Chesterfield Retail Awards

Vicar Lane partners with Derbyshire Adult Community Education in virtual employer challenge for young people

Chesterfield’s Vicar Lane Shopping Centre is working with Derbyshire Adult Community Education (DACES) to run a virtual education programme for young adults in Chesterfield.

Vicar Lane is working with organisers on a ‘Virtual Employer Challenge’, whereby the young people are set a task within a real-life employment environment. Participants will watch a virtual tour of the shopping centre to familiarise themselves with the task at hand on Wednesday 8th July, before working on their ideas.

The task Vicar Lane has set involves the young people imagining they are opening a pop-up shop and deciding what products they would like to sell. They are required to produce a business plan for their business and show how it will fit in with the current retailers at Vicar Lane. At the end of the programme, they have to present their proposed solution back to the employer.

The programme is aimed at young people aged 16 to help them gain the skills they need for the world of work. The programme can lead to apprenticeships, further training and employment.

Proposals will be presented by the learners, back to the centre management team via Zoom on Thursday 23rd July.

Shaun Brown, Centre Manager at Vicar Lane said, “It’s a privilege to be working with a team of young people from the Chesterfield community to help improve their career prospects. Last year’s initiative generated some really exciting results, so we are looking forward to virtually seeing what this group of learners come up with.”

Click here to find out more about Vicar Lane Shopping Centre

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

The Vicar Lane team at the launch of the new screen in February.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Featured, Home

Enjoy a picnic in Chesterfield with local food and drink

With so many wonderful spots to enjoy a picnic in Chesterfield, you’ll need to make the most of every day to fit them all in this summer.

That means you’ll also need to come up with lots of different food and drink ideas.

Do you have a sweet tooth or are you a lover of savoury snacks? Do you like to spend time baking for your picnic or would you rather pick up a ready-made hamper? Whatever your taste or lifestyle, there are plenty of delicious local food and drink options for you to try.

Remember to take all of your waste with you after your picnic to reduce litter and support the environment. Make sure to keep your family safe by following these NHS sun safety tips.

For more great places to eat and drink in Chesterfield, visit our Eating Out section to find great restaurants, gastro pubs, bars, cafes and more. You can also check out the past winners of the Chesterfield Food & Drink Awards here.

If you love being outdoors, here is a list of bike rides and cycle routes around Chesterfield that you can try out.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your favourite picnic blanket and enjoy some of these Chesterfield food and drink products!

Local picnic basket items
Ready-made picnic baskets
Recipe ideas

Local picnic basket items

Cup & Saucer Teas – Pennine Picnic Cold Brew

Pennine Picnic Cold Brew is a special cold tea drink, made from pieces of apple, rosehip, pineapple, coconut, hibiscus petals and natural flavours. It is bottled, ready to drink and comes in two sizes. The bottles are also recycleable and you can get a 10p refund when you return the bottle so it can re re-used or recycled.

  • £1.60 – 330ml bottle
  • £3.50 – 750ml bottle

Gail Hannan, Owner of Cup & Saucer Teas, says it’s perfect for a picnic because… it tastes like a Pina Colada (without the alcohol) or for adults it can be used as a tasty mixer with Gin, it’s really refreshing, fruity and it’s a favourite of both children and adults.

The Pennine Picnic Cold Brew can be purchased from Cup & Saucer, 132 High Street, Clay Cross, S45 9EE. You can find more Cup & Saucer products, including teas, gift hampers and other local products here –

Little Morton Farm – Award-winning pork pies

Little Morton Farm is passionate about our animals and producing great tasting produce. A Little Morton Farm gold award-winning pork pie is a perfect savoury addition to your picnic basket. It is made on the farm with home bred and reared, organic fed, pedigree, Berkshire pork.

  • £2 – Medium pie
  • £3.50 – Large pie

Tom & Daniella say it’s perfect for a picnic because… Every picnic needs a pork pie!

These are available to buy from the farm shop at Little Morton Farm in North Wingfield. To order, please call 01246 859 904 by Wednesday for collection on Fridays and Saturdays. For more information and to see more products from Little Morton Farm, visit

Crooked Pickle Co – Bread & Butter Pickles

These Bread & Butter Pickles are a tasty twist of a classic favourite, and there is even a hot version for those who are feeling more adventurous!

  • £4.95 per jar

Felix, Owner of The Crooked Pickle Co, says it’s perfect for a picnic because… Our Bread & Butter Pickles are crunchy, sweet-sour and delicately spiced and which makes them amazing on picnic sandwiches, with cold cuts and pork pies.

