peter swallow

“There has never been more opportunity for young people to build a career in hospitality in Chesterfield.”

Destination Chesterfield Chair, Peter Swallow has given his thoughts about exciting developments taking place across Chesterfield as we enter March.

Spring is in the air. I for one cannot wait for the longer, warmer days and, rather than staying indoors. I, like many of you, am starting to think about venturing out again in the evening.

Whilst some of us may have been hibernating during the winter months, it is pleasing to see that the hospitality sector in Chesterfield has not been. Despite the challenges that the pandemic has thrown at it, new bars and restaurants have opened in the last six months, and more are opening soon.

Most recently Vicar Lane Shopping Centre welcomed Pizza Pi and before that Albert’s Jüngerer Bruder opened in Rykneld Square in November last year. The town centre will also shortly welcome The Dirty Habit on Holywell Street, taking over the unit that once was the Rising Sun. This new bar will also have outdoor space.

The pandemic has helped us all appreciate the outdoors, and it is great to see more businesses using their outdoor space to draw people to their venue. It benefits not only their business but also the high streets and town centre too.

With the transformation of the former Co-op on Elder Way into units for bars and restaurants, which also has fantastic outdoor dining space, it is fair to say that Chesterfield town centre’s night-time economy is set to get livelier in 2022.

As well as boosting Chesterfield’s night-time economy, giving local people and visitors more choice, these businesses are also creating jobs and opportunity. Albert’s Jüngerer Bruder has created 20 jobs alone.

Outside the town centre, Chesterfield’s hospitality scene is thriving. The Batch House at The Glass Yard is shortly to open and will offer everything from Indian street food to craft beer. While Chesterfield’s four-star hotel, Peak Edge, has recently been awarded the best wedding venue in Derbyshire.

With more than 16,000 students in North Derbyshire set to gain their GCSE and A level qualifications in the next five years, there has never been more opportunity for young people to build a career in hospitality in Chesterfield.

It is not just the hospitality sector which offers opportunity to young people.  At the recent Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Skills and Employability Conference it was revealed that that green and digital skills are most in demand from employers. This highlights the need for businesses and education and training providers to work together to ensure that young people are equipped with the skills needed to get good jobs.

Looking to the immediate digital skills needed to support the local economy, however, the Chesterfield Digital High Street campaign has been instrumental in enabling retail, hospitality and leisure businesses across the town to get online and trade digitally alongside their high street presence.

Ensuring young people know about the opportunities available to them now and in the future cannot just be the responsibility of businesses and skills and education providers. The proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ comes to mind. It highlights the importance of community and what we can all do to support young people leaving education this year and beyond.

From offering work experience to simply telling young people about your job, we can all help them take their first step onto the career ladder and build their future right here in Chesterfield, ensuring the local economy thrives now and for future generations.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Apprentice Town, Blog, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Made in Chesterfield, Property and Construction, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , , , ,

“We all have a role to play in ensuring that Chesterfield is future-proofed”

Destination Chesterfield Chair, Peter Swallow has published his latest blog focusing on the importance of skills and job creation in the town.

2022 certainly kicked off in style (pun intended) with a trip to Chelsea for Chesterfield FC in the FA Cup.

In what was the ultimate David and Goliath match, Chesterfield FC’s players battled bravely to the end and did themselves proud. However, we must not overlook the fans- Thousands of Spireites travelled to Stamford Bridge and their conduct, friendliness, and optimism made them the ultimate ambassadors for the town. I could not have been more proud of Chesterfield on this historic day.

The conduct of players and fans helped raised the profile of our town in a very positive way, not just nationally but internationally with goodwill messages being received from as far afield as Africa and Russia.

At the 80th minute it would have been easier for the players to sit back and prevent more goals. Not our players, they battled on to score a precious goal against the reigning European champions, sending the fans back home with a smile on their face.

Doesn’t this mirror Chesterfield’s response to the pandemic?

Two years, the town could have bunkered down and ridden out the pandemic. Instead, we chose to forge ahead with existing plans and came up with innovative solutions to ensure Chesterfield continued to grow and develop in the face of adversity.

During the pandemic, Chesterfield has attracted more than £30million in government funding to help revitalise the town centre and regenerate Staveley. Most importantly jobs and opportunities will be created for thousands of young people in the borough.

The last two years have been extremely challenging for students and employers, and it has never been more important to work together to ensure Chesterfield has the skills to grow and recover from those challenges.

