About Chesterfield

2015 Chesterfield Retail Awards launched – Vote now for your favourite retailer

The town’s popular Retail Awards have returned for the second year running. Shoppers are now being called on to nominate their favourite shops and stores across 14 categories.

Organised by Destination Chesterfield, the Awards, which are sponsored by Learning Unlimited – part of Chesterfield College Group, recognise the very best retailers in the town.

Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield Manager said: “The success of the 2015 Chesterfield Retail Awards is once again very much in the hands of the general public. They need to nominate in order for retailers to be shortlisted.

“Chesterfield is envied nationally for its retail success. While other town and city centres are struggling, ours is thriving and it’s no wonder seeing the passion, innovation and customer service so many of the town’s retailers are delivering on a daily basis. These awards recognise this.”

This year, retailers can support their call for nominations by submitting a short 20 second video explaining why shoppers should nominate their business. Videos should be emailed to info@chesterfield.co.uk and will appear on Destination Chesterfield’s website, Facebook page and Twitter.

Last year more than 1000 nominations were received from shoppers culminating in 11 businesses being named the very best in the town. Pelican Cycles, based on Old Road in Brampton, scooped awards across four categories, including the coveted Retailer of the Year award.

The cycle shop was opened in 2012 by owner and keen cyclist Neil Armitage. The business achieved a six figure turnover in year one with turnover growing by more than 50% in its second year of trading. On winning the awards Neil said: “We pride ourselves on offering a friendly and personal service. We have created a welcoming informal atmosphere in the shop with the use of touches like an espresso machine and screen showing Tour De France highlights. Because of these touches and our approach to customer service we have developed a loyal repeat customer base.”

Stuart Cutforth, Principal of Chesterfield College explained: “Part of the Chesterfield College Group, Learning Unlimited is delighted to be sponsoring the Chesterfield Retail Awards this year. As a rapidly-growing apprenticeships and training provider, at the core of what we do is both providing people with the skills necessary to succeed in industry and helping businesses prosper and grow as a result of their workforce.

“We work with many local retailers already and the apprenticeships that we offer in relation to retail are growing increasingly popular, such as customer service and sales apprenticeships so we were delighted to get involved with such a key retail awards ceremony in Chesterfield. We hope that we continue to work successfully with more and more local retailers in regard to their staffing and training needs as we look to help grow this area’s economy, giving the community a real boost.”

Nominations open on Tuesday 17th March and close at Midnight on the 6th April 2015 and postcards and posters are being distributed around the town to encourage people to vote online at www.chesterfield.co.uk/retailawards

Everyone that nominates will be entered into a prize draw to win a three-course meal with wine for two at the Old Post Restaurant, winner of Restaurant of the Year at the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards 2014.

Following the nomination process a shortlist of retailers will be selected who will then be mystery shopped and scored to decide the winner in each of the categories.  The winners will be announced at an award ceremony held later this year in June.

The 14 categories open for nominations in the 2015 Chesterfield Retail Awards include:

  • Hair and Beauty Business of the Year
  • Fashion and Footwear Retailer of the Year
  • 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
  • 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 Learning Unlimited
  • Market Hall Business of the Year – Sponsored by Kier
  • Best New Store (Opened 2014/2015) – 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.

Other supporters of the 2015 Chesterfield Retail Awards include E-business works and the Derbyshire Times.

There are limited sponsorship opportunities still available if you are interested in becoming involved please contact Dom Stevens on 01246 207207 or email dom.stevens@chesterfield.co.uk

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Destination Chesterfield, Leisure, Made in Chesterfield, Summer, Visiting

Young Entrepreneurs Invite Chesterfield Businesses to Share in Their Success

Chesterfield businesses are encouraged to show their support for local students at the Area Final of the Young Enterprise Company of the Year competition.

Held on 24th March at the Winding Wheel, the event is designed to celebrate the achievements of pupils from eight schools and colleges across North Derbyshire; all of whom have been running their own company with support from local business advisers and teachers.

Finalists will compete for a number of awards during the evening – from Best Trade Stand to Overall Winning Company, as well as the opportunity to represent North Derbyshire at the County Final – taking place at Matlock Town Hall on Monday 27th April.

Given the task of presenting for four minutes on their company achievements and experiences, each team will be assessed by an independent panel of judges including representatives from three local businesses – Central Technology, NLT Training Services, and MSE Hiller.  The range of products and services designed and created by finalists will also be on display.

Sharing his enthusiasm for the event, Steve Taylor, Vice Chair of the Young Enterprise North Derbyshire Area Board said:-

“Our young people reveal so much potential and capability through the Young Enterprise Company Programme and so it’s fantastic that we are able to recognise this at the annual Area Final.

