Friends of Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) gathered at a new community hub recently to celebrate ‘Feeling Connected Week’.
The Hub @ Low Pavement is DVA’s new pop-up community venue in Chesterfield’s town centre and will serve to promote better social connectedness and improved mental health and wellbeing for people in the local area.
The Hub will host activities, exhibitions and social get-togethers, as well as providing information about the local voluntary and community sector.
Chief Executive of DVA, Jacqui Willis, explains: “We’ve wanted to create an inclusive, welcoming and friendly place for members of the public and for volunteer-led community groups to come together and forge new connections for some time. To have the opportunity to do this at accessible premises in the heart of Chesterfield is fantastic.”
The Hub will also be an important asset for DVA’s Feeling Connected project, which supports local people and groups to combat loneliness. During ‘Feeling Connected Week’ the project shone a spotlight on some of the great volunteer-led initiatives that bring people together week-in week-out in North East Derbyshire and Chesterfield.
The aim of Feeling Connected Week was to inspire people to talk about what they have done to make themselves or others feel more connected, as well as encouraging people to come together and reconnect as group, whether it be with colleagues, friends or a social or special interest group.
Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) is an innovative independent charity, which strategically represents and champions the work of the health and wellbeing related voluntary and community sector in Derbyshire. It provides vital support to a diverse range of local charities and community groups, and connects people and resources to projects and ideas.
For more information about The Hub @ Low Pavement and the Feeling Connected project, contact Derbyshire Voluntary Action: email@example.com / 01246 555908.
Derbyshire Voluntary Action supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.
Chesterfield’s Brampton Brewery took home three Silver medals and one Bronze award at the annual SIBA Midlands Independent Beer Awards, which took place at the Trent Bridge Inn, Nottingham last week.
Their award-winning beers are listed as follows :
Terminus is a 4.2% session pale ale and won the Bronze medal in the Session IPA category.
Brampton Best is a 4.2% Best Bitter and won Silver medal in the British Bitters category.
Wasp Nest is a 5.0% Premium Bitter and won Silver medal in the Premium Bitters category.
Speciale is a 5.8% IPA and won Silver medal in the Cask IPA (5.5% – 6.4%) category.
Roy Allkin, SIBA Chairman commented: “Judges had a tough job separating the pack as the standard was extremely high once again. Lucky beer festival attendees at Nottingham CAMRA Beer Festival were able to try these and other award-winning beers immediately after the competition, something which is great for brewers too as they get to put their beers into the hands of real beer-lovers. The winners from the SIBA competition are officially the best independent craft beers in the Midlands region, something brewers should be extremely proud of.”
The SIBA Midlands Independent Beer Awards judge a huge range of beers across a number of styles in separate cask and small pack (bottle and can) competitions. As the awards are judged mostly by brewers, industry experts and beer journalists the SIBA Independent Beer Awards are very much seen as the prestigious ‘Brewers’ choice Awards’ by the industry.
Chris Radford from Brampton Brewery had this to say on their win: “It’s fair to say we’re all blown away by the success we’ve had at this year’s competition. It’s been a pretty miserable last 18 months for everyone, but none more so than in the Brewing industry and hospitality trade. We’re such a small team down at the brewery, but we’re just passionate about what we do and dedicated as to how we go about it.”
Brampton Brewery was re-formed in 2007 resurrecting a once-proud brewery name that traded successfully in Chesterfield and the North Midlands for well over 100 years until 1955.
The brewery now operates 3 pubs – The Rose & Crown, Brampton; The Tramway Tavern, Brampton and The Glassworks, Sheffield Road as well as licensed premises at the Brewery on Chatsworth Road itself. The Brewery produces a range of award-winning beers in Cask and Keg, as well as small-pack bottles and mini-kegs.
Dozens of new homes are soon set to be available on a newly-regenerated site in Chesterfield, with some properties available on the government-backed Help to Buy scheme.
Walton Peaks is a collection of 35 detached and 22 semi-detached houses for sale in the town, comprising 6 two-bedroom homes, 38 three-bedroom homes and 13 four-bedroom homes for open-market sales through Linden Homes.
The shared ownership and rented element of this development is made up of 46 further plots, of which 35 are shared ownership and 11 are rented.
The scheme involves the regeneration of a brownfield site to provide much-needed new homes, including shared-ownership and Help to Buy homes that will help first-time buyers and young families onto the housing ladder.