We’re committed to creating jobs for local people, which is why, with more than 16,000 students in North Derbyshire set to gain their GCSE and A level qualifications in the next five years, it’s important that they are work ready and know about the opportunities – like apprenticeships – available to them when they leave education.

The annual Chesterfield & North Derbyshire Employability & Skills Conference, which this year fell during National Apprenticeship Week – plays a big role in this.

Organised by Chesterfield Borough Council and Destination Chesterfield with support from Derbyshire North Careers Hub, it continues to strengthen links between education providers and local businesses. Apprenticeships, alongside university and college all take equal billing at the conference, recognising the importance each of them plays in ensuring the town has a skilled workforce.

However, let’s not wait for a conference and awareness week to highlight the importance and value of apprenticeships. Make sure young people around you are aware of apprenticeships and the value they bring to their personal and professional development and the town’s prosperity.

We all have a role to play in ensuring that Chesterfield is future-proofed. Having a skilled workforce is key to ensure our town continues to thrive for generations to come.

Posted in Apprentice Town, Blog, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Love Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

“A truly inclusive Christmas awaits everyone in Chesterfield this year.”

Destination Chesterfield Chair, Peter Swallow has provided his thoughts ahead of a busy and exciting festive period ahead in Chesterfield 

Christmas this year will look and feel a bit different for us all now that Covid restrictions have been fully lifted.

Once again, we can enjoy and experience the Christmas atmosphere in Chesterfield’s plethora of shops, market stalls, pubs, bars, cafés and restaurants.

While times are testing for the hospitality sector nationally, with many businesses reporting staff shortages it is extremely pleasing to see the fresh shoots of new restaurants in and around the town centre.

Three new restaurants have already opened in time for Christmas – Blaze in Stephenson’s Place, Gingerz on Chatsworth Road and Vegged on Sheffield Road, and more eateries are in the pipeline for 2022.

As well as new places to eat and drink, we’ve also seen new names join Chesterfield’s high street this year, including The Bee Orchid, The Lucky Magpie Salvage and Chesterfield Escape Rooms. I expect more new names to join Chesterfield’s plethora of independents soon following Vicar Lane Shopping Centre’s plans for a brand-new initiative to support start-up and small independent retailers with the ‘Vicar Lane Pop Up Shop’.

We really will be spoilt for choice in the nomination stage at next year’s Love Chesterfield Awards.

The lifting of restrictions has also meant the return of in-person events to the town centre, like the Christmas Light Switch On, the Crooked Spire’s Festival of Christmas Trees, the Santa cruise on the canal and the pantomime, to name but a few. They have all been missed.

While 2020 was challenging it also provided us with a valuable opportunity to do things differently and sometimes better. Like the Amazing Magical Chesterfield Santa House which offers children the unique opportunity to talk to the Big Man himself via the ‘Santa Zoomer’.

The concept was conceived during the pandemic and was such a hit that it is returning this year. To ensure as many young people as possible can enjoy the experience it is particularly pleasing to see that ‘relaxed sessions’ have been added to the Amazing Magical Chesterfield Santa House for children with learning disabilities and other sensory disorders.

A truly inclusive Christmas awaits everyone in Chesterfield this year.

2021, like 2020, has been a year of change and adaptation. As we continue to navigate through one of the most testing periods in recent history we have shown, once again that Chesterfield is resilient, forward thinking and the place to be. It’s my kind of town… and not just for Christmas!

Wishing you all a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Blog, Business, Christmas, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Love Chesterfield, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , ,

Destination Chesterfield Chair to speak at prestigious East Midlands Bricks Awards

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield and Managing Director of Bolsterstone Group PLC, has been announced as the guest speaker for this year’s East Midlands Bricks Awards on Thursday 30th September at the Trent Bridge Cricket Ground in Nottingham.

The East Midlands Bricks Awards is an independent awards and publicity programme recognising development projects and people in commercial and public building across the region. The awards are split into 10 categories covering every aspect of the property sector and will celebrate the achievements and standards set by both companies and individuals.

Peter Swallow said: “I am very much looking forward to speaking at the East Midlands Bricks Awards 2021. Despite the challenges over the last 18 months the East Midlands construction and property sector has held up well and we have a lot to celebrate.”

This year’s award categories include: Contractor of the Year, Developer of the Year, Commercial Development of the Year, Residential Development of the Year, Sustainable Development of the Year, Deal of the Year, Most Active Agents of the Year, Architects of the Year, Excellence in Design, Responsible Business and of course Overall Winner.

