Champion of the Week
Meet our Champion of the Week: Matt Brailsford, Managing Director of Custom Solar
My name is Matt Brailsford. I am Managing Director of Custom Solar, a renewable energy company specialising in solar photovoltaic systems. I have lived and worked in Chesterfield all of my life, apart from a short career stint in Australia in 2009. I have a wife of 10 years and a 2-year old daughter.
Custom Solar was founded in 2010 has it’s Head Office facilities on Dunston Road, Chesterfield. We employ 35 people around the country to undertake some of the largest and most exciting energy projects in the UK.
What has been the highlight for your organisation over the past year?
At the end of 2017 Custom Solar were chosen to be the solar partner for Associated British Ports. In the last 12 months we have installed 2 of the UK’s largest solar installations which include a 4.4mw (17000 solar panels) system and we have also covered the iconic QE2 cruise terminal at Southampton Port. We have also secured partnership status with 5 County Councils and a host of emergency services around the Country.
More recently, we have been shortlisted in two categories at the The Solar Power Portal Awards which takes place in October.
What are your future plans?
Custom Solar are a growing business in a growing sector and the future is very bright for us. As we begin to operate a larger market share we will continue to deliver more and more exciting projects.
Which local business would you recommend and why?
I can mention so many fantastic companies that are on our doorstep that range from Knightscare (Care group), Addooco IT, MSE Hiller (Water treatment), Mitchells Accountants, Natwest and Handelsbanken. I think Chesterfield has such an amazing network and range of businesses to suit all needs.
How would you describe Chesterfield to a potential investor?
Chesterfield is unique in the sense of having amazing transport links but also sitting on the edge of the Peak District, it’s not a trait you see in many other regions of the country. Selling Chesterfield to an investor would not be difficult but you’ve only got look at many of the ongoing projects to realise that investors want us to choose them.
Which development do you think will most benefit the town?
I think everyone has seen the great projects that are progressing in the town, such as Peak Resort, Waterside and the introduction of new town centre spaces. My interest is in the energy infrastructure of the town, I’d like to see how businesses, homes and schools can begin to generate their own power.
Which high profile events are working well in Chesterfield and what kinds of events would you like to see in the future?
We are happy to have supported the Custom Solar Chesterfield Festival of Cricket for the last 3 years, it certainly has been a fantastic event and Derbyshire County Cricket Club have thrown their full support behind the event. We have seen sell out crowds for the past 2 years which says to me that the town love the event. I’m hoping future years attract more outdoor events and concerts.
Where in the town do you spend your leisure time?
I live just outside of Chesterfield and tend to spend my free time with my family and friends at our home. I often venture into Chatsworth Road for a meal and glass of wine at Nonnas who’s staff have always made me feel very welcome and the food is wonderful!