The development includes a play area in the development and attention to biodiversity through installation of bat boxes, swift boxes, swallow boxes and a hedgehog highway.
Houses on the development have been on sale since July 2021, with first completions expected this November. The site is expected to fully completed around Spring/Summer 2023.
Linden Homes is hosting a Help to Buy information event this Saturday and Sunday, 16th and 17th October, from 10am to 5pm which will provide people with more information about the scheme.
Andrew Handslip, Head of Sales and Marketing at Linden Homes, commented: “Chesterfield is a vibrant town with a rich heritage and excellent amenities. At the gateway to the Peak District, and with excellent transport connections, it offers an exceptional quality of life.
“We’re pleased to be regenerating brownfield land that has been derelict for a long time to create this new collection of high-quality homes for the local community, which includes shared ownership and Help to Buy homes, giving young couples and families a chance to get on the property ladder.
“We’re also proud to be working together with local schools to promote construction as a career option in the area.”
“Walton Peaks has proved to be an extremely popular development in the Chesterfield area. We currently have six homes available under the Help to Buy scheme, which are sure to attract plenty of interest from buyers.
“So, we would encourage anyone interested in purchasing a Help to Buy property at Walton Peaks to attend this event, which will be a great opportunity to find out more about Help to Buy, with financial advice provided by a representative of Meridian Mortgages.”
Find out more about local regeneration taking place across Chesterfield here.
Green-fingered residents in Chesterfield have been busy brightening up communal gardens – creating attractive places that they can enjoy together.
Throughout lockdown, keen gardeners living in Chesterfield Borough Council’s older persons housing schemes have come together to work on a number of projects that not only brighten up the gardens, but also help bring the community together after a difficult time for many.
Residents living at Markham Court – home to a number of avid gardeners – have gone all out after returning to their homes following the recent refurbishment project and the garden is now blooming with colour and ornaments. New vegetable plots have also been planted and the residents are growing produce in the greenhouse.
At Brocklehurst Court, the council has helped to install a greenhouse at the request of residents to allow them to grow their own produce to share with neighbours. This project will also provide residents to come together and socialise as well as provide a valuable respite activity for residents who are also carers.
New outdoor furniture has also been introduced to the courtyard at Brocklehurst Court, giving residents further opportunities to get together and enjoy the outdoor space.
Councillor Chris Ludlow, cabinet member for housing, said: “The past 18 months has been incredibly difficult for many people and due to the COVID-19 restrictions, residents living in our older persons housing schemes have not been able to get together as much as they have in previous years.
“Many people have experienced loneliness and social isolation throughout the pandemic, so we’re really happy that we could help the tenants with these projects and create outdoor spaces for them to enjoy. I’m really proud of our teams that have helped our tenants on these projects.
“Projects such as these not only help brighten up the outdoor areas, but they also provide an opportunity for our tenants to come together and get to know their neighbours. It helps create a really sense of community spirit.
“A number of our residents are already well-established gardeners but it’s been great to see even more residents get the gardening bug during lockdown and discover a new hobby.”
Young people, schools or other organisations in Chesterfield can now apply for grants to help them develop their music making.
Thanks to a bequest from a local resident, Derbyshire County Council is offering individual grants of £500 for those aged 5 to 18, and grants of £2,000 for schools and other organisations for those living in Chesterfield.
The money can help to support any kind of music maker either to buy equipment or pay for lessons or other support required. It can help pay for support which will nurture a young person’s musical talent, or can fund music-related trips or visits.
The County Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Councillor Alex Dale, said: “This generous bequest from a local resident means that we can offer grants to help our young people continue to make the sort of music they love.
“It also means that schools and other organisations can apply for funding to help them further develop their student’s music education, and maybe pay for visits that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to go on.
“I’d urge schools and families in the Chesterfield area to look really carefully at this grant scheme and to apply if they think they are eligible.”
Applications are welcome from or on behalf of anyone aged 5 to 18, or by schools or other providers of music activities to fund projects to further develop young musicians.
Applicants must reside or go to school in the Chesterfield area or live in Derbyshire and the organisation they attend must provide regular activities to young people in Chesterfield
Organisations or shcools must provide regular activities to young musicians in the Chesterfield area.
Principal and Chief Executive of The Chesterfield College Group, Julie Richards, has welcomed the news that the Government plans to extend the apprenticeship incentive and Kickstart schemes.