You can purchase these from the Crooked Pickle Co online store here – or from No.10 The Tea Room and Society Coffee Shop & Bar, both located in Chesterfield town centre.

Casa Hotel’s infamous scotch eggs

These delicious Scotch eggs are a brilliant addition to any hamper, a firm favourite with the Casa diners and team! They are available every day from Casa Hotel and they will continue to sell these post reopening as part of their takeaway offerings.

  • £2 per scotch egg

Alex from Casa Hotel says it’s perfect for a picnic because… it’s made from locally reared pork and eggs sourced from Casa Hotel’s Walton Lodge Farm.

Franklin & Sons – Soft Drinks & RTS cans

Produced by Chesterfield’s Global Brands, Franklin & Sons has teamed up with the UK’s top Gin brands to create a range of ready-to-drink G&T cans that tick a lot of boxes. Just cool, click, pour and enjoy. These are available locally at Tesco, Co-op & Morrisons, online at or can be ordered for delivery on the City Grab app through Casa at Home.

  • The RRP is around £2 in the supermarkets or you can buy a case of 12 for £17.49 on the City Grab App or

Fancy something non-alcoholic for your picnic? Franklin & Sons also has a delicious range of Sodas. Sister’s Sodas provide that fresh sophisticated flavour, the perfect grown-up soft drink, sure to cool you down on a hot summer’s day! Available at Tesco, online at or can be ordered for delivery on the City Grab app through Casa at Home.

  • The RRP is £1.20 a can in the supermarkets or you can buy a case of 12 for £9 on the City Grab App or

Charlotte from Global Brands says these products are perfect for a picnic because… They are perfect pick-me-up picnic tipples and they look seriously swanky too!

Northern Tea Merchants – Hot and Cold Teas

Northern Tea’s Gourmet Classic Tea is their finest quality small leaf ‘breakfast tea’, Gourmet Classic is easy to drink, with a delicious aroma, a bright and coppery liquor and excellent flavour due to its excellent quality constituent teas. Drink with milk at any time of day but particularly good at breakfast or an afternoon tea picnic.

  • £3 for 40 tea bags
  • £3.35 for 125g of loose leaf tea
  • £5.63 for 250g of loose leaf tea

Or how about a Red Berry Mix infusion to serve cold as a refreshing summer fruit punch at a picnic? This can be brewed, cooled overnight, then transferred into a flask and will make a lovely refreshing drink on a particularly hot day like we’ve had lately. A spot of honey will make the brew an even more delightful sweet treat.

  • £2.42 for 50g
  • £5.90 for 125g
  • £6.15 for 15 tea temples

James Pogson, Owner of Northern Tea Merchants, says these products are perfect for a picnic because… these teas are perfect for any tea lover and what picnic would be complete without a flask of tea?

Available to purchase online from, from Northern Tea Merchants, 193 Chatsworth Road (free parking available on-street or car park to the rear of the shop) or give the shop a call on 01246 232 600 to arrange free local delivery.

Cacoa Elora – craft chocolate bars

Cacoa Elora is Derbyshire’s only craft chocolate producer making bean to bar chocolate using ethically sourced cocoa beans from Venezuela, Uganda, Nicaragua and Indonesia. Cacoa Elora make a range of dark and dark milk chocolate bars, including vegan options within their milk range of premium bars.

Their bars are full of flavour and let you taste cocoa rather than the sugar which is laden into branded chocolate. Each one is made using the minimum of machinery and tempered by hand on marble.

John, Owner of Cacoa Elora, says these products are perfect for a picnic because… We grind and conche our beans for many hours to bring out the natural notes present within each origin.

They can be purchased from the online shop at or they can be purchased at at Cup and Saucer in Clay Cross.

Ready-made picnic baskets

Let a local business do all the work for you and purchase a ready-made picnic basket from one of the below companies.

Salute Prosecco

Chesterfield’s Salute has recently launched its own rage of gift hampers and has created a special Picnic hamper to mark National Picnic Month.

£28.99 (including p&p) – Salute Picnic Hamper:

  • 1 x Cake
  • 1 x Packet of crisps
  • 1 x Bottles of water
  • 1 x Mini Gin & Franklin & Sons Tonic
  • 1 x Mini Prosecco
  • 1 x bottle opener
  • plus plastic glasses

To find out more, visit, email or call 07807 159 322.