“We all have a responsibility to support young people in making the transition from school to the workplace and so I hope that lots of local businesses will join us at the Winding Wheel on 24th March.”

The Young Enterprise Area Final begins at 6.30pm on Tuesday 24th March with a complimentary drinks reception and an opportunity to look around the Trade Stands and talk with the competitors about their experience.

To confirm your attendance please email Steve Taylor – Vice Chair of the Young Enterprise North Derbyshire Area Board at steve@startfp.co.uk.


Posted in About Chesterfield, Business

Have your Say on Plans for New Chesterfield Market Layout

Residents and visitors are being invited to share their views on plans for a new Chesterfield Market layout.

A team from Chesterfield Borough Council will be at Market Place on Saturday 21st March to find out about current shopping habits and opinions of the current market and stalls on offer.

The survey will also be available to fill in online from Thursday 19 March to Friday 3 April

For members of the public

For market traders

Chesterfield Borough Council is working with consultants to address issues previously raised by traders which include:

  • increasing the number of market stalls in a prominent position and look outwards so they can be seen by shoppers;
  • the need for increased power supplies for refrigerators and tills
  • and creating more space for wheelchairs and buggies.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism, said: “Although Chesterfield’s markets remain extremely popular, we are aware that there are issues which we need to address to improve the open market and attract new traders to Chesterfield.

“We are keen to seek the views of the people who use the market to help us in bringing forth plans to make improvements. So I’d encourage anyone who would like to take part to come along to the Saturday market on 21 March or fill in the survey online.”

Traders will also be asked for their opinions in a series of focus groups currently being held.

A further round of consultation will be carried out once the options for the new market layout are available. This is likely to be late summer.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Leisure, Visiting

Spireites Raise Funds For Comic Relief

Chesterfield players and supporters have been making their faces funny for money, all in aid of Comic Relief!

Charitable Spireites headed to The HUB at the Proact Stadium to don a squidgy red nose or some funky glasses and have their picture taken by club photographer Tina Jenner.

Tina, who came up with the idea, talked about the fun she’d had during the day, with plenty of Spireites players joining in with the fun.

“The theme this year is to make your face funny for money so I just thought it was the perfect opportunity,” she said. “I saw the theme and I thought it would be good to get the lads involved from the team and then by doing it at The HUB we could get the Community Trust involved as well.

“The funny faces have not been too bad: Tommy Lee, Ritchie Humphreys, Jay O’Shea and Tendayi Darikwa came over and we had some fans in as well, which was really good fun.

“The whole point of Red Nose Day is to be daft and do daft things. I’m not really one for baked beans in a bath so I’m trying to use my skills to help people along the way a little bit.”

The Community Trust’s Rachel Booth took part in the shenanigans and made sure that club mascot Chester the field mouse made his funniest face for the occasion.

She said: “We’ve had Chesterfield FC Community Trust working alongside Tina Jenner Photography and Chesterfield Football Club to do our first ever Red Nose Day extravaganza. It’s been great fun and even Chester joined in!”

Supporters who had their photos taken will receive their photos by email, with the funniest faces joining the first team squad in a special poster to celebrate the day.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Leisure, Visiting

Cracking Good Fun to Enjoy at Chatsworth this Easter

There’s something for visitors of all ages to enjoy at Chatsworth this Easter and plenty of treats in store as the estate opens up for its new season – complete with spring flowers and decorations.

As well as the hugely popular Easter Egg hunts in the Farmyard, catering for up to 1,000 egg hunters a day, children will also be able to climb aboard the magical Easter Eggspress setting off several times a day.

Visitors to the house and garden will also be able to join the in the fun spotting decorated eggs hidden inside to tie in with new items and old favourites while a dozen golden eggs hidden around the garden will draw attention to the spring highlights. Both house & garden egg hunt trails are free upon admission.

Free face painting will be on offer in Flora’s Temple, and there will also be the chance to spot the Easter Bunny who will be hopping by every day of the Easter weekend from 3 – 6 April.

There will be plenty going on over the whole school holiday period (28 March – 12 April), with spring themed craft activities taking place daily in the Oak Barn in the Farmyard and outdoor crafts and spring bulb planting on offer at the newly opened educational centre, The Stickyard.

Chatsworth re-opens after the winter break for the new 2015 season on March 28. For more information on activities, times and prices, visit www.chatsworth.org

Posted in About Chesterfield, Leisure, Visiting

Chesterfield Apprentices Battle it out in Town Centre Competition

Apprentices from Learning Unlimited and business students from Chesterfield College will be battling it out at Chesterfield market on Thursday 12 March to decide the winning team of a challenge set to coincide with National Apprenticeship week.