Following Rishi Sunak’s announcement last week, she has pledged to continue to help and support employers in the area who wish to take advantage of the incentives available before they end in 2022.
Since the incentive schemes were announced last year, as part of the Government’s Covid recovery plans, the college has supported over 300 employers to access bonus payments of up to £4,000 to recruit almost 400 apprentices.
Speaking about how the college was best placed to help more local employers take advantage of the incentives, Julie Richards said:
“Apprenticeships have always offered a fantastic opportunity to fill skills gaps and develop people. The bonus payment is designed to help employers feel more secure in their ability to cover the cost of recruiting an apprentice. Apprenticeships provide our young people with specific opportunities to develop their skills and secure meaningful employment which supports their financial independence and prepares them for adult life and a successful career.”
“As a local college we are committed to matching the needs of employers with the skills and talents of young people. I urge employers to contact the college to understand how the scheme may work for them. Our team are experts in supporting employers to develop a programme of skills development which will have long lasting benefits both for them and the local economy.”
The experienced team are helping organisations, large and small across Derbyshire and the East Midlands, to find the best candidates for their apprenticeship vacancies. They have a talent pool of students and applicants ready to find their next step in the world of work and are supporting businesses to navigate the recruitment process to secure their new apprentice.
Matt Cryans, Director at Crytec Ltd, a company based in Clay Cross, which sells machinery for construction, forestry and manual handling, told us about his experience of recruiting his first apprentice and making the most of the incentive scheme with the support of the college.
He said: “The scheme covers a decent proportion of an apprentice’s wages so it gives you confidence to recruit. The extra funding certainly helps you to make the move to grow the team when things feel a bit uncertain. The team at college made it easy to apply for the funding and supported me through the steps of taking on an apprentice.”
More young people in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire could be given a chance to gain vital work experience after the Government extended the Kickstart Scheme by three months.
East Midlands Chamber has welcomed Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s confirmation the Government’s employment programme will continue to fund new starters on the six-month job placements until 31 March 2022, rather than the original 31 December 2021 end date.
This means it will continue to accept applications from employers and gateway organisations, such as the Chamber – which has already helped to create and fill more than 1,000 vacancies for 16 to 24-year-olds on Universal Credit or at risk of long-term unemployment – until 17 December this year.
Unveiling a £500m jobs support package at the Conservative Party Conference, Mr Sunak also confirmed an initiative to give businesses a £3,000 bonuses for each apprentice it hires will be extended until 31 January 2022.
East Midlands Chamber deputy chief executive and Kickstart lead Diane Beresford said: “This is really positive news for businesses as it comes at a crucial period in which many firms are now looking to grow again following the struggles they have endured over the past 18 months.
“The Kickstart Scheme has been a fantastic initiative that enables companies to trial new roles they may otherwise not have felt in a position to do, and we’ve received outstanding feedback from so many employers about the high standard of people they have recruited and the attributes they’ve brought to teams.
“This announcement also provides a big boost to young people, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic both in terms of their mental and physical wellbeing, and the significant amount of unemployment it has created.
“The Kickstart Scheme has been a lifeline for them to get the skills and work experience that will be vital to their future prospects, and this extension will enable potentially hundreds more people to make the first crucial steps in their career.”
How does the Kickstart Scheme help businesses and young people?
The Department for Work and Pensions funds 100% of the age-relevant National Minimum Wage, national insurance and pension contributions for 25 hours a week over a six-month period.
Employers can choose to top up this wage and are also eligible for a £1,500 Government grant for training people on a Kickstart placement.
Once applications are accepted, young people are referred into the roles via a Jobcentre Plus work coach.
East Midlands Chamber has had just under 2,800 placements approved among 860 businesses located in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and other locations. Of these, 2,325 have resulted in vacancies being created and 1,111 of those have now been filled, with dozens starting new roles every week – meaning hundreds more could benefit over the three-month extension.
Eighty percent of those who have finished their six-month placements have either secured jobs or moved into further study.
Nick Hogan, who owns Chesterfield Escape Rooms used the scheme to help build a workforce in order to ensure a successful launch for the new business.
He said: “When Kickstart came along, it allowed me to recruit and be selective in the recruitment process.”
“In working with these six people, it’s reminded me that everyone deserves a chance. The younger generation is tomorrow’s workforce and unless we give the opportunities to succeed, our businesses won’t survive.”