Chatsworth House

With two picnics to choose from, created for two or four people, these picnics showcase the best of estate farm shop and local produce and are served in a reusable Chatsworth cool bag. Access to the house car park is included with all picnic bookings.

£45 – Chatsworth Family picnic (2 adults and 2 children)

  • Two filled baguettes
  • Two children’s sandwiches
  • Estate farm shop pork pie
  • Summer vegetable quiche
  • Carriage House chunky coleslaw
  • Potato salad
  • Estate farm shop crisps
  • Fresh fruit pots
  • Freshly baked scones with cream and jam
  • Chocolate brownies
  • Two Fentimans botanical beverages
  • Two Cawston Press juice boxes

£50 – Garden gourmet picnic (2 adults)

  • A selection of estate farm shop charcuterie and local cheese
  • Freshly baked rolls and artisan crackers
  • English asparagus, mango and avocado salad
  • Sweet potato, pickled onion, coriander and goats cheese salad
  • Summer vegetable frittata
  • Estate farm shop crisps
  • Summer berries with clotted cream
  • Gold leaf macaroons
  • Chatsworth vanilla fudge
  • Elderflower presse
  • A bottle of Earl of Burlington Collection wine

To find out more or to order, visit or call 01246 565300.

Van Dyk by Wildes

Order a delicious Van Dyk Picnic Hamper and you can choose dine on their new lawns or as a takeaway.

£36.95 – Van Dyk Picnic Hamper for two people

  • Van Dyk’s classic scotch egg and house piccalilli
  • Handraised Nottinghamshire pork pie
  • Cropwell Bishop organic Stilton
  • Vintage Lincolnshire poacher
  • Black Bomber cheddar & Henderson’s relish straws
  • Van Dyk’s marmalade and mustard glazed gammon
  • Chorizo and sausage rolls
  • House pickles and chutney
  • Marinated olives
  • Home baked sour dough loaf and butter

To find out more or to order call 01246 387386.

Recipe ideas

Get the whole family involved and try out a recipe from a local food & drink business. These items can then be added to your picnic basket and taken with you.

Carrot Cake – Stephenson’s Coffee and Tea House

Claire Wood, owner of Stephenson’s Coffee and Tea House, winner of many Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards over the years, shares her recipe for their scrumptious Carrot Cake.

Click here for the recipe

Chocolate Brownie – The Tickled Trout

Chris Mapp, Head Chef at the award- winning The Tickled Trout restaurant in Barlow says: “This brownie recipe has something of legendary status at The Tickled Trout now. It is so good, we just cannot take it off the menu. It is a proper signature dessert and great for chocolate lovers.”

Click here for the recipe

Florentines – Jacksons the Bakers

Trevor Jackson, Managing Director of Jacksons The Bakers in Chesterfield, and a former winner of the Chesterfield Food & Drink Awards ‘Food Hero of the Year’ award, shares the recipe for their popular Florentines.

Click here for the recipe

Energy Boost Smoothie – Qoozies

This delicious Energy Boost Smoothie from Qoozies, located in Vicar Lane Shopping Centre, is all made with fresh fruit and veg, and nothing else. It’s perfect for an all-natural energy boost!

Click here for the recipe

Lemon & Ginger Cheesecake with Raspberry Sorbet – Casa Hotel

This delicious cheesecake recipe, which will give a wow to any entertaining is taken from the cookbook, Mi Casa: Spanish-inspired recipes from the heart of Derbyshire. Written by local entrepreneur and Chesterfield’s four star Casa Hotel owner, Steve Perez.

Click here for the recipe

Find out more about Summer in Chesterfield

Posted in About Chesterfield, Blog, Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Leisure, Summer, Visiting

Chesterfield’s hospitality and leisure businesses start to reopen

More businesses across Chesterfield, including pubs and restaurants, are set to re-open to the public from Saturday 4 July.

To make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable weekend, Chesterfield Borough Council is reminding residents and visitors to adhere to social distancing rules and respect the Covid-19 secure measures that local businesses have put in place.

Residents that are making a special visit to a particular town centre business are being reminded to check that it is open as a number of businesses have delayed opening until Monday 6 July.

Councillor Kate Sarvent, Cabinet Member for Town Centres and Visitor Economy, said: “After over 100 days of lockdown, this is a great chance for you to visit the town centre and support our local businesses. Sustaining our many brilliant independent businesses as well as the many household names that appear on Chesterfield’s high street is vital for our local economy.”

