As we enter the festive season and the new year, Chesterfield Champions have been sharing their successes and reflecting on the challenges and progress made throughout 2021.
If you love Chesterfield and would like to chat about becoming a Champion, find out more at: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/destination-chesterfield/champions/
Find out what local businesses and organisations had to say below, as we head into 2022.
Rod Auton, Chesterfield Canal Trust
“It’s weird to think nothing happened for the first four or five months of the year, but we adapted wonderfully. This resulted in our trip boats and our Information Centre & Shop both being really busy; and more than 1,000 seats booked on our Chesterfield Santa Special cruises.
“The restrictions have made people explore their own town more and discover how great it is, including the canal where towpath use has gone up hugely. We are now looking forward to the final Government approval of the Staveley Town Deal next spring, receiving the money and starting detailed planning of the restoration of our beautiful canal. We are also working out our carbon footprint as a first step towards becoming a carbon net-zero organisation.”
Amy Revell, We Are Spaces
“I have been super impressed with how resilient and positive the Chesterfield business community is. Everyone is supporting one another and are super ambitious for the future. Chesterfield has performed strongly against all the national statistics in relation to unemployment and job creation, especially for under 25s, which is fantastic news.
“I am hoping the risk and consequences of COVID reduces as we move into 2022. It’s been a tough few years for many, but I know we will continue to be resilient, push innovation and draw new investment into our fantastic town of Chesterfield!”
Howard Freeman, Shorts Chartered Accountants
“2021 was yet another challenging year for the region’s businesses, with many continuing to show resilience and diversification. I’m proud of the way our region has pulled together and facilitated new opportunities, with many businesses going from strength to strength. We’re looking forward to 2022 when we hope to see even more of a return to the normality, that we all recognise.”
Nick Hogan, Chesterfield Escape Rooms
“After opening on 17th May 2021, we have had over 5000 players through our doors, and this has given me the confidence to expand the business and create a fourth room. I am really excited about the new Chesterfield Games Quarter which will service all of the gaming needs of the town.”
Fiaz Sadiq, ActionCoach
“We’ve celebrated a number of successes in 2021, not least doubling our team members and clients. I have been really impressed with the resilience of the Chesterfield community and it wanting to help each other. I hope in 2022 that there is more financial support for local business and supporting wellbeing in the community.”
Joe Cattee, Director, Peak Pharmacy
“The challenges we’ve faced this last year have been extraordinary. We’ve had to adapt our pharmacies, depots and offices to ensure that they are as Covid compliant as possible, whilst juggling staff shortages due to positive tests results. Despite this we have managed to administer nearly 50,000 Covid jabs to date, as well as provide 48,000 flu vaccinations.
“Our staff have been fantastic during this whole process. Looking to 2022, we are looking to really invest in the area next year, relocating our sites into one depot. This will support our ambition to be as sustainable as possible and being as carbon neutral as possible over the next decade.”
Richard Fowler, Technical Sales and Account Manager, Ra Information Systems
“Having worked alongside our customers for over two decades we have seen technology play a pivotal role in enabling business success and continuity. We have worked closely with our customers throughout 2021, supporting them to adjust to changing demands. We were delighted that our proactive approach to product development was recognised when we won the Flexible Space Association award in Technology Innovation 2021.”
Chris Sellars, Managing Director, Bridge Help
“2021 saw Bridge Help undergo a rebrand, a recruitment drive and a move to larger premises which we have already outgrown. It’s been a year of sustained growth which is showing no signs of slowing down and which means we’ll shortly be moving to larger offices. It’s not just at Bridge Help where I see growth.
“Chesterfield has always had a resilient business community and I continue to be impressed at how businesses have adapted and evolved to both survive and thrive throughout Covid and Brexit. Bridge Help is very proud to be part of the community. The team and I are looking forward to working closely with more local businesses, sports clubs and charities in 2022. Exciting times are ahead.”
Tom Swallow, Development Manager, Bolsterstone Group PLC
“2021 has been a formative year for Chesterfield Waterside. Works continues apace on the Waterside Quarter with Avant Homes with excellent sales progress. Construction of the office block also continues to progress and we are now close to completion. Despite the challenges of Covid, I have been particularly impressed by the resilience of the contractors at Waterside and the continued progress of other exciting schemes across the borough.
“The amount of progress we are now seeing is testament to the investment confidence in the town, Chesterfield Borough Council and their forward-thinking vision. Our office at Waterside, One Waterside Place, will welcome its first tenants next year – that is an office party I am very much looking forward to!
Anna Melton, Director, In the Works PR
“The end of year COVID restrictions, while a disappointment, must not overshadow the successes of the town and its businesses. I am very fortunate to work with a number of businesses and projects in the town and I have been so impressed how, uncomplainingly, they have adapted quickly to the ever-changing COVID landscape throughout 2021.
“Their resilience, can-do attitude and forward-thinking makes me very proud to be part of the business community in Chesterfield and I am filled with hope and enthusiasm for 2022.”
Cllr Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council
“It’s been an incredibly challenging year for everyone in our community, but I am deeply proud of the spirit and resilience that has shone through from Chesterfield people and businesses – pulling together to help one another.