The Bricks also present an ideal networking opportunity, with the leaders of property and construction businesses from across the East Midlands in attendance.

A number of developments are currently taking place in Chesterfield, including the town’s flagship Chesterfield Waterside, Northern Gateway and Elder Way schemes. To find out more about the regeneration taking place across the town, take a look at our developments page.

Chesterfield is also home to the Property and Construction group,  which brings together business leaders of the region’s property sector and Chesterfield Borough Council to shape and drive forward collaboration, investment, sustainability and skills within Chesterfield.

If you want to find out more about Chesterfield’s ongoing regeneration and investment opportunites, you are now able to secure a free place at the Chesterfield Investment Summit, taking place on Wednesday, 24th November. Find out more.

Bolsterstone Group PLC supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 190 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

Peter Swallow Chair of Destination Chesterfield

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

“I am reminded of how lucky we are in Chesterfield to live in such beautiful surroundings.”

Destination Chesterfield Chairman Peter Swallow has shared his optimism for the future across Chesterfield in his latest blog.

Following the easing of restrictions on the hospitality sector in May, it has been a pleasure to be able once again to sample our wonderful restaurants and cafes. This is not just because of the record rainfall we experienced, followed by the recent very welcome sunshine – but because it’s given me a real sense that the end of the pandemic is in sight.

As summer is here, I am reminded of how lucky we are in Chesterfield to live in such beautiful surroundings. We have a wealth of picturesque places to visit, right here on our doorstep. It’s a great place to live and an excellent base for UK staycations.

By way of example, we have Chatsworth with its stunning grounds and gardens and also the glorious Peak District – which is celebrating 70 years since becoming the UK’s first national park, both offering a host of summer activities for us all to get involved in. Our very own Chesterfield Museum has re-opened after 14 months and is looking forward to welcoming visitors old and new.

It’s also been refreshing to see the weekly open air markets back in the town centre as well as the monthly Artisan market. They too send out a re-affirming message that we are well on the way to normal service resuming in our lives – 19 July permitting.

Continuing the positive theme, I am delighted to report that, despite the constraints of the pandemic, significant progress has been made at each of Chesterfield’s key building developments.

Tenants have been confirmed for some of the floorspace in the new office building under construction at Chesterfield Waterside. BHP Chartered Accountants will be making the move to One Waterside Place shortly after its completion later this year. In addition, the first residents have taken occupation in the new housing being developed by Avant Homes in the ‘Waterside Quarter’ area of the project.

The Glass Yard on Sheffield Road is also on schedule for completion shortly. The offices and meeting spaces have been designed sustainably and ergonomically and will incorporate The Batch House – an artisan food and drink hall. A place to work, eat and meet.

Work at the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre in the heart of the town, continues at great pace, with the plastering works now complete. This too is also on track for completion and will welcome tenants in the summer.

With the demand for regional satellite offices growing since the pandemic, Chesterfield not only has a great supply of high specification, flexible office space but we also offer a cost effective and central location. Once again Chesterfield is ahead of the curve.

With the prospect of HS2 enabling travel from Chesterfield to London in just 73 mins, these are very exciting times for us as a town as we look to attract investment from large companies looking to establish regional offices.

We will continue to benefit and grow as a result of the Waterside Place, Glass Yard and Enterprise Centre developments as we welcome the many new businesses who will soon be making Chesterfield their address of choice.

Just 16 months ago, Chesterfield like the rest of the country and, indeed the world, wondered what the future held amidst the pandemic. Today, we can confidently say the future is very bright for the town thanks to the overall economic strategy and putting in place the tools to facilitate delivery.

Posted in About Chesterfield, Blog, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Home, Leisure, Made in Chesterfield, Property and Construction, Summer, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , ,

“We now have a chance to get back to our high streets and show our support upon their re-opening”

In his latest blog, Destination Chesterfield Chairman Peter Swallow has shared his thoughts about the reopening of non-essential retail in Chesterfield, along with providing an update on several regeneration projects taking place across the town.

With the gentle easing out of lockdown and the continuing success of the vaccination programme, the future is definitely looking brighter for everyone.

The re-opening of non-essential business is another positive step forward for the town. We have all been deprived of the things we enjoy doing whilst lockdown measures have been in place, such as shopping, attending events and eating out.

With Chesterfield’s wealth of independent shops and eateries, we now have a chance to get back to our high streets and show our support upon their re-opening. Just a few pounds spent in local shops will make a huge difference to these businesses and I personally feel it is a far more enjoyable experience to visit these outlets as opposed to clicking on a website.

