Chesterfield investment summit

Summit hears how Chesterfield’s ambitions have not been derailed

Speakers at this week’s Chesterfield Investment Summit, have revealed that the borough is on course for a faster recovery from the pandemic than many other towns and cities.

The town’s high rate of public sector employment combined with its strong retail, manufacturing, and logistics sectors, have been attributed to Chesterfield’s significantly lower increase in unemployment during the pandemic compared to the national average.

At the Summit, which was attended by more than 130 members of the business community, it was revealed that the borough’s level of unemployment increased by 46% during the pandemic compared to the national average of 77%.

The annual Summit, which was held in-person for the first time in two years, was organised by Destination Chesterfield and Derbyshire Economic Partnership and part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

Speaking at the Summit, Dr Huw Bowen, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council revealed the town’s plans for its recovery and growth, include plans to make the case for the re-opening of a rail line and a new £125 million road in the north east of the borough.

He said: “The town has shown a great degree of resilience and done really well during the pandemic. We are now looking towards recovery and growth. Chesterfield’s myriad of competitive advantages, including location, history, transport links, university, skills base, affordability and current construction projects have come together to make it an attractive opportunity for investors.”

Despite the ‘bitterly disappointing news’ to axe the eastern leg of HS2, Dr Bowen, said: “This won’t stop us in bringing forward our ambitious plans to redevelop the former Staveley Works Corridor. We look forward to working with the landowners to bring forward a mixed-use scheme comprising housing, leisure, retail, and light industrial units anchored around a new road and Chesterfield Canal.”

At the summit it was announced that the council remains hopeful that the Government will commit to supporting the reopening of the former Barrow Hill line which will connect Staveley, Barrow Hill, and Whittington to Chesterfield and Sheffield. Proposals for the re-opening of the rail line will, all being well, be submitted early next year.

A total of £1bn of investment is expected to be made in Staveley over the next 15 years, creating 3,500 new homes and 2,200 new jobs. Dr Bowen added: “We have two priorities – to make Chesterfield a thriving borough and improve the quality of life for local people.”

Chesterfield Borough Council is also pressing ahead with its plans to transform the area around Chesterfield train station. The multi-million-pound Station Masterplan, which includes demolition of the former Chesterfield Hotel, will ‘create a sense of arrival’ with modern landscaping and ‘land hungry carparks’ being converted into multi-storey carparks to free up land for residential, commercial, and light industrial development.

Demolition of the Chesterfield Hotel will begin in spring next year with detailed plans for redevelopment of the site still to be confirmed.

2022 looks set to be a formative year for the town, with a number of high-quality office developments – One Waterside Place, The Glass Yard and the Enterprise Centre set to be completed. Construction is also expected to begin on Summit @PEAK, phase one of the low carbon / net zero all year leisure, education, wellness, and entertainment gateway resort.

Speaking at the Summit, Peter Swallow Chair of Destination Chesterfield and managing director of Bolsterstone Group which is developing the 60-acre Chesterfield Waterside scheme, said: “The pandemic has brought about changes in the requirements for office space. Businesses want good quality, sustainable office space with environmental and social governance being a key consideration. Once again, Chesterfield is ahead of the curve with the modern, quality office developments already under construction which will enable the town to attract investors, create jobs and new opportunities for local people.”

In addition to Dr Huw Bowen and Peter Swallow, the Summit also heard from representatives from the town’s public / private partnership – Blue Deer Developments, Lomas Mitchell Architects, Whittam Cox Architects, Devonshire Property Group Limited and Derbyshire County Council – which are working together to ensure Chesterfield meets its ambitions.

Jillian Mitchell of Lomas Mitchell Architects, and Vice-Chair of Destination Chesterfield’s Property and Construction Group, commented: “Nationally, we are on the precipice of a time of seismic change in property design and Chesterfield is ahead of the game on this. The town’s commitment to sustainable construction through private/public collaboration is an opportunity for Chesterfield to lead on nationally.”

Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, added: “I am very pleased at the wide range of construction projects going ahead across the borough right now. All these developments represent new jobs and opportunities for local people, especially those looking to start their careers.

“Making sure that Chesterfield residents benefit from local economic growth is a key priority for us and our partners. A great example of this is the mentoring support provided by Chesterfield Property and Construction Group, which helps ensure that local people get the jobs that are coming to Chesterfield – including those created during the construction phase of projects, as well as opportunities within the businesses that relocate and grow here.

