I relocated to Chesterfield with my family in 2011 when I became Destination Chesterfield Manager and we love living and working in Chesterfield, it is a great place to bring up my two sons.
I was born in Chesterfield and grew up in Matlock before heading to university and then worked promoting historic towns and city’s across the country before the opportunity to return ‘home’ when Destination Chesterfield was launched.
Destination Chesterfield was established in October 2010 to raise the profile of the town as a place to invest, work live and visit and celebrates all that is great about North Derbyshire from the people, the businesses, the buildings and the countryside.
There is a small and passionate operations team promoting Chesterfield, Tara Underhill, Lydia Gregson and I. We deliver many projects supported closely by both the Regeneration team at Chesterfield Borough Council and the 170 businesses who are Chesterfield Champions.
Which local business would you recommend and why?
We have so many great businesses in Chesterfield so I am not going to pick one.
What is so important is that if we want to see the town to continue to grow we shop local and trade local, this means there is more money in the local economy and more jobs will be created for residents.
Which development do you think will most benefit the town?
I think the major regeneration schemes in Chesterfield will have different impacts on the town and benefit it different ways.
Northern Gateway brings forward new leisure and hotel facilities for the town centre. It also creates an innovation centre in the town centre for start up businesses as well as a new multi story car park.
Peak Resort completely changes the visitor economy offer for Chesterfield. Once complete it will almost double the amount of hotel bedspaces in Chesterfield. This creates a huge opportunity to develop Chesterfield as the centre for the Peak District rather than a place people pass through on the way to the Peak District National Park.
The regeneration of Markham Vale has already created over 1400 new jobs on the site and the growth of the logistics sector in the town has attracted a number of high profile inward investors including Ferdinand Bilstein and Great Bear.
Chesterfield Waterside will create a new gateway next to the railway station with more people living and working within walking distance of our historic town centre.
Looking further ahead we have the proposed HS2maintenance depot at Staveley which takes advantage of the towns engineering and manufacturing skills and the further development of the town centre around the HS2 train station.
Which shops and restaurants would you like to see investing here?
I think we are lucky in Chesterfield, we have a great mix of independents and high street names.
I personally would like to see more independents opening and flourishing in the town as this is what makes our offer distinctive. In terms of the restaurant offer in the town centre there is a need for more family orientated chain restaurants to compliment the growing independent offer.
Which high profile events are working well in Chesterfield and what kinds of events would you like to see in the future?
We do have some really good events in the town and it is up to us all to support them so they continue to grow in size and reputation.
In 2018 there is a brilliant mix of things happening. Coming up we have Lionel Richie at the Proact, Chesterfield Food and Drink Festival, Chesterfield Pride, Chesterfield Fake Festival, Chesterfield Canal Walking Festival, Medieval and 1940’s events in the town centre, Chesterfield Festival of Cricket and The Chesterfield Half Marathon to name a few.
Where in the town do you spend your leisure time?
Spending family time together, that could be a walk around one of Chesterfield’s country parks or nature reserves, taking the boys to Queens Park for a ride on the train and then a Fredericks ice cream or attending one of the family orientated festivals or events that take place in the town.
We are also lucky with the number of entertainment venues we have! You can’t beat a meal at one of the town’s restaurants or bars followed by a night of live entertainment. The Winding Wheel, Pomegranate Theatre, Real Time Live and The Avenue offer a great mix of live music, comedy and theatre.
I am also a keen runner and Derbyshire has excellent testing terrain. You can easily get out into the Peak District countryside, one of the most picturesque places in the world. There is also a great programme of races from the monthly 5k’s in Queens Park to Spire 10 and from the Chesterfield Half Marathon to smaller races like the Holymoorside 10k.
What three words best sum up Chesterfield?
Community, Passion, Potential
Destination Chesterfield Board and team photography by Amanda McConnell Photography