Frontline Sales & Marketing, in Chesterfield, has recruited 10 people via the Kickstart Scheme, with some of those resulting in permanent roles.
Director Vicky Anderson said: “The difference we are making together for these young people is just incredible.
“It’s a privilege to be a part of it, and I never thought it would be such a resounding success. I am absolutely convinced this will pay off economically, socially and for our wider community.
“There is nothing better than real work, structure, tasks and deadlines to shape a person, give pride and a new ‘professional’ identity.”
The latest Kickstart vacancies can be viewed at www.emc-dnl.co.uk/kickstart-vacancies
For businesses wanting to take part in the Kickstart Scheme, contact Pieter Eksteen on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0333 320 0333 (Ext 2241).
East Midlands Chamber and Chesterfield Escape Rooms support the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.
New studios at Chesterfield College are giving music production students and local musicians a professional space to practice and record, using industry standard equipment.
The studios are the latest addition to the college’s new music department. They are designed to allow students the opportunity to develop the technical and creative skills they need for their future careers. At the same time, they will also provide a useful resource for musicians in Chesterfield to use as a collaborative recording space in the evenings and at weekends.
The new facilities provide a perfect mix of practical and academic spaces for a combination of classroom based learning and hands on experience at music making and recording. They are made up of three elements. These include a traditional classroom space with a suite of macs for learning and editing, a control room including a mixing desk and analogue equipment, and a ‘live room’ which has been designed for traditional collaborative music making. The live room has features which are designed to reflect acoustics and help musicians perform better together.
After spending the first week of term using the new facilities, level 3 music students Josh Clark and Connor Cartledge told us about the difference it had made to them.
Josh who is a rapper, singer and songwriter, with an interest in production said: “I am very happy that I have the opportunity to come in to use an actual studio and work with my peers. The course gives us the chance to learn lots of different skills and practice on different equipment that I don’t have at home. I am excited to know how I can use it next. I am hoping to record my own EP using the facilities we have here. I am really looking forward to that.”
Connor, who wants to be a producer or sound engineer said: “It has made a massive difference now we have this equipment. When we leave college to pursue a career in music, whether as a producer or as a musician we will have the knowledge we need. We have top of the range microphones and a full studio which will mean any assignments and projects we work on will sound a lot better. Last year we had to record on whatever we had because we couldn’t be in college, so it is going to make a lot of difference. We have got a lot to learn about how to run and work the studio, but it is good to have it ready for the start of the new college year.”
Music tutor and musician, Jonathon Salisbury said: “Having the music studio gives us a professional environment the students can walk into and use. You don’t necessarily need that level of equipment to make good music but if you learn how to use this kind of facility you can always scale back to whatever you need. It is fundamental for students to understand how a professional studio works and get used to that kind of environment. It will help them build up an amazing portfolio of recordings which will launch them onto whatever they choose to do after college.”
“The studio is designed with analogue equipment so it works best for traditional collaborative music making. You can put a whole band in one space. There is real magic that happens when you get musicians together in one room. All the old great bands worked that way. The students who have used it so far have been amazed that they are in this professional space making music with other people again. They are definitely inspired by the quality of what they can produce in the new facilities.”
One local band has already used the space to record parts of their album and the college plans to hire out the new music studios to more local bands and musicians. They are particularly keen to offer the space to those just starting out who are looking for a resource like this on their doorstep.
Interest in homes in and around Chesterfield has seen a significant rise, with data showing a jump in the number of commuters looking to relocate to the town.
New data from the UK’s biggest property website Rightmove reveals that the return to the office for many workers has led to a jump in buyer searches for commuter stations, with searches for Chesterfield going up by 30% between June 2021 and August 2021.
The analysis compares buyer searches for stations across Great Britain in June 2021 with August 2021, to measure the impact of the gradual return to the office, which has been encouraged by the government since July.
“Chesterfield’s mainline rail station serves the town well. As Sheffield house prices have increased to a level which challenges affordability, the market in Chesterfield, being just 10 miles away by train from the UK’s fourth largest city, is benefitting.
“Having this station puts London St Pancras just 1hr and 50 mins away, and Nottingham just 40 minutes away which is ideal for commuters. The reality of this is you can get to central London by rail from Chesterfield in the same amount of time it takes someone to commute from 30 miles away!