“Please do look after yourselves and your families. If we all follow the rules we can keep everyone safe. It is vitally important that we all remember this when visiting our favourite pubs and restaurants.”

The council is working closely with its partners to ensure that everyone can have a safe and enjoyable weekend.

There will be an increased police presence and the council’s town centre ambassadors will also be on hand if people need any support.

The council’s licensing team have been working with business owners to ensure that they have undertaken appropriate risk assessments and have procedures in place to ensure the safety of both their customers and their staff. Bars and restaurants will be collecting customer details as part of their responsibility under the NHS track and trace system.

The council is encouraging visitors to walk or cycle into the town centre where possible, as it is anticipated that taxis will be busy. Each taxi company will also have their own Covid-19 secure working arrangements in place and you should check these when booking.

Residents using public transport are also required to wear a face covering on all public transport.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Destination Chesterfield, Featured, Home, Leisure, Summer, Visiting

Free advertising for Chesterfield businesses

To help support local businesses that are re-opening, and to showcase Chesterfield as a great place to visit, Chesterfield Borough Council is offering retail, hospitality and leisure businesses the chance to take out free listings on the VisitChesterfield website until 31 March 2021.

Councillor Kate Sarvent said: “We know things have been tough for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses over the past few months. It is hoped this advertising opportunity will assist them with the process of reopening and provide a timely sales boost.”

Kate added: “VisitChesterfield aims to promote the town and its businesses to potential tourists as well as local residents, so this free advertising provides a great opportunity for these businesses to let customers, both old and new, know that they are back open for business.”

Independent businesses who are interested in taking advantage of this opportunity should visit, complete the application form and send it to along with high resolution landscape images of their business.

Destination Chesterfield are also offering free listings to local businesses on their new Supporting Local website – It currently has details of nearly 100 shops, food and drink businesses, training, support and service providers in and around Chesterfield that have adapted to provide and supply their products and services remotely.

Many town centre businesses are positive about their future following the success of the Shop Local message which has been championed by Destination Chesterfield, Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Borough Council throughout lockdown.

Chesterfield Visitor Information Centre

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

Chesterfield’s independent retailers share their reopening experiences

Non-essential retailers in Chesterfield town centre returned to their shops and stores on Monday 15th June.

Supporting retailers and visitors, Chesterfield Borough Council has implemented social distancing measures throughout the town centre, market and Market Hall.

The implementation of safety measures mean that some retailers are now promising a ‘celebrity’ shopping experience for Chesterfield shoppers.

For shoppers who are still shielding however, the Supporting Local website created by Destination Chesterfield has details of around 100 shops, food and drink businesses, training, support and service providers in and around Chesterfield that have adapted to provide and supply their products and services remotely.

Below, owners of three independent retailers in Chesterfield share their experiences since re-opening to the public.

Laura Jo Owen, Owner of Adorn Jewellers in The Shambles, has been in contact with customers via social media throughout lockdown finding out how they wanted to shop once lockdown was lifted. They told her that they didn’t want to queue to get into the shop do an appointment-only system was introduced when the shop re-opened on 15 June.

Laura Jo said: “Because we are just a small shop, we put an appointment-only system into place to manage the social distancing guidelines, but we didn’t know how it was going to work out. However, it has gone really well. On the first day of opening we were fully booked and have been nicely booked up since which is very positive. We have hand sanitiser in the shop, which we are encouraging customers to use and we clean in between appointments.”

“It’s been a lovely week back at the shop. People are considerate, understanding and happy to be out. There’s still a spirit of ‘in this together’ which is encouraging to see.”

“I really hope this new-found momentum for high street shopping continues. Now, more than ever, people are voting with their feet for the shops and stores they want to see remain on the high street.”

Lisa Swift, Owner of Shop Indie in Vicar Lane Shopping Centre said: “We’re delighted to re-open. We’ve had a steady flow of customers in the store since re-opening. Lockdown has given people a new appreciation of going into a shop and being able to browse, particularly when they’re looking for a gift and don’t know what they want.”

“The shop has hand sanitiser throughout the store which customers are encouraged to use. We’ve also put stickers on the floor reminding people of social distancing and added a Perspex screen to the counter.”

“The feedback from customers has been great. We’ve spent lockdown finding new suppliers and products for the shop and we’ve had great feedback from customers. At the moment the shop is only open on Monday, Friday and Saturday as we’re having to combine operating the business with home schooling our young children. We’ll be increasing the opening hours of the business gradually. We’re very much looking forward to getting back to being open six days a week.”