The re-opening of the high street also coincides with the launch of the brand new Love Chesterfield Awards. They celebrate the town’s favourite food and drink and retail businesses, local entrepreneurs, regeneration projects, community contributions and sustainability. Nominations for the awards open in May, If you know of someone or something in Chesterfield that deserves recognition, please do put them forward for an award.

We also got the chance to recognise success across the borough at this year’s Celebrate Chesterfield event- and it was indeed a celebration. We celebrated our resilience as a town during the pandemic, we celebrated our community that continuously pulls together and we celebrated the positive future ahead for the town we love.

Part of Chesterfield’s success is its ability to join forces for the good of the town, and the launch of the town’s new Construction and Property Group at the event demonstrated this perfectly. The Group represents the coming together of public and private individuals and organisations in our town who, together, are committed to driving forward collaboration, investment, sustainability and skills within Chesterfield.

In spite of the pandemic, developments in Chesterfield have continued at pace and there are many more on the horizon. Most recently construction has begun on a McDonalds restaurant and drive-thru on the site of a long-derelict former multi-storey car park at West Bars. Staveley has also received £25.2 million from the Government’s Town Deal programme, which will help deliver inclusive growth opportunities over the next five years.

It is schemes like these as well as Chesterfield Waterside, PEAK and Northern Gateway that are creating immediate and future opportunities for our young people ensuring they are able to acquire skills that will help them achieve their future ambitions.

The past year has shown just how strong we are when we pull together and I know that is this strength and determination that will continue to drive us forward into our bright future and beyond.

Posted in Blog, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Uncategorised, VisitingTagged in , , , , , , ,

Destination Chesterfield chair, Peter Swallow: “This is a golden opportunity to transform the area for future generations”

Destination Chesterfield chair, Peter Swallow shares his optimism for the future of the town, following the government’s recent announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown and a big funding boost for Staveley.

With a clear route out of Covid lockdown now in progress, schools welcoming back children to classrooms and Spring in the air, we have much to be feeling positive about right now, not least a £25.2million funding boost, announced in the recent Budget, which will pave the way for significant regeneration in Staveley.

This is a golden opportunity to transform the area for future generations. Collectively we are working hard to ensure our young people are aware of both the career opportunities and are equipped with the skills they need to achieve their ambitions – and never more so than during Covid.

Works road and canal basin plans, Staveley

To ensure young people in schools remain connected to businesses during these trying times I am delighted to see the launch of three virtual workplace tours. Produced as part of the Made in Chesterfield campaign, the films feature three local businesses operating in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) sector – MSE Hiller, United Cast Bar (UCB) and Woodhead Construction.

At the heart of these films is the understanding of the challenges students and young people in our town are facing as a result of the pandemic. It illustrates why initiatives such as this and the MyFuture careers platform are an integral component to our continued collective future success.

The virtual My Future platform

Despite the constraints as a result of the pandemic over the last year, Chesterfield’s regeneration projects have forged ahead. Chesterfield Waterside, the new Enterprise Centre and The Glass Yard all continue to accelerate, increasing local job opportunities as well as opportunities for the town to benefit from the project growth in demand for regional satellite offices by large corporations.

We have all learned a lot, adopted new, sometimes better, ways of doing things and, above all shown we are a resilient and forward-thinking town. Our own Chesterfield Royal Hospital gained national recognition recently with the incredible Covid research work over the last year. It shows that we are a town that is constantly evolving and, more importantly, leading the way.

Who knows, in the words of Charles Dickens we may look back on this period in our history and declare ‘it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.’

With normality on the horizon and so much positivity around us right now, it feels more appropriate than ever to be celebrating everything we have achieved together this past year.

This is why I for one am looking forward to Destination Chesterfield’s annual Celebrate Chesterfield business event returning virtually on the 31 March 2021. It is an opportunity for companies large and small to come together and catch up on the latest progress in the local economy.

It is indeed an exciting time for Chesterfield, and we have demonstrated that through businesses and communities working together, we are stronger than ever.


Posted in Blog, Business, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, Made in Chesterfield, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , , ,

“We go into 2021 with hope” – Peter Swallow – January 2021

Destination Chesterfield chair, Peter Swallow has outlined his hopes and aspirations for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire as we enter the new year…

Following what has been a very difficult year for everyone, we go into 2021 with hope, in the knowledge that a vaccine will soon hopefully eradicate Coronavirus, there is an undercurrent of excitement and energy going into the New Year.

