university of derby

University of Derby and East Midlands Chamber pledge support for the UN Race to Zero

The University of Derby and East Midlands Chamber have become signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Race to Zero campaign.

Professor Kamil Omoteso, pro vice-chancellor dean of the College of Business, Law and Social Sciences at the University, and Scott Knowles, chief executive at East Midlands Chamber, made the announcement at last week’s annual Midlands Sustainability Summit, co-hosted by the University and Chamber, and supported by the Midlands Engine, last Thursday (23 September).

Race to Zero is a global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, and investors for a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates decent jobs, and unlocks inclusive, sustainable growth.

The objective is to build momentum around the shift to a decarbonised economy ahead of COP26 in November, where governments must strengthen their contributions to the Paris Agreement. By joining the Race to Zero, the University and Chamber have demonstrated their commitment to the net zero agenda to global leaders at COP26.

Prof Omoteso, said: “I am delighted to announce that the University has become a signatory to the UN Race to Zero, cementing its existing pro-environmental commitments.

“This pledge provides a springboard for our ongoing efforts to support the shift to a sustainable economy across the region and beyond, and forms part of the University’s wider environmental ambitions and commitment to sustainability on our own net-zero pathway.”

East Midlands Chamber launched the Sustainable East Midlands campaign last year to encourage more businesses to engage with the low-carbon agenda by demonstrating its commercial benefits, as well as highlighting successful case studies.

A newly-appointed Sustainable East Midlands policy officer will aim to create a net zero plan over the coming months, with ideas including setting a baseline carbon footprint to measure against, installing energy-efficient lighting and heating systems, and developing an employee engagement strategy to support behavioural changes in terms of workspaces, travel and waste.

Scott Knowles added: “As the business community looks to rebuild after a turbulent 18 months, the focus now shifts towards the future and the role we must all take in addressing the ever-pressing climate change challenge.

“As our commitment to this urgent challenge, where we feel it is important to lead by example, we are pleased to announce that the Chamber is setting our own net zero goal to cut our carbon emissions in half by 2030, with an aim to reach net zero before 2050.”

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Community Chesterfield launches next round of training and shared learning sessions

Community Chesterfield has launched its next phase of training and shared learning workshops to support the learning needs of staff and students at the University of Derby, as well as community and voluntary third sector groups across Derbyshire which help people in Chesterfield.

The project, which is a Lottery funded partnership between Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) and the University of Derby, has announced the topics to be covered up to February next year across its different learning programmes.

A variety of workshops which are one to two hour long one-off sessions covering a range of topics, will take place throughout the rest of the year. The subjects being focused on are a Makaton taster, Introduction to Domestic Abuse Training (accredited), Introduction to Basic Counselling Skills and Gambling-Related Harm Awareness.

Due to its popularity during previous series, the project’s Training and Tea sessions are returning, the first of which is a series of seven sessions focusing on fundraising to be delivered by Anna Clyne, director of MTH Consulting, who has 15 years’ experience working in frontline and management positions within the sector.

She specialises in supporting UK and international charities to understand impact, build a strategic approach to income generation and develop compelling funding approaches. Her first session will take place on 6 October.

Andrew Deighton will also return to facilitate more Training and Tea sessions early next year, delivering subjects including Solving Problems and Generating Ideas, Personal Development Planning and Managing Your Time More Effectively.

Connect and Reflect, which aims to connect the community, the health and social care sector and the University to allow them to discuss, learn from and reflect on the common experiences we each have, will also continue on the second Tuesday of every month.

The interactive online networking and shared learning sessions will cover the following topics between August and December: Conversations about Coaching and Building Teams, Accessible and Creative Communication and End of Life: Those Who Give Support Need Support, Identity and Intersectionality and Social Media: Professionally Sociable.

Connect and Reflect is for community and voluntary third sector organisations or groups helping people in Chesterfield, staff and students at the University of Derby and individuals working within Health or Social Care for people in Chesterfield.

Community Chesterfield also provides access to E-Learning courses which can be completed at your own pace. Available topics include Assessing Display Screen Equipment (DSE), First Aid Awareness, Negotiation and Time Management.

Places on all the above training and shared learning are free for University of Derby staff and students with a connection to Chesterfield, as well as those working at or volunteering for Derbyshire-based ‘not for profit’ community organisations helping people in Chesterfield. Some subsidised tickets are available for Training and Tea for anyone in Derbyshire. Terms and conditions apply.

For the full list of training and shared learning or to book a place on any of the sessions, visit https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/o/community-chesterfield-30163085884.

