I am delighted to join the Destination Chesterfield team and I’m looking forward to providing support to many of the wonderful businesses the area has to offer. I grew up in nearby Tupton and spent the last four years working as part of the news team at Peak FM, which has recently re-branded as Greatest Hits Radio North Derbyshire.
During that time, I’ve been able to familiarise myself with the economic landscape of the area, having interviewed literally hundreds of people from local businesses, councils, public services, education providers, sports clubs and many more!
Supporting local people and ensuring their voices are heard has always been a huge passion of mine, so my new role as a Destination Chesterfield coordinator feels like a perfect fit for me. I hope to continue building relationships with people in the area and helping to shape the future regeneration of the town and its economy.
How would you describe Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, using only three words?
Resilient, Honest and Welcoming
Describe something you have seen, heard about or experienced locally that has made you smile.
For me, it has to be the amazing community spirit displayed by people, businesses and volunteers in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire throughout what has been a tough year for many. We’ve seen people delivering food parcels and essential items for the most vulnerable, restaurants and takeaways providing fresh meals for our NHS workers and our shops and markets providing customers with quality services, despite having to adapt to new Covid-19 measures. It is great to see people pulling together for the good of others!
How have you or your team been thinking creatively to keep succeeding or to maintain strong relationships with your customers?
Obviously, for Destination Chesterfield to provide the best service possible to customers and businesses in North Derbyshire, keeping in touch with them is hugely important! It has been great to see the Champions events and other vital networking meetings still continuing in an online capacity, despite the challenges faced by lockdown and social distancing. I’m particularly looking forward to the Chesterfield High Street Awards, which are taking place online. It is vital we continue to celebrate and promote our diverse retail scene here in Chesterfield.
How are you and your team supporting local people?
We’re always striving to improve the economic prosperity of Chesterfield by working to attract investment into the town, creating jobs and helping to support and grow existing businesses here.
We always look to showcase the amazing talent, craft and dedication of people in Chesterfield and provide a positive message to people who live, work or visit the area in order to shine a light on why it is a great place to do business.
Which business idea or community initiative has impressed you recently and why?
While there are plenty of local firms thinking outside the box at the moment due to the way the pandemic has affected their day-to-day operations, one local company really stood out to me earlier this year. Specialised Canvas, a supplier of bespoke canvas solutions, ceased their usual production to focus on producing PPE equipment during lockdown. The company supplied thousands of face shields to UK healthcare workers. It was inspiring to see them quickly adapt to the demand for PPE during the height of the pandemic and help our NHS workers continue caring for patients.
What is the best thing about working in Chesterfield or North Derbyshire?
It has to be the people! Whether you’re popping out for a coffee or doing the weekly shop, you’re almost guaranteed to receive some of the warmest and most welcoming hospitality around! It is easy to take for granted just how kind, passionate and dedicated our local businesses are towards their customers and long may that continue!
What is your vision for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire in 2030? What do you think the town needs to achieve this?
I am excited to see all the regeneration projects that are currently being developed come to fruition. I believe the town’s landscape will look different in the next 10 years, with the new Waterside and Northern Gateway developments offering new homes and businesses close to the town centre. I’m also pleased to see work continuing on the PEAK resort development, which will enhance Chesterfield’s reputation as a destination for tourism. I’m hopeful that over the next ten years a lot of the groundwork will be in place ready for the arrival of HS2 trains in the town, which will make us one of the most connected places in the country and will provide a huge boost our economy. To continue building on the town’s recent success and recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, I think everyone will need to play a part in supporting local firms, shopping and eating out locally and ensuring Chesterfield can continue thriving as a town in the future. I’m confident that we can all come together and embrace the positive changes happening at the moment in order to make our wonderful town a success in the future.