With light at the end of the tunnel, we can now not only look forwards but also back at what has been achieved, despite the pandemic.

While we may have felt that 2020 was a year in limbo, now that we have time to reflect, we can see that the town made significant progress in the face of adversity enabling us to go into 2021 with a firm foundation for growth.

Pre Covid our strong and proud Shop Local message came to the fore during lockdown. As our high street closed, we opened our laptops and phones and shopped locally virtually with help from Destination Chesterfield and the local media. They sprang into action and brought attention to the myriad of independent retailers and market traders to ensure we gave them our business.

The very real experience of the high street closing I believe, has made us value it even more. We have missed the opportunity of being able to ‘pop’ into town and meet up with friends or simply bump into them while out on errands.

It is the strong community spirit that exists in Chesterfield that makes us resilient as a town and able to face the catastrophic effects of a pandemic head on. I am proud that we didn’t bunker down and ride out the storm- we chose to fight it head on instead. This resilience has enabled us to identify opportunities which have emerged during the pandemic; one of these being the growth in demand for quality office space, a fact which is acknowledged by virtually all commercial property advisors and consultants.

Experts agree that working from home is not a long-term option for a number of reasons. I know that I am fed up with it! Instead, they predict that we will combine home and office working.

Rather than having a single large office, large companies will want to spread risk and look to regional markets like Chesterfield in which to establish satellite offices.

Chesterfield could not be better positioned to capitalise on this opportunity in 2021. Three new office developments will open – the Enterprise Centre at Northern Gateway, No.1 Waterside Place at Chesterfield Waterside and Glass Yard on Sheffield Road.

The offices will of course benefit the town centre as office workers will create critical footfall in local shops, stores and market stalls.

It is this forward thinking, resilience and community spirit that will ensure Chesterfield thrives in the face of a global recession, just as it did 10 years ago when the council established Destination Chesterfield. If history repeats itself then we have much to look forward to in 2021 and beyond.

Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield

Posted in About Chesterfield, Blog, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Featured, UncategorisedTagged in , , , , ,

December blog- Peter Swallow, Chair of Destination Chesterfield

Destination Chesterfield chair Peter Swallow has provided an update to businesses and residents in Chesterfield, as we take a look back on the positive developments which have progressed in the town this year and look ahead to Christmas and 2021.

Peter Swallow Chair of Destination Chesterfield

Despite the challenges that 2020 has thrown at us all, we end the year on a positive note and a message of hope.

It would be very easy to write-off 2020 as an unmitigated disaster. We have all been bombarded with Covid-related bad news throughout the year. However, amongst the doom and gloom there has been some good news, and a common thread of hope throughout the year.

Development and investment, which will lay the foundation for future jobs in the town, has continued throughout 2020. Significant headway has been made on the new Enterprise Centre being constructed on the donut car park, and construction of the new ‘grade a’ offices at Chesterfield Waterside got underway.

Despite the imposed social distancing, I believe that Chesterfield’s communities have become closer and more supportive of each other during the pandemic. Although there are high hopes for the vaccine which has recently been announced, it is important that we maintain the Shop Local momentum over Christmas.

Chesterfield is a resilient and adaptable town and nowhere is this more evident that on our high street.

We have seen businesses adapt overnight – from doorstep deliveries of beer, tea and coffee, drive and buy fruit and veg on the market, to website launches and takeaway gourmet meals to cook at home. These small things have kept us all connected and smiling!

Non-food retailers, restaurants, bars and cafes have had it particularly tough. However, we have embraced the Shop Local message and gone out and supported local businesses enabling the survival of many.

In these challenging times it has never been more important to support each other. I am delighted that Destination Chesterfield and Chesterfield Borough Council have continued to work collaboratively this year on the Christmas in Chesterfield Campaign. Combining our efforts will reinforce the Support Local message.

We may not be able to physically get into the high street businesses, but many independent retailers, restaurants and cafes offer us access to their products and services from the comfort of our homes using our laptops, tablets, telephones and perhaps even carrier pigeons (OK, maybe not carrier pigeons——!)

Making the decision to choose an independent retailer for your gifts and food both now and beyond the pandemic will make a huge difference to our high street.

As we look to 2021, there can be no simpler message for the town other than ‘support each other.’

I wish you all a happy and HEALTHY Christmas and New Year.


Posted in About Chesterfield, Blog, Business, Celebrate Chesterfield, Christmas, Destination Chesterfield, Development, Leisure, Made in Chesterfield, VisitingTagged in , , , , , , , ,

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