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

 

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University receives gold Ministry Of Defence award for supporting armed forces community

The University of Derby has been awarded Gold in the 2021 Ministry of Defence Employer Recognition Scheme for its commitment to supporting the Armed Forces community.

The Defence Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) encompasses bronze, silver and gold awards and encourages employers to support defence and inspire others to do the same.

Gold award holders must have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, employ people from the Armed Forces, hold a valid ERS Silver Award and proactively demonstrate their forces-friendly credentials in their recruiting and selection processes.

As part of its commitment to the ERS, Derby has been working to embed and demonstrate support to the Armed Forces across all levels and departments of the organisation. In 2017, the University signed the Armed Forces Covenant and reaffirmed its commitment in 2020.

The University has revised its recruitment process to ensure members of the Armed Forces are recognised when they apply for roles at the University and it supports the ‘Step into Health’ initiative with the University Hospitals of Derby & Burton NHS Foundation Trust, Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Derbyshire Community Health Services NHS Foundation Trust, to encourage veterans to consider careers in the NHS.

I am incredibly proud that the University has received this prestigious award for our work with serving and former Armed Forces personnel and their families.

Dr Paula Holt MBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor (PVC) Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby, who served as an army officer, has been appointed Armed Forces Champion for the institution and is working closely with a range of veteran and military support organisations and charities to ensure that there is support for veterans, reservists and cadet adult volunteers.Speaking about the Gold award, Dr Holt said: “I am incredibly proud that the University has received this prestigious award for our work with serving and former Armed Forces personnel and their families.

“As well as engaging in research we actively support veterans and their families across Derbyshire and beyond. We have engaged in employability and resettlement activities and have ensured our own policies and working practices support and encourage staff commitment to reservist and cadet activities.’’

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “I am delighted that the University of Derby has been awarded the Ministry of Defence’s highest badge of honour in recognition of our commitment to the Armed Forces community.

“At Derby, we are keen to attract service leavers as employees, and to encourage them to start new careers, education and training with us, recognising the outstanding transferable skills that veterans bring that can be built on in a second career.”

Minister for Defence People and Veterans, Leo Docherty, added: “I would like to thank all the organisations who have proven their support for the Defence community during such unprecedented and challenging times.

“The vast range of those recognised this year demonstrates how employing the Armed Forces community makes a truly positive and beneficial impact for all employers, regardless of size, sector or location.”

The University of Derby supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

chesterfield college

University of Derby St. Helena Campus, Chesterfield

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Community Chesterfield expands training offering

Community Chesterfield is expanding the offering of its most popular training programme by providing subsidised tickets to anyone in Derbyshire.

The project, a National Lottery funded partnership between Derbyshire Voluntary Action (DVA) and the University of Derby which supports local community and voluntary groups within the health and social care sector in Chesterfield, launched its Training and Tea sessions – 45-minute bite size introductions to a range of topics – during the pandemic.

The training has previously only available for free to University of Derby staff and students with a connection to Chesterfield, as well as those working at or volunteering for Derbyshire-based ‘not for profit’ community organisations helping people in Chesterfield.

However, some paid for tickets will now be available on each Training and Tea workshop for anyone living or working in Derbyshire.

Kate burns, skills co-ordinator at Community Chesterfield, said: “One of the key aims of the Community Chesterfield project is to upskill, develop and share knowledge within the voluntary and community sector in Chesterfield, and training was identified as a key way in which we could provide this support.

“Our Training and Tea sessions have been one of our most successful offerings since we moved to an online delivery model at the start of the pandemic. By being able to expand places on the workshops to anyone in Derbyshire, we can reach a wider demographic of voluntary and community sector groups, as well as individuals and businesses across the county who can benefit from the variety of topics we cover.

“This is an exciting development for the Community Chesterfield project and will enhance our reputation for creating exciting and innovative collaborations, providing an opportunity to expand on our already extensive network across Chesterfield.”

Community Chesterfield, which has provided a key support network for the voluntary and community sector during the pandemic, has delivered almost 1,000 training hours in the last 12 months alone, benefitting individuals from more than 100 organisations.

Subsidised Training and Tea tickets are available priced at £10 plus fees. Terms and conditions apply. Visit www.communitychesterfield.org.uk for more information.

Community Chesterfield supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

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Council joins University of Derby’s new employee mental health support scheme

Chesterfield Borough Council has become the latest organisation to join the University of Derby’s Mental Health and Productivity Pilot (MHPP), which provides support to businesses and their employees affected by mental health issues.

The Council joins more than 30 other organisations, and their 10,000 employees, who have now signed up to the scheme funded by Midlands Engine.