“Demand for housing is strong, particularly close to the railway station. At Avant Homes Waterside Quarter development at Chesterfield Waterside, buyers are attracted by the fact they don’t need a car to live there as the train station is on their doorstep. This benefits everyone, not least Chesterfield Borough Council’s drive to become carbon neutral.
“It is exciting to see Chesterfield Borough Council investing significantly in the future of the railway station. The new station master plan, the first such scheme since 1870, will transform not merely the approach to the station but the whole of the north-eastern edge of the town centre, helping the town attract more residents and investment.”
Tim Bannister, Rightmove’s Director of Property Data comments: “More people are starting to return to the office for at least a few days a week, and so quick routes into major cities are rising up the priority list again.
“While the demand to relocate or search for more space has by no means gone away, the numbers suggest that this will need to be balanced with easy transport access on office days, which has understandably been lower on the agenda for many over the last eighteen months.”
The University of Derby and East Midlands Chamber have become signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Race to Zero campaign.
Professor Kamil Omoteso, pro vice-chancellor dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at the University, and Scott Knowles, chief executive at East Midlands Chamber, made the announcement at last week’s annual Midlands Sustainability Summit, co-hosted by the University and Chamber, and supported by the Midlands Engine, last Thursday (23 September).
Race to Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.
The objective is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonised economy ahead of COP26 in November, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. By joining the Race to Zero, the University and Chamber have demonstrated their commitment to the net zero agenda to global leaders at COP26.
Prof Omoteso, said: “I am delighted to announce that the University has become a signatory to the UN Race to Zero, cementing its existing pro-environmental commitments.
“This pledge provides a springboard for our ongoing efforts to support the shift to a sustainable economy across the region and beyond, and forms part of the University’s wider environmental ambitions and commitment to sustainability on our own net-zero pathway.”
East Midlands Chamber launched the Sustainable East Midlands campaign last year to encourage more businesses to engage with the low-carbon agenda by demonstrating its commercial benefits, as well as highlighting successful case studies.
A newly-appointed Sustainable East Midlands policy officer will aim to create a net zero plan over the coming months, with ideas including setting a baseline carbon footprint to measure against, installing energy-efficient lighting and heating systems, and developing an employee engagement strategy to support behavioural changes in terms of workspaces, travel and waste.
Scott Knowles added: “As the business community looks to rebuild after a turbulent 18 months, the focus now shifts towards the future and the role we must all take in addressing the ever-pressing climate change challenge.
“As our commitment to this urgent challenge, where we feel it is important to lead by example, we are pleased to announce that the Chamber is setting our own net zero goal to cut our carbon emissions in half by 2030, with an aim to reach net zero before 2050.”
Aver Property has confirmed a 224,000 sq ft deal with one of the UK’s biggest furniture companies at Markham Vale.
The deal will see Gallery Direct take the Orion 1 unit on Seymour Link Road as its packing, warehousing, and distribution hub for the North. This newly built facility owned by Aver property, comprises an eaves height of 15 metres, 21 docking doors and spaces for 39 trailers. It boasts over 224,000 sq. ft. of space, enough to house 35,000 pallets.
This distribution facility sits prominently fronting onto the M1 Motorway and will serve as Gallery’s northern packing, warehousing, and distribution hub, with enough space to accommodate the ongoing expansion of the business. The property is also planned to accommodate a new 30,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art showroom over three floors.
Established in 1973 as a small family run business, Gallery Direct has grown to become the leading British based designer, manufacturer and worldwide distributor of furniture, home decor and accessories, committed to offering the complete home furnishings solution.
Peter Delaney, managing director at The Gallery Direct Group, commented: “We are absolutely delighted to have secured this prestigious facility in an amazing northern location. The fact is that this new property, combined with our southern warehouse and head office, improves further our distribution and operational capacity. We will be able to serve 96% of our clients’ requirements with one day delivery times, utilising our own home distribution fleet.
“We are excited to be expanding Gallery’s established home interiors categories, including furniture, lighting, wall décor and textiles, as well as the newer developments in outdoor living, home accessories and Christmas. Our strategy to be the leading supplier of the complete home and outdoor solution continues at pace. OrionOne is another significant milestone for our business and we look forward to welcoming clients to our grand opening early in 2022.”
Rob Whatmuff, from Colliers, commented: “We are delighted to have advised Aver Property on this transaction. Agreeing the deal in advance of practical completion is testament to both the quality of the building and the Markham Vale location.”
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