Dorothy Robinson, Owner of Dotique on Chatsworth Road, re-opened on Monday 15 June. She said: “We are so excited to be open again,. It’s a relief to re-open our doors after so many weeks and welcome customers into the store. Some were nervous coming in for the first time but seeing the safety measures we have in place has given them confidence to return.”

“We’ve thought a lot about keeping our staff and customers safe. Only four customers are allowed in the shop at any one time and, once inside, we ask them to sanitise their hands from one of our sanitiser points. We have two-metre marking throughout the shop, free masks and gloves and Perspex screens on the till point. Customers are allowed to use the changing rooms to try on clothes but afterwards we fully clean the changing room and the clothes are steamed and put in isolation for three days – luckily we have a lot of clothes.”

“It’s early days and despite talk of reducing the two metre rule to one metre, we’ll keep two metres in place as we want to ensure everyone is safe when shopping with us.”

Many town centre businesses are positive about their future following the success of the Shop Local message which has been championed by Destination Chesterfield, the Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Borough Council throughout lockdown.

A report released yesterday (25 June) by East Midlands Chamber has revealed optimism among local businesses for a full recovery following the outbreak of Covid-19. Click here to read more.

Destination Chesterfield are always passionate about supporting local businesses and are keen to encourage people to continue to do so at the moment. In the latest blog by Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield, read why Supporting Chesterfield retailers is vital for our local economy.

Click here to visit Destination Chesterfield’s Supporting Local website

Posted in About Chesterfield, Blog, Business, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Destination Chesterfield, Leisure, Made in Chesterfield, Summer, Visiting

Tourism businesses encouraged to apply for new industry standard mark

Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire has welcomed the announcement of a new UK-wide industry standard mark that will provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism businesses as the sector works towards reopening on 4 July.

The ‘We’re Good To Go’ accreditation, introduced by VisitEngland in partnership with national tourist organisations, means businesses can demonstrate that they are adhering to Government and public health guidance and have the required processes in place.

The scheme is free to join and Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire is encouraging local businesses to apply as soon as possible to ensure they are COVID-secure and ready to welcome visitors.

Jo Dilley, Managing Director of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire says: “We’re encouraging all local tourism businesses to apply for the ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard, which will play a vital role in ensuring visitors can enjoy a holiday in the Peak District and Derbyshire this summer and be confident they can do so with peace of mind.

Jo added: “We know that businesses are already working incredibly hard to prepare for reopening on 4 July, and this new industry standard provides a welcome boost of confidence for the sector and added reassurance for our visitors that we are putting all the right measures in place.”

To obtain the accreditation businesses must complete a self-assessment through an online platform, before receiving certification and the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark for display in their premises and online.

Businesses must align with the Government’s official guidance for the sector including ‘Working Safely during COVID-19: Visitor Economy’, which outlines the processes and facilities that tourism businesses in England need to put in place before reopening.

The scheme has been developed in partnership with national tourist authorities with input from more than 40 industry bodies including Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire. For more information on the industry standard mark, click here.

Details of Marketing Peak District & Derbyshire’s ‘welcome back’ campaign will be released shortly.

Please note: images were taken prior to the Coronavirus pandemic

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

Chesterfield Borough Council receives support from Re-opening the High Street Safely Fund

Chesterfield Borough Council has received £92,500 in funding from the Re-opening the High Street Safely Fund.

The funding is primarily for use in Chesterfield town centre, but can also be used to support the re-opening of other district shopping areas such as Staveley town centre, Chatsworth Road and Whittington Moor.

The Government has allocated the funding from the European Regional Development Fund, as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020, to help support the process of reopening England’s high streets safely. The European Regional Development Fund helps local areas stimulate their economic development by investing in projects which will support innovation, businesses, create jobs and local community regenerations.

The funding, which will be used in collaboration with Destination Chesterfield, will help implement new measures to encourage the safe re-opening of Chesterfield town centre considering the challenges presented by Covid-19 and the need to promote and maintain safe social distancing.

Some of the funding will also be used for communication and public information campaigns to market the town centre and the borough as a place to visit and to encourage more and more people to shop local. More information about how the funding will be spent will be announced over the coming weeks.

Dom Stevens, Manager of Destination Chesterfield, said: “Businesses and organisations across Chesterfield have shown great resilience during the lockdown period. Experiences with our Chesterfield Champions and other local companies has shown that businesses are keen to pull together and come out the other side of the coronavirus pandemic stronger than ever.”