“It is a very exciting time for Chesterfield, which has been made possible by the hard work and commitment that the council and its partners have put in over many years.”

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Featured, Home, Love Chesterfield, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

Investment Summit to put town’s £45m grant funding under the spotlight

Chesterfield’s success in securing more than £45million in grant funding in this year’s March and October budgets will take centre stage at the fifth Chesterfield Investment Summit.

The free-to-attend event is returning in-person once more and will be held at the Casa Hotel on Wednesday 24 November from 8:30am – 12:00pm.

Christian Neilsen, Urban Design Associate at BDP which developed the Staveley Town Centre Masterplan, in conjunction with Chesterfield Borough Council, will be amongst the speaker line-up.

This is one of the eleven projects that are receiving funding through the £25.2 million Staveley Town Deal.  The grant for Staveley was one of the largest given to 45 towns in England in March earlier this year as part of the government’s £1billion Town’s Fund.

In the recent budget, Chesterfield was once again put under the spotlight by Chancellor Rishi Sunak after securing a £19.98 million grant from the national Levelling Up Fund.

Dr Huw Bowen, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council, who is also speaking at the event will reveal how the government funding will be used to continue to create a better future for our market traders, retailers, residents, and businesses.

Around 150 people are expected to attend the popular event which is organised by Destination Chesterfield and Derbyshire Economic Partnership and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

The event will also hear from Rupert Carr, director of Birchall Properties, the company developing Chesterfield’s £400million all year leisure, education, wellness and entertainment destination PEAK, is to headline. He will update delegates on the progress and plans for the ambitious multi-phase leisure development which capitalises on the town’s proximity to Peak District National Park.

Additional speakers also include Cllr Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, Chris Henning, Executive Director Place at Derbyshire County Council and Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield and Managing Director of Bolsterstone Group Plc the company developing the town’s £340million regeneration scheme Chesterfield Waterside.

Peter Swallow commented: “We’re delighted to bring back the Investment Summit in person, after hosting it virtually last year. Chesterfield has continued to move forward and made significant progression on developments within the town in spite of the pandemic, so there is lots to talk about at the Summit. It’s going to be another great event.”

Organisers anticipate high demand for this year’s in-person event. To find out more about the event and book your free place, please visit: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/events/chesterfield-investment-summit/

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Love Chesterfield, Property and Construction, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

Summit details roadmap key to Chesterfield thriving post pandemic

Public health will dominate the agenda in 2021 as Chesterfield looks to recover financially from the pandemic.

That was the message from Chief Executive of the Association of Town & City Management, Ojay McDonald, who headlined the fourth annual Chesterfield Investment Summit held on Wednesday 25 November.

Speaking at the virtual event which was organised by Destination Chesterfield, Mr McDonald said: “Public health will absolutely dominate the debate and will dictate how our town centres evolve going forward. We need to see town centres as ultra safe zones. People want safe, regulated spaces where they can meet, greet and network.”

He stressed that, despite the imminent vaccine, no-one knows whether the current town centre issues caused by the pandemic are short or long-term.

Mr McDonald did, however, highlight opportunities for the town centre brought about by the increase in home working. “Town centres can look to Paris in France for inspiration and its 15-minute city plan which has everything you need within a 15-minute radius on foot or bike.”

As well as addressing the challenges facing the high street and its long-term survival, the summit also outlined how the town plans to capitalise on the office and rail opportunities that are projected to emerge post Covid.

Office expert Darren Mansfield, Partner at Global Real Estate Consultants Knight Frank, who also spoke at the summit, agreed that home working would continue however demand for high quality office space locally was also forecast to increase.

He explained: “Employee fatigue and deficiencies in data protection have all emerged from working from home, therefore it is not a long term option. Instead, a hybrid model of home and office working is at the heart of the workspace strategy of the future. Offices will become showcases that are the centre of innovation, education and employee wellbeing.”

Rather than having a single large office, Mr Mansfield said that businesses will want to spread risk. As a consequence, large businesses will look to regional markets like Chesterfield, which is well positioned to capitalise on the increased demand for quality office space, with new developments at Chesterfield Waterside and Northern Gateway as well as having excellent road links and mainline rail connectivity.

At the summit, Chesterfield’s SMEs operating in the rail sector were identified as having a critical role to play in the ‘Building Back Better’ 2030 agenda.

