Lomas and Mitchell

Conference hears how Chesterfield’s resilience has set the town on a path of swift pandemic recovery

Chesterfield’s resilience in the face of adversity has been borne out by figures shared at today’s (31 March) Celebrate Chesterfield event organised by Destination Chesterfield in association with Addooco IT.

At the virtual conference it was revealed that SMEs are reporting growth in turnover and staff numbers during the pandemic, while estate agents in the borough are achieving up to 103 per cent on asking price with up to eight buyers per property.

Despite the pandemic, more than £1bn of regeneration projects are currently underway in the borough, including the multi-million pound Chesterfield Waterside, Glass Yard, Northern Gateway and PEAK schemes.

Speaking at the conference Dr Huw Bowen, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council praised the sector’s can-do attitude during the pandemic.

He said: “There is a fantastic landscape of development happening in the town in the middle of the pandemic. I think it says everything about Chesterfield in terms of the ambition of the place and the fact we are not going to just bunker down but actually get on and invest in quality developments right across the town and borough.”

Work has also begun on a McDonalds restaurant and drive-thru on the site of a long-derelict former multi-storey car park at West Bars. Sixty-five jobs will be created when the fast-food giant opens at the location later this year.

Most recently, Staveley received £25.2million from the Government’s Town Deal programme. It is being billed as one of the largest economic programmes in the borough in recent history.

Speaking at the conference Ivan Fomin, Chair of Staveley Town Deal Board, said: “We want Staveley to become a place to start, to stay and grow to deliver inclusive growth opportunities for the people of Staveley over the next five years.”

While 1,100 Chesterfield businesses temporarily closed during the latest lockdown, Dr Bowen is optimistic they will re-open and access the support and grants the Council has put in place to enable them to re-start. Nearly £60million in business rates relief and grants has been distributed by Chesterfield Borough Council to businesses during the pandemic.

“Our first priority is to support existing businesses to survive and restart,” added Dr Bowen.

Marketing the town, he said, was critical to the council’s Economic Recovery Plan post pandemic and praised the work of Destination Chesterfield in its work to attract inward investment.

He added: “We want people to relocate and start up in business here, so we are working closely with other Derbyshire councils and the East Midlands Chamber to make available start-up funding to encourage entrepreneurs to the town and borough.”

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield welcomed Dr Bowen’s comments saying: “Chesterfield has proved time and time again that it is a resilient and strong town which consistently performs well in the face of adversity.

“During the pandemic we have seen major projects start to come out of the ground which is testimony to our forward-thinking council and a key reason why investors from outside the area are keen to do business with us on major projects like PEAK, Waterside and HS2.

“Twelve months ago our annual Celebrate Chesterfield event looked to be anything but a celebration. However, we have attracted investment, jobs have been created and a plan is in place to ensure not only that we recover quickly from the pandemic but that we are stronger because of it. There is much to celebrate now and for the future of Chesterfield.”

In addition to Dr Bowen, speakers at the annual free event also included Andy Dabbs and Jillian Mitchell the Chair and Vice Chair respectively of the newly formed Property and Construction Group, which is organised by Destination Chesterfield and was launched at Celebrate Chesterfield 21

The group brings together leaders from the area’s property and construction sectors to shape and drive forward collaboration, investment, sustainability and skills within Chesterfield.

Celebrate Chesterfield 2021 was sponsored by University of Derby, Whittam Cox Architects and Markham Vale – Derbyshire’s flagship regeneration scheme, who joined headline sponsor Addooco IT.

Richard Walters, owner of Chesterfield technology specialist Addooco IT Ltd, commented: “The concept of ‘Celebrating Chesterfield’ really resonates with me as there is such a rich history of innovation here. Having identified early in 2020 how challenging the next 12 months and beyond would likely become we accelerated our investment plans to help minimise the impact of the situation, whilst creating four new job roles to help cope with demand. This ensured ample capacity and performance for our existing clients and those who we’ve welcomed to Addooco over the last year.”

If you were unable to attend the live Celebrate Chesterfield 2021 event, the presentations are available to watch via the online platform until 14 April. For free access to the platform please contact mollie.brown@chesterfield.co.uk.

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

Chesterfield’s first Property and Construction Group launched

A pioneering Chesterfield Property and Construction Group has been launched at the annual Celebrate Chesterfield event held on 31 March 2021.

The new group, which is organised by Destination Chesterfield, brings together leaders from the area’s property and construction sectors to shape and drive forward collaboration, investment, sustainability and skills within Chesterfield.

It is chaired by Andy Dabbs, Architect and Board Director at Chesterfield-based Whittam Cox Architects which is behind the town’s £19.9 million Northern Gateway Development project.

He explained: “Within the new group there’s a diverse range of talent- architects, construction specialists, landowners and developers; a true collective who have joined forces for the good of the town and to benefit everyone living here.

“We’re all passionate about Chesterfield and what it has to offer everyone living and working here. It’s full of potential, it’s perfectly located, and offers a plethora of independent shops and hotels and collectively we shall be flying the flag for the town not only locally but regionally and nationally through our individual networks.”

The new Chesterfield Property and Construction Group is one of a number of sector-specific Destination Chesterfield groups, including the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Manufacturing Forum, which share a vision to make the town an attractive place to live, work and invest in.

The action-focused Chesterfield Property and Construction Group meets quarterly. The next meeting, which is free to attend, will be held virtually on Wednesday 16 June.

The group has already identified four key themes that will be led by members of the group, specifically the skills agenda, business support, promote investment in Chesterfield and sustainability and wellbeing.

Vice chair, architect and founding director of Markham Vale-based Lomas and Mitchell Architects, Jillian Mitchell will lead the sustainability and wellbeing theme within the group.

She explained “Sustainability is at the heart of our practice. We specialise in designing low energy, healthy and beautiful buildings so I was keen to lead this theme. In doing so it enables me to engage directly with bigger businesses and gain a wider perspective. It also gives me the opportunity to find out what’s happening within other areas and to learn from each other.”

Andy, who has lived in Dronfield all of his life and feels strongly about Chesterfield’s potential, added: “Chesterfield has held its own during the pandemic, with continuous investment and development taking place. The Glass Yard, Chesterfield Waterside and

Peak Resort developments are perfect examples of investors believing in our town and we want to keep driving this forward.”

“The group aims to provide a platform for professionals in the property and construction sector that can be used to help market Chesterfield as an area of interest to a wide range of investors.”

Appealing for the sector to come together and join the Chesterfield Property and Construction Group, Jillian added: “It is very much a case of together we are stronger so we hope more organisations and individuals from both the public and private sector will join the group.

“It is an opportunity for us all to pool our varied and extensive expertise, using the collective to support others in helping shape the built environment of Chesterfield both now and for future generations.”

To find out more about become a member of the Chesterfield Property and Construction Group contact Propertygroup@chesterfield.co.uk or visit https://www.linkedin.com/company/chesterfield-property-and-construction-group

 

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

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