He added: “The Destination Chesterfield team will continue to promote the Shop Local message over the coming months and to support retailers in their recovery.”

Launched in April by Destination Chesterfield, the Supporting Local website has helped Chesterfield’s independent businesses and service providers continue to operate and supply their services and products during lockdown.

Chesterfield Borough Council has already used some of the funding on signage and road and pavement markings to support shoppers to maintain safe social distancing around the outdoor market, market hall and Chesterfield town centre.

Click here to find out more about Destination Chesterfield

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Summer, Visiting

A ‘celebrity’ shopping experience awaits Chesterfield shoppers

Non-essential retailers in Chesterfield town centre have returned to their shops and stores and re-opened with coronavirus-related safety measures in place after 13 weeks of closure.

The implementation of safety measures mean that some retailers are now promising shoppers a ‘celebrity’ shopping experience.

Laura Jo Owen, owner of Adorn Jewellers based in The Shambles said: “We’ve been chatting to our customers via social media throughout lockdown so that has helped us understand how they want to shop with us. They don’t want to queue and wait around to get into the shop which is why we’ve introduced an appointment only system to Adorn.”

“Whether purchasing or not, we want people to not feel pressured and have the shop to themselves – a celebrity shopping experience! We’re more than happy for customers just to browse and have a catch up with us – we’ve missed them.”

Ashgate Hospicecare has installed Perspex screens on the tills in its shops and also removed and condensed displays to enable people to observe the two-metre distancing rule.

Eighty-five per cent of the shops and stores in Vicar Lane Shopping Centre have re-opened with the remainder set to follow over the next few weeks.

Sarah Bowler, Office Administrator and Commercialisation Co-Ordinator at Vicar Lane Shopping Centre, explained: “All of the retailers at Vicar Lane have been working very hard to implement measures that make it as safe as possible for everyone. As well as social distancing measures, some stores are providing hand-sanitising stations, or are offering appointment-only shopping. Additionally, some are operating reduced opening hours.”

Ashgate Hospicecare is undertaking a phased re-opening of its shops and donation centres over a three-week period. “The shops and donation centre will be re-opened over a three-week period, starting with our donation point and furniture store in Hasland,” added Laura Evans, Head of Retail Operations at Ashgate Hospicecare.

Sarah added: “We have provided details of every store’s safety measures and opening times on the Vicar Lane website to help visitors feel confident about visiting us. We’re reviewing government guidelines on a daily basis and ensuring that we are able to adapt quickly.”

Vicar Lane Shopping Centre

Supporting retailers and visitors, Chesterfield Borough Council has implemented social distancing measures throughout the town centre, market and Market Hall.

There is now visible signage around the town centre advising shoppers where to queue outside individual shops. There are also signs in areas such as car parks and green spaces reminding people to follow social distancing guidelines keeping two metres apart from anyone outside of their household, and not to congregate in groups.

Councillor Kate Sarvent, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centres and visitor economy, said: “The safety of those who live, work and shop in Chesterfield town centre remains the council’s number one priority and we have been working closely with local retailers and market traders to make sure we can maintain safe social distancing within the town centre.”

“If you are worried about anything or have any questions, our town centre ambassadors will be on hand to help you.”

Retailers have praised the measures Chesterfield Borough Council has put in place around the town centre. “The council has also really considered the flow of people around The Shambles so we’re confident that social distancing is fully in place for every visitor,” said Laura-Jo.

Adorn Jewellers of Chesterfield

The safety measures have also given entrepreneurs confidence to set up a town centre business.

Prior to lockdown, Natalia Marcheta, owner of mobile Prosecco bar, Salute, was due to set up a pop-up bar in Vicar Lane and plans remain in place for later in the year. She said: “Having seen the social distancing measures the council has put in place in the town centre, it has given us confidence to go-ahead with the venture in-line with the government guidelines of when hospitality businesses are allowed to re-open, as we know that our staff and customers will be safe.”

The British Retail Consortium (BRC), is urging the public to “play their part” in making shopping safer. It says customers should follow five steps:

  • Queue considerately
  • Maintain social distancing
  • Follow instructions inside and outside shops
  • Follow all necessary hygiene measures
  • Be respectful to shop staff

Lockdown has hit many businesses and charities on the high street hard. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), retailers saw clothing and footwear purchases fall by two thirds.

Laura Evans explained: “The temporary closure of our shops has had a significant impact on the charity. Twenty-nine per cent of Ashgate Hospicecare’s income comes from its retail operations so we’re delighted to be able to re-open the shops.”