Speaking at the summit Elaine Clark, Chief Executive of the Rail Forum Midlands, urged SMEs in the town to collaborate and work better together to capitalise on the opportunities available now in the rail sector.

“HS2 construction is well underway and there are opportunities now. There is a lot of expertise in the area but Chesterfield cannot be complacent and rely on its rail heritage. Local companies are well-placed to support future investment however they must collaborate with each other in order to compete with large companies on the continent.”

Capitalising on the forthcoming HS2 stop in the town, Chesterfield Borough Council has recently taken a part freehold, part leasehold interest in the former Chesterfield Hotel site. The site, which has been vacant for a number of years, has been identified as a key development opportunity in the emerging HS2 Station Masterplan, which aims to harness the opportunities presented by HS2 and revitalise the area around Chesterfield.

In addition to rail, the office sector has also been identified as a strategic priority for Chesterfield Borough Council. Speaking at the Summit, Huw Bowen, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council referenced the council’s commitment to funding both the new town centre Enterprise Centre and the new seven-story office block at Chesterfield Waterside. He said that it was ‘absolutely the right thing to do’ to make these investments at the height of the pandemic when sadly too many Chesterfeld residents were losing their jobs.

The new Enterprise Centre, once complete, will support up to 32 new start-up businesses providing not only technology enabled space but also on-site business advisers to support the town’s entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and establish great businesses for the future.

He commented: “Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic, Chesterfield continues to move forward. Town centre regeneration – and supporting retailers and office-based businesses to adapt to changing work practices post-Covid – is a key element of the council’s Economic Recovery Plan.

“This includes the Northern Gateway Scheme where construction of the new Enterprise Centre on Holywell Cross (Donut) is well underway, and the new office development at Chesterfield Waterside. Well done too to Blue Deer Ltd. who are also on site progressing The Glass Yard development at Sheffield Road.

“The town won’t have seen office accomodation of this quality before. The key now is to make sure that these offices meet the needs of employers looking to provide socially distanced, flexible and creative work space in the post-Covid world.”

Cllr Tony King, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, Derbyshire County Council also spoke at the free event which was broadcast live by Virtual World and organised by Derbyshire Economic Partnership, Destination Chesterfield and Marketing Derby and is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund.

You can watch the Investment Summit at https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/events/chesterfield-investment-summit/

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

High street expert to speak at 2020 Chesterfield Investment summit

Town centre expert Ojay McDonald will headline the speaker line-up at the fourth Chesterfield Investment Summit.

The free-to-attend event is being held virtually on Wednesday 25 November from 8.30am – 10am.

As Chief Executive of the Association of Town & City Management, Mr McDonald is considered one of the country’s foremost experts on the high street, working with Government Ministers, parliamentarians, economic development professionals, business leaders and place-makers across the UK and Ireland to support town and city centres.

At the event he will address the challenges the high street faces following its second lockdown, and how it can be helped to survive and thrive in the face of adversity.

Mr McDonald will also be joined by a number of other speakers at the virtual event including Elaine Clark, Chief Executive of the Rail Forum Midlands, who will talk about the post pandemic opportunities for Chesterfield within the rail sector.

Darren Mansfield, Partner at Global Real Estate Consultants Knight Frank, will also speak at the event to address Chesterfield’s office proposition. Knight Frank has recently been appointed to find tenants for the office space which is under construction at Chesterfield Waterside.

Additional speakers include Dr. Huw Bowen, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council, Cllr Tony King, Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, Derbyshire County Council and Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield Manager.

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield which is one of the event’s organisers, commented: “The annual Investment Summit is always a popular event in the business community’s calendar, and I am delighted that we have been able to make it happen again despite the challenging circumstances.

“It’s very easy to feel doom and gloom but the Investment Summit will show that despite the pandemic, Chesterfield has continued to move forward with developments and plans, opening up investment opportunities which will make a significant difference to the recovery of the area.”

The event is organised by Derbyshire Economic Partnership, Destination Chesterfield and Marketing Derby and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund

Always a sell-out, the organisers anticipate high demand for this year’s virtual event. To find out more about the event and book your free place, please visit: https://www.chesterfield.co.uk/events/chesterfield-investment-summit/

Posted in About Chesterfield, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, UncategorisedTagged in , , , ,

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