The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot implements new workplace interventions at pilot organisations and rolls out existing interventions in businesses, with the intention of reducing mental health distress and breaking down any barriers to accessing care.

The aim is to support employees who are experiencing mental distress or illness to either remain engaged and productive at work, or successfully transition back to work after a period of absence.

Since launching in 2020, the University of Derby has enhanced the original MHPP offer by working with academics within the University to offer new short courses and webinars to businesses involved in the pilot, and, in response to the pandemic, is now supporting several organisations with their Leadership and Management programmes, Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Covid recovery agenda.

Councillor Jean Innes, Chesterfield Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Business Transformation and Customers, said: “We are really pleased to have joined the Mental Health and Productivity Pilot. As part of our commitment to supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our staff, we want to create an environment where our staff can speak openly about mental health and be aware of the support that is available to them, and we believe joining the pilot will help us achieve this.

“As part of the pilot, we will be able to access new resources and training that will help support our health and wellbeing agenda, and raise awareness of mental health in the workplace. We look forward to working in partnership with the University of Derby.”

Dr Paula Holt MBE, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health, Psychology and Social Care at the University of Derby and Clinical Lead for the MHPP, added: “I am delighted that Chesterfield Borough Council has chosen to join the growing list of organisations that the University is now working with as part of the scheme. We look forward to working with staff there to help reduce the prevalence of mental health difficulties and increase productivity among the workforce.

“We are now working with businesses in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Herefordshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire to help integrate effective mental health provision within their working environment and would welcome enquiries from businesses of any size who are interested in working with us to create a ‘road map’ of support for their employees.”

The pilot links employers directly to initiatives such as Every Mind Matters, This is Me and Mental Health First Aid, which all provide expert guidance.

Businesses taking part will be asked to commit to an initial meeting to discuss how the programme would work for their company, creating a roadmap for its success, and promoting their commitment to the pilot in the workplace.

This week is currently mental health awareness week, and organisations across Chesterfield are raising awareness through a variety of initiatives. You can find out more here. 

Dr. Paula Holt MBE

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Chesterfield Champions show their support for Mental Health Awareness Week

Today marks the launch of Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health.

The week, which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is in its 21st year and runs from 10-16 May. The foundation’s main theme this year is nature, and how connecting with the great outdoors can improve our health both mentally and physically.

Chesterfield Champions have been raising awareness of various mental health initiatives recently, with some carrying out activities to mark the occasion this week.

If your business is hosting any mental health awareness activity throughout this week, remember to let us know by tagging Destination Chesterfield on social media!


Surecare Chesterfield 

Surecare has launched a new  training ‘Hail Yourself’ training package with staff this week. The training will talk about various aspects of mental health. The training is not only designed to help the company’s dedicated care staff to look after the service users, but also help them to look after themselves and each other.

Helen Axup, Registered Manager at Surecare said: “Mobility issues stop a lot of people being able to go out and mixing as they would like to. We as a company want to promote ‘a healthy mind helps a healthy body’.

“I am in the perfect position to see first hand how mental health effects various different people, whether it is the people we care for with SureCare, under-appreciated care staff or the people we know socially. It doesn’t matter who they are, we are a human race and we should offer support and understanding. This gave birth to our ‘Hail Yourself’ training because the person you should start with is yourself.”

Heathcotes Group

The team at Heathcotes Group are sharing a number of resources with colleagues and service users to help raise awareness of mental health and signpost colleages and service users to resources.

Tom Matthews, HR Business Partner at Heathcotes Group has created a blog discussing the impact of the past year and the measures we can take to support good mental health.

You can read Tom’s blog here.

East Midlands Chamber

East Midlands Chamber’s director of resources and mental health first aider Lucy Robinson explains how businesses can help their employees to cope with the huge disruption brought on to their lives over the past 14 months.

Lucy’s blog post takes a look at the data behind mental health epidemic, employee mental health concerns and what employers can be doing to look after staff.

Find out more here.

Spire Radio

Team spire

For Mental Health Week, Spire Radio will be taking part in the Mental Health Minute. It takes place on-air at 10.59am on Friday 14th May,  and will feature celebrities and various other messages relating to the subject of mental health.

Find out more at: https://www.spire-radio.com/

The video below shows last year’s ‘Mental Health Minute’:

Chesterfield Royal Hospital

A brand new VIP lounge has been launched at Chesterfield Royal Hospital to improve the wellbeing offer for staff, with the help of airline or aviation staff who are currently furloughed, grounded or made redundant due to the pandemic.

The crews used their exceptional customer service skills and expertise to provide the hospital staff with a little bit of respite, as well as an opportunity to chat and share experiences.

