainees will be offered an interview, given a reference, considered for potential job opportunities in the organisation and supported to think about the next steps into an apprenticeship, work or education with the help of Learning Unlimited.

Sharon Allison, workforce planning and development trainer at Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust said:

“Traineeships are a fantastic way to develop people within the communities we serve. It is really important for our organisation to make sure we give people who want to work with us the opportunity to get experience and be job ready. We are keen to develop the skills the organisation needs and traineeships offer us the chance to do that.

“If you are unemployed, aged 18 to 24 and interested in a career in the NHS but feel you need some support to get the first step on the career ladder I would urge you think about traineeships with us.”

For more information about the traineeships and to apply visit https://www.findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk/traineeship/689439. The closing date for applications is 19th February 2016.

Patient care Learning Unlimited

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield

Peak District and Derbyshire share in tourism spending and jobs boost

Inspirational marketing campaigns to encourage more visitors to come and stay in the Peak District and Derbyshire have proved almost eight times more effective than expected – generating more than £44.7 million in extra tourism spending and creating more than 830 jobs.

Research by national tourist board VisitEngland reveals that official tourist board Visit Peak District & Derbyshire has exceeded Government targets by a huge margin thanks to its major, multi-media marketing push ‘The World Away’ – costing just £600,000 over three years in a public and private sector partnership.

Government-set goals stipulated that the campaigns – which included the area’s first-ever television commercial, advertising billboards, video on demand and on-line, print and social media promotion – should reap a return of investment of £5.8 million and create more than 130 jobs from 2012 to 2015.

But they proved much more appealing than anticipated – mirroring the wider success of VisitEngland’s national campaign, ‘Growing Tourism Locally’, funded by the Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) – which has generated an extra £1.05 billion in tourism spend and created a record number of 19,490 jobs in the tourism sector across England over the same period.

“To say we are delighted is an understatement,” said Jo Dilley, Director of Visit Peak District & Derbyshire. “‘The World Away’ has punched well above its weight in terms of both return on investment and creating jobs, bringing concrete benefits and hopefully a lasting legacy to the local and regional economy that we can build on throughout 2016 and beyond.”

Lady Cobham CBE, Chairman of VisitEngland’s Advisory Board, added: “It’s fantastic to see the results of the ‘Growing Tourism Locally’ campaign’, which was aimed at driving growth by encouraging Brits to book a short break at home in one of the many wonderful destinations on offer across England. It’s a brilliant result, promoting our beautiful country as a world-class holiday destination.”

The Peak District and Derbyshire was one of 14 English destinations to benefit from a £19.8 million pot of money – part of a total investment of £41.6 million, including contributions from VisitEngland and the private sector – funding campaigns to target specific audiences such as young couples, young couples with pre-school children, older couples and groups.


Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Leisure, Visiting

Nominate Your Favourite Retailers for a Chesterfield Retail Award 2016

Chesterfield’s popular Retail Awards are returning for the third year running. Organiser Destination Chesterfield is now urging people to nominate their favourite shops and stores in and around the town centre, Chatsworth Road and Whittington Moor, they want to win one of the prestigious awards.

Nominations are open now. People can nominate across 14 categories, which are designed to recognise the very best independent and high street retailers in Chesterfield. Everyone who nominates will automatically be entered into a free prize draw to win a three course Sunday lunch at Chesterfield’s Restaurant of the Year, Cocina at Casa.

Retail Awards Nominate 2016

Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield Manager, said: “Chesterfield has an amazing wealth of retailers that combine to make us one of the top performing towns in the country. Together they bring people into Chesterfield and help create a buzz and warm welcome that people from outside the area frequently comment on and keep coming back for. If you feel strongly that your favourite shops and stores deserve to win one of these prestigious awards, then it’s important that you nominate them. As they say, you have to be in it to win it.”

Organised in association with Chesterfield College, the winners will be announced at an awards ceremony which takes place at the Winding Wheel in May 2016. As well as winners of the 15 categories, winners of two additional awards – the Vicar Lane Shopping Centre’s and the Pavements Shopping Centre Retailers of the Year – will also be announced.

Stuart Cutforth, Principal of Chesterfield College said: “We are delighted to sponsor the retail awards this year and look forward to celebrating with the businesses and individuals that contribute to making what is unique and special about our local retail offer. It is a fantastic opportunity to raise the profile of the businesses that add to our economy in so many ways. Not only do they give us our retail therapy, they provide goods and services we can’t do without and they also offer employment to many.”

Last year Ibbotson’s Fresh Quality Produce took the coveted title of Retailer of the Year and Market Trader of the Year following nominations from the public. The family business, which has been a familiar sight on Chesterfield’s market for more than 70 years, has transformed itself in the last 18 months with the addition of an online delivery service to complement its market stall and shop in Hasland.

Owner Nick Ibbotson said: “It was amazing to win two awards and particularly special to get overall Retailer of the Year Award. Although we’re just a little fruit and veg stall that’s been in the centre of Chesterfield, we have worked hard to modernise the business and secure its future with the addition of our online delivery service. It’s going really well and has transformed the business.”

Nominations are open until midnight on Sunday 6th March 2016. To nominate your favourite retailer visit www.chesterfield.co.uk/retailawards/nominate

The 14 categories open for nominations in the 2016 Chesterfield Retail Awards include:

* Hair and Beauty Business of the Year – Sponsored by Chesterfield College

* Fashion and Footwear Retailer of the Year – Sponsored by In the Works PR

* Jewellery and Accessories Retailer of the Year – Sponsored by the Pavements Shopping Centre

* Home and Gifts Retailer of the Year

* Children’s Clothes, Toys & Accessories Retailer of the Year

* Food and Drink Retailer of the Year – Sponsored by BHP Accountants

* Phones and Technology Retailer of the Year – Mitchells Chartered Accountants and

Business Advisers

* Leisure Retailer of the Year (Sports, Hobbies, Crafts or Outdoor)

* Market Trader of the Year – Sponsored by Chesterfield Borough Council

* Independent Retailer of the Year – Sponsored by Jumble Design

* National/ Multiple Retailer of the Year – Sponsored by Vicar Lane

* Excellence in Customer Service – Sponsored by Chatsworth

* Market Hall Business of the Year – Sponsored by arvato

* Best New Store (Opened 2015/2016) – Sponsored by Banner Jones Solicitors

There is also an additional Retailer of the Year award, sponsored by East Midlands Chamber, which will be announced at the awards ceremony.

The awards are supported by members of the business community, who have not only sponsored individual awards but also the actual ceremony later this year. As well as the category sponsors, other supporters of the 2016 Chesterfield Retail Awards include the University of Derby, eBusiness Works and the Derbyshire Times.

If you are interested in sponsoring the 2016 Chesterfield Retail Awards – Download information here

Chesterfield Retail Awards 2015

Posted in About Chesterfield, Celebrate Chesterfield, Chesterfield Retail Awards

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