The competition is the end of a 4 day challenge in which the teams were given £150 and a brief to create a product to sell to shoppers in Chesterfield town centre. The winning team will be the one that make the most profit at the end of the day. All profits will be donated to Ashgate Hospicecare and the winning team members will receive a prize of £50 of Love to Shop vouchers each.

During the week the apprentice teams have been putting their business, marketing, finance and production skills to the test, highlighting just how apprenticeships can prepare young people for a successful career in business.

Holly Thompson, apprentice at Learning Unlimited said: “Challenges like this really make you appreciate how much you learn on an apprenticeship. It gives you the knowledge and the practical skills you need to achieve so much. This competition has given us the chance to show others what we have learnt and the skills an apprenticeship can give you.”

Paul Champion, Operations Director from Learning Unlimited said: “I am looking forward to seeing the products that the teams are creating. I have seen them demonstrate some good business skills and fresh ideas so far and I can see how passionate they are about business. Apprenticeships give businesses so many benefits including making the most of this type of talent. Putting apprentices to the test like this proves what they are capable of when they have had the chance to earn and learn in a real business situation.”

Learning Unlimited advisers will be at Chesterfield Market on Thursday to talk to young people and businesses about how apprenticeships can work for them.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Visiting

Workplace Challenge Inspires Local Organisations to Get Fit

People in Chesterfield and Derbyshire have really stepped up to the 2015 Workplace Challenge by teaming up with their colleagues to get fitter and more active.

Designed to push physical activity in workplaces and offices over an eight-week period, this year’s programme has seen more than 70 people taking part after stating they were previously inactive.

The stand-out statistic was from the University of Derby, which has embraced Workplace Challenge in a big way, logging 1.8 million activity points – the most by any single organisation nationwide.

“We’re delighted the efforts put in by so many of our staff, who have clearly enjoyed getting active, has been reflected in this national recognition,” said Rob Woods, Senior Health and Safety Advisor at the University of Derby.

Derbyshire’s Workplace Challenge winner, measured by average points number of points accrued per person, was Sopra Steria of Hipper House, Chesterfield.  An 11-strong team clocked up 381,494 points at an average of 34,681, a total good enough to put them sixth on the national leaderboard.

Second and third were Chesterfield Borough Council departments at Venture House (90,716, average 30,239) and at the Sport and Leisure Office (126,118, average 25,224), while fourth was Trident Foams Limited (66,753, average 22,251).

“We’ve tried to offer activities that fit into people’s days – like morning and lunchtime sessions,” said Cathy Hinde, Workplace Champion and Marketing and Communications Officer for the Sport and Leisure team at Chesterfield Borough Council.

“They were free for the first two weeks and then charged at only £1 per session – and we regularly email staff about what’s on offer,”

The top three individuals were Neil Hunt (Ladycross Infant School) with 86,992 activity points, JAW (University of Derby) 77,533 and Barry Tomlinson (Chesterfield Borough Council, Environment Services) 71,510.

Derbyshire Sport Director Hayley Lever said: “It’s great to see that so many Derbyshire people have got the fitness bug through the Workplace Challenge, not just as individuals, but contributing along with their colleagues as part of a team.”

Individuals can continue to log their Workplace Challenge activity and track their progress throughout the year, while new workplaces and individuals can still sign up.

The next national challenge will take place in September and local challenges will run throughout 2015.

For details go to www.workplacechallenge.org.uk/derbyshire

Image (c) Chesterfield Borough Council – 2015 Derbyshire Workplace Challenge

Posted in About Chesterfield, Leisure

Footballers Trade Places with Engineers for National Apprenticeship Week

20 apprentices from Chesterfield Football Club will hang up their boots and swap the pitch for the workshop when they trade places with 18 mechanical engineering apprentices during National Apprenticeship Week (9 – 13 March).

The Big Apprentice Swap, which takes place on Friday 13 March, has been organised by Chesterfield Champion NLT Training Services; a specialist training and provider of apprentices in welding, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering.

The Chesterfield FC apprentices will experience a day in NLT Training’s workshop gaining hands-on experience in welding, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. NLT’s apprentices will spend the day as footballers undergoing physical training both in the gym and on the pitch at the Proact stadium.

14 of the NLT apprentices taking part in the event are currently undertaking Level 2 and 3 apprenticeships with local employers. Four outstanding learners from NLT’s pre-apprenticeship programme Evolve, have also been selected by tutors to take part in the training at Chesterfield Football Club.

Andy Sheppard, CEO of NLT Training Services said: “The Big Apprentice Swap highlights perfectly the diversity of apprenticeships available in Chesterfield today. There is literally something for everyone.