Ashgate Hospicecare’s Hasland Store

Vicar Lane praised the Government support for retailers during lockdown. Sarah Bowler “We’re delighted that all the existing retailers in Vicar Lane are re-opening after Lockdown, and we’ve also got a new bridal shop opening called Precious Memories by Anne-Marie. The Government help has been very welcome during this period and retailers are very thankful for the Rates Relief for this year – it is a huge weight off their shoulders.”

Despite the forced closure of non-essential retailers, many of Chesterfield’s retailers believe lockdown has been good for the health of the high street. Many town centre businesses are positive about their future following the success of the Shop Local message which has been championed by Destination Chesterfield, Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Borough Council throughout lockdown.

Launched in April by Destination Chesterfield, the Supporting Local website has helped Chesterfield’s independent businesses and service providers continue to operate and supply their services and products during lockdown.

Dom Stevens, Manager of Destination Chesterfield explained: “The resilience that local businesses and service providers have shown during lockdown has been remarkable. Plans are in place by Destination Chesterfield to continue to promote the Shop Local message beyond lockdown and support retailers in their recovery and help them thrive as part of the town centre.”

Laura-Jo Owen said: “I think lockdown has helped people realise the shops and stores they have on their doorstep so I am expecting new customers who discovered us on social media over the last 12 weeks, to also visit the shop. We’re so happy to re-open and welcome back old and new customers to Adorn.”

Lisa Swift, owner of Shop Indie agreed, saying: “We believe that after the lockdown has ended and people are allowed to move freely that they will have a much better appreciation of local businesses they have been reliant on during lockdown.”

Despite the challenging circumstances, Chesterfield’s retailers and the council are united in their enthusiasm to re-open and welcome back customers.

Councillor Kate Sarvent said: “It’s great to see so many people back in the town centre as we look to restart our local economy. We know that many of you will have spent the last three months shopping online, but now is your chance to come back to the town centre, indulge in some retail therapy and support Chesterfield businesses by shopping local.

“The town centre has so much to offer. From national retailers to small independent stores and of course our outdoor market and Market Hall, there really is something for everyone.

“You’ll have the opportunity to browse and buy some of those nice to have items that you simply haven’t been able to get. Father’s Day is just around the corner too, so it’s the perfect chance for you to support our local retailers when you’re out looking for a gift.”

Click here for the Destination Chesterfield Father’s Day Gift Guide

Laura Evans, of Ashgate Hospicecare, added: “One thing that hasn’t changed in all our shops however, is the warm and friendly welcome. We can’t wait to welcome staff, volunteers and customers back.”

Sarah Bowler from Vicar Lane Shopping Centre agreed, saying: “We’re all very excited to be re-opening and welcoming everyone and getting back to the new ‘normal’.”

For shoppers who are still shielding,  the website – has details of nearly 100 shops, food and drink businesses, training, support and service providers in and around Chesterfield that have adapted to provide and supply their products and services remotely.

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

Supporting Chesterfield retailers is vital for our local economy

After many long weeks of lockdown we are at last starting to see a bit of light at the end of the tunnel. We are also discovering what may be the ‘new normal’.

Social distancing is becoming a way of life, and for a friendly town like Chesterfield, this is something people can’t find easy or natural. However, I feel positive about the prospects for the town’s economic recovery following a recent report compiled by the Local Data Company.

According to the report, Chesterfield is one of the UK’s most resilient town centres in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. This means that we could recover more quickly from lockdown than other towns and cities.

Our resilience is attributed to the fact that we have a high percentage of essential retail which has still been able to trade during the pandemic, including market stall holders such as Ibbotson’s, and Market Hall traders like Cheese Factor and Elliot RB & Son. This has helped maintain the strength of the local economy.

Having an open air market has also put us in good stead for the re-opening of the town as it can be easily reconfigured to allow for social distancing. As it did more than 800 years ago, Chesterfield’s open air market is once again breathing life into the town centre.

While much of our shopping has had to be done online during the lockdown period, it has made many of us realise the importance of the social aspect of shopping, and the ability to ‘shop local’. We miss the opportunity to bump into friends and acquaintances and enjoy the sights and sounds of the town centre while out shopping.

During lockdown we have truly witnessed Chesterfield become a ghost town through no fault of our own. We should treat this experience as a warning, just like Charles Dickens’ the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. With an empty town centre during lockdown, people have had a real chance to see what may happen if they choose not to shop local, and to make use of the facilities which are available.