“While the pandemic is not over yet, 2022 brings hope and our borough has a bright future. Our ambitious investment and regeneration projects mean we’re in a strong place to recover from the impact of the pandemic at a faster rate than many other towns. We will continue to work closely with the community to make sure Chesterfield remains a thriving borough.”
Peter Swallow, Chair, Destination Chesterfield
“2021 has been a year of change and adaptation which has seen the town’s drive, commitment and community spirit come to the fore. As we continue to navigate through one of the most testing periods in recent history we have shown, once again that Chesterfield is resilient and forward thinking.
“New developments have come out of the ground and plans are in place for a further £1billion of developments across the borough. This will bring employment and opportunity to local people, not just in 2022 but far beyond that. Exciting times are ahead for Chesterfield – it is a town, and community, which I am proud to be part of.”
Hannah Bowdler, Junction Arts
“Junction Arts’ main aim for 2021 has been to bring our communities back together again. It has been a year of returning to face-to-face workshops and support within our communities helping people to feel confident and give them something to look forward to. A highlight has been bringing back one of our largest annual events back to the Chesterfield Canal: The Tapton Lock Festival. And this year was our busiest yet! We were so proud this festival enabled people to reclaim the canal as a space to use and enjoy together at a local event.”
Sarah Temperton, Chief Executive, NLT Training Services
“What a year it has been. Like all training providers we have juggled the ever-changing COVID regulations to ensure people can access the training they need to do their jobs properly and safely. It has also opened our eyes to a gap in training provision; older people in particular who find themselves out of work. Looking to 2022, NLT is drawing on its charitable roots and will be working with a number of grass roots charities and groups in the area to ensure that free training is available to help people get work-ready. The team and I are very excited by the prospect.”
Charlotte Watson, Interior Designer, SDE Group
“As always, SDE Group have continued to look at ways in which we can expand. Our latest highlight is the launch of SDE Electrical where we have responded to the continued growth in the electric vehicles market and introduced our EV Charging service. Our 3D Design team have grown due to the increase in demand for 3D design and visualisations, welcoming university graduates to develop their career within interior and industrial design. We are looking forward to another successful year in 2022!”
Rebecca Priest, JP Fire Safety
“As we come to the end of what was meant to be a more positive year, we count ourselves thankful that we have continued to see consistent growth. With an increased workforce and the lease signed on new offices on Beresford Way, 2022 looks set to be another successful year for JP Fire Safety Solutions. By continuing to adapt and develop different ways of working we look forward to a healthy and prosperous 2022.”
Julie Richards, Principal and CEO of Chesterfield College Group
“The sheer determination and willingness of so many local people and organisations to support our students and apprentices to achieve has impressed me this year. I am forever grateful to teaching and support staff of the college for the work they do every day. I must also thank employers for creating so many work experience opportunities this year.
“We have excellent partnerships with employers who are as committed as we are to ensure they have a workforce for the future. I am looking forward to developing even stronger partnerships with employers and exploring more innovative ways to help businesses and individuals bounce back from the effects of the pandemic or take advantage of new opportunities it might have created.”
James Pogson, Director, Northern Tea Merchants
“I think we all thought 2021 was going to be a breeze compared to 2020 but in many ways it’s been harder, with even greater uncertainties… Having said that 2021 has still seen huge strides being made by Northern Tea Merchants in our sustainability journey and is something we are really proud of.
“I am delighted to share that ALL our teabags are now made with fully biodegradable teabag paper, and we are working hard on our journey to become carbon neutral and as part of this, we are now planting a tree for every web order placed. We have exciting plans for 2022 which we know many of our tea and coffee devotees are going to really love.”
Theresa Goldsmith, Owner, The Goldsmith Clinic
“Another year amidst a global pandemic has been a whirlwind for sure! As a close contact business and a registered nurse practitioner, my main aim is to keep our patients safe and well and we have certainly been kept on our toes with the ever-changing COVID regulations. However, we have managed to grow exponentially in 2021 introducing ground-breaking treatments to The Goldsmith Clinic.
“We are finishing the year on a high by adding another two treatment rooms and taking on a full-time beauty therapist that will appeal to a new customer base for us. The entire team are very much looking forward to 2022 and sharing our passion for skin health with the good people of Chesterfield.”
Neil Johnson, Managing Director, DBCP
“It has been so encouraging to see development projects progressing in 2021 despite COVID restrictions, not only in Chesterfield but throughout Derbyshire bringing real benefits to the local economy. The team at DBCP has been phenomenally busy all year prompting the creation of a number of new jobs.
“And there are no signs of slowing down in 2022, which is a direct reflection of the town’s resilience and can-do approach. Planning for the future demands of DBCP, building control and the town, next year will see us recruit two degree apprentices. The prospect of developing the career of school leavers here in the town is something the team and I are very much looking forward to. Chesterfield really is a town of opportunity.”
Izabella Edwards, Managing Director, Edwards Employment Solutions
“2021 has been another colossal year for many industries and people and, it seems, is not going to end quietly. Despite the pandemic, we have experienced two busy and successful years, helping many key worker industries to find the staff they need. We are also ending the year on a high, having just recruited three new team members – an apprentice and two people via the Kickstart scheme.
“We are committed to giving them the help and support they need to really enjoy and succeed in the industry during the programmes, but more than that, helping them to progress here at Edwards. We are really looking forward to 2022 and helping many more local businesses and people find the staff and jobs they need.”