“National Apprenticeship Week 2015 gives us the opportunity to showcase the far reaching benefits of apprenticeships. For young people they provide them with a solid platform for their future career. 83% of young people who are in apprenticeships tell us that their ability to do their job and career prospects had improved.  For employers, apprenticeships, particularly in the manufacturing and engineering sector, are essential to filling the skills gap and securing the future growth of these companies.”

Spireites Chief Executive, Chris Turner said: “We are pleased to be able to support this initiative to help raise awareness of apprenticeships and the opportunities they offer. The club’s youngsters will benefit from the experience of spending a day in a different environment, learning new skills in the NLT Training workshop, while our coaches will enjoy putting the NLT apprentices through their paces!”

Since 2010, two million apprenticeships have been started with 90% of apprentices remaining in employment after successfully completing their apprenticeship.

National Apprenticeship Week (NAW) is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and is designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the wider economy.

The Big Apprentice Swap is just one of number events being organised by NLT Training Services during the week-long celebrations for National Apprenticeship Week both locally and further afield. Other events include:

  • Monday 9 March: A day in the Life of an Apprentices. Staff will be taught by NLT’s own Level 3 apprentices;
  • Tuesday 10 March: NLT is holding a mini careers convention for Yr11s at Springwell School;
  • Wednesday 11 March: NLT learners are attending the UK’s young scientists and engineers fair The Big Bang at Birmingham’s NEC;
  • Friday 13 March:The Big Apprentice Swap
  • Saturday 14 March: NLT Training Services Open Day from 12:00- 4:00pm. A chance for local companies and young people to view the facilities, and talk to the Business Development team about the Evolve Engineering programme and apprenticeships.

(Image features apprentices Casey Allen and Matt Jamson.)

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business

Prizes on Offer to Celebrate Tourism in Chesterfield

Visitors to Chesterfield can win prizes in a series of competitions run by Chesterfield Visitor Information Centre.

Designed to celebrate tourism in Chesterfield as part of English Tourism Week from 14th – 22nd March, competitions include:-

• A word search to win tickets for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Winding Wheel;
• A Chesterfield quiz to win a family ticket to Hardwick Hall;
• Name 25 things you can buy on Chesterfield Market to win a £5 market voucher;
• How to spend 24 hours in Chesterfield to win a voucher for Stephenson’s Tea and Coffee House.;

Entry forms cost £1.50 and are available from the Visitor Information Centre.

Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s Executive Member for Leisure, Culture and Tourism said: “We have a great range of attractions for people here in Chesterfield and these competitions encourage people to think about the variety of things to do in the town.

“I’d encourage anyone to call into the Visitor Information Centre to pick up an entry form and take part to win one of the great prizes on offer.”

The deadline for entries is Tuesday 7 April.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Leisure, Visiting

Funding Available for Chesterfield Community Groups

Chesterfield community groups can now apply for funding of up to £5,000 through Chesterfield Borough Council’s Community Chest.

Registered charities, community and voluntary groups in Chesterfield or with strong links to the borough can apply for grants between £1,000 and £5,000 from the scheme which aims to improve facilities for residents.

To be eligible for support, all activities must support the priorities set by local people at the council’s Community Assembly meetings.

Councillor Sharon Blank, Chesterfield Borough Council’s Executive Member for Customers and Communities, said: “The Community Chest is a great opportunity for local organisations to apply for funding which will improve the quality of life for our residents.  “I’d encourage eligible groups looking for funding to get in touch and apply.”

The deadline for applications is Friday 24 April with successful organisations receiving the funding in June. Further funding will also be allocated in the autumn.

More information is available on Chesterfield Borough Council’s website at http://www.chesterfield.gov.uk/Community-Assembly-Community-Chest-1403.html

Posted in About Chesterfield, Leisure

Psychic Sally Morgan Heads to Chesterfield

One of the nation’s favourite mediums – Sally Morgan – is back on tour and due to bring her jaw-dropping show to Chesterfield this April.

Formerly medium to Diana, the Princess of Wales, International star, Sally has a long list of celebrity clients and has performed in front of a combined audience of over 750,000 people in hundreds of venues.  Her TV show Sally Morgan: On the Road ran for three series and continues to be shown around the world. Sally is also the best-selling author of several books and is a regular guest and panellist on other popular television shows.

Sally says: “I love being on the road, reaching out to my fans and comforting people about life after death. Every night when I’m on stage amazing things happen and it’s a privilege to be able to pass on messages of love and comfort to the people I share my gift with.”

Sally Morgan comes to the Winding Wheel on Thursday 2nd April. Tickets are available at http://chesterfieldtheatres.co.uk/shows/sally-morgan.aspx#.VQFp4vmsV1Y



Posted in About Chesterfield, Leisure, Visiting

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