Local businesses have been a lifeline to many people during the lockdown period. As the town’s market and shops re-open as we ease out of lockdown, keep in mind the importance of these businesses – they offer a shopping experience that you just can’t get online. Make shopping local part of your new normal.

Click here to view the Destination Chesterfield Supporting Local pages

Posted in About Chesterfield, Blog, Business, Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Visiting

New bridal and prom dress boutique to open at Vicar Lane

Vicar Lane Shopping Centre is excited to welcome another new local name to the centre with its very own pop-up shop.

Precious Memories is Chesterfield’s newest bridal and prom dress boutique – offering its customers a glamourous experience, whatever the occasion. The store is set to open on Monday 15th June.

The owner and creator of Precious Memories, Anne-Marie, has always dreamed of one day running her own business which utilises her talents and expertise. After many years of modelling in the wedding industry, she was finally brave enough to follow her own dreams of creating the vision she had always dreamed of; a pristine, glamorous boutique, specialising in making women feel beautiful, empowered and like the queens they are.

Anne-Marie has a talent for high end customer service, personal stylist experience and a flare for hospitality. She understands how to dress each body shape to flatter, reflect personality and to evoke that powerful confidence when a woman feels beautiful.

Anne-Marie creates a warm, friendly space for ladies seeking bridal gowns and prom dresses that gives the ultimate VIP service, second to none, to absolutely every customer who walks through her doors.

The beautifully designed interior of Precious Memories allows customers to peruse through the exclusive designer dresses at ease and their luxurious, private viewing area adds a VIP element to the experience.

Precious Memories is also set to host a series of networking events for Brides and professionals in the wedding industry to connect. Bringing together local make-up artists, hair stylists, photographers and more in one location, Brides-to-be will be able to trial and sample a selection of products and services in one venue, taking the stress out of the wedding planning process.

Shaun Brown, Centre Manager at Vicar Lane said, “We’re incredibly excited to be welcoming Anne-Marie and ‘Precious Memories’ to Vicar Lane. It is an incredibly exciting business model with lots of truly original elements that we are sure our customers will benefit from and most importantly – enjoy!”

Click here to find out more about Vicar Lane Shopping Centre

Vicar Lane Shopping Centre are members of the Chesterfield Champions local business membership scheme. To find out more about the Chesterfield Champions, click here.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Featured, Home, Leisure, Summer, Visiting

Chesterfield’s Love Brewing hire four new staff after business growth during lockdown

Chesterfield-based business, Love Brewing, is celebrating growth in the business with the addition of four new members of staff.

The new team members will help to support the company’s growing customer base which has nearly quadrupled over the lockdown period including increased international sales alongside orders from across the country.

Love Brewing, based on Chatsworth Road, is a one-stop shop for anyone who enjoys making beer, wine, cider, or spirits at home and have a vast range of equipment and supplies available to purchase via its website and two retail outlets.

During the current Covid-19 crisis, Love Brewing has seen a huge renaissance in the sector and staff have been working 24/7 for the last 3 months to fulfil over 2000 orders per week.

Darren Byrne, General Manager of Love Brewing, said: “From a standing start some 8 years ago, we are delighted to have grown to be one of the leading home brew websites in the UK. We have been responsible for bringing some of the most innovative new products in home brew to the UK market over this time and have now developed our very own premium quality Wineworks, Ciderworks and Beerworks kits.”

Darren added: “My staff have risen to the challenge and I couldn’t wish for a better crew to have working for us, they have kept us running throughout all this and have adapted to the new working shift times, extra working days and working and trusting each other in the new working conditions of a COVID19 world we find ourselves in”.

Love Brewing has also been supporting essential organisations by producing hand sanitiser from the alcohol they produce with a mix of botanicals. Further emphasising the organisations focus on community – to produce the sanitiser and have been providing to local care homes and schools during the lockdown period including Hady School which Darren’s children attend.

Love Brewing are proud members of the Chesterfield Champions business membership scheme. Joining the scheme is a direct statement of belief from organisations about their commitment to Chesterfield and its successful future.

Darren said: “Chesterfield although a town, does have a feel of a city; embrace the local people and local produce and companies and you won’t go far wrong- a key reason we signed up as a Chesterfield Champion to join forces with the community focussed network.”

Click here to find out more about Love Brewing

Click here to find out more about becoming a Chesterfield Champion

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards, Chesterfield Retail Awards, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield

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