Find out more about  the hospital’s ‘Project Wingman’ initiative here

Chesterfield Borough Council

A selection of ‘Mindful May’ events taking place this month, organised by Chesterfield Borough Council as part of the Year of Outdoors.

Residents are invited to book onto a number of different outdoor activities aimed at getting people out amongst nature in the town’s excellent green spaces.

Find out more about the events here.

University of Derby

St Helena's Chesterfield

Businesses across Chesterfield and the Midlands region are being offered the chance to boost productivity by working with the University of Derby to provide better mental health support for employees.

The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot will see the implementation of new workplace interventions at pilot organisations and the rollout of existing approaches in small, medium and large businesses across the Midlands Engine region. Find out more about the pilot here.

Derbyshire Institute of Sport

Derbyshire Institute of Sport project to put health and wellbeing at the heart of its support for the business community has proved a winner, with more than 100 people joining a mental health webinar about the importance of switching off from work and de-stressing.

The webinar, by DIS sports psychology lead Dr Phil Clarke, was the latest in a series of monthly, 30-minute ‘lunch and learn’ webinars available exclusively to businesses who sponsor the Community Interest Company.

Find out more.

360 wellbeing

 

360 Wellbeing Centre says their professional team are available to help with any psychological, physical or social symptoms of poor mental health.

The centre has also launched ‘The Hub Spot,’ a serene and tranquil work space available to hire by the hour. The space is designed for people to professionally meet with clients, get work done in a stress-free environment, take video conferencing calls or simply just to relax and unwind. Unlimited tea and coffee is also available to suit individual tastes. For more information, email info@360wellbeingcentre.co.uk

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Businesses Given Access to Leadership Skills Development Through New Project

Small-to-medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire can access support in developing leadership and management skills through a new project which is set to launch this month through the University of Derby.

The Smart and Inclusive Leadership (SAIL) project will support employees of SMEs in developing the leadership and management skills needed to drive productivity and growth. Supervisors, managers, recent graduates and aspiring leaders will be able to start the online programme from 24 May 2021. Coaching and mentoring to support career development will also be available to participants.

The project is part of the European Social Fund (ESF) High Level Skills programme. A second project focusing on developing science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM) skills will also be offered later in the year. Both projects will be delivered by a consortium of higher education, further education and third sector organisations. Led by Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the consortium includes the University of Derby, Derby College, Nottingham College, East Midlands Chamber of Commerce, Inspire Culture and Learning, and the Workers’ Educational Association.

The projects, part funded by the European Social Fund (ESF), will be bolstered by the same amount in match funding by delivery partners, meaning there is no cost to eligible organisations that choose to participate.

Professor Warren Manning, Provost Innovation and Research at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to be part of these two new projects aimed at supporting SMEs and their employees with specific focus on the development of high-level skills.

“Partnerships between business, universities and other education providers are essential for driving innovation in the region and we are pleased to be part of the consortium delivering this training.”

Both projects will encourage participation of people underrepresented in both leadership and management, and STEM. This includes but is not limited to; women, BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) groups, disabled people, people living in a single adult household with dependent children, and people without basic skills qualifications.

To find out more about how to join the upcoming leadership programme, visit Smart and Inclusive Leadership Programme and for further information on the STEM programme visit Branch Out in STEM.

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University of Derby to offer higher education courses to students in Singapore

A higher education provider in Singapore will be the latest international institution to offer University of Derby courses to international students.

The formal agreement signed between the University and DIMENSIONS International College will result in the launch of a number of Derby’s undergraduate courses to DIMENSIONS students from this month.

The first group of courses includes BSc (Hons) Psychological Studies, BA (Hons) Marketing (Management), BA (Hons) International Accounting, BA (Hons) Business Management and BA (Hons) Graphic Design.

The courses have been registered by the Committee for Private Education (CPE), Singapore’s regulatory equivalent of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education in the UK.

Over the next few years, courses from all four of the University’s colleges – Arts, Humanities and Education, Business, Law and Social Sciences, Health, Psychology and Social Care, and Science and Engineering – will be available to students at DIMENSIONS, who are from across the whole of east and south-east Asia.

Professor Kathryn Mitchell DL, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to have established a new strategic international partnership with DIMENSIONS, as Singapore is a very important hub for transnational education, attracting students from many different countries.

“Such partnerships enable us to offer degree courses from across the University of Derby’s academic portfolio to students in different locations around the world, extending our reputation for teaching excellence across the globe.”

Mr. Henry Chan, Managing Director and Principal of DIMENSIONS International College, said: “It is our great privilege to be the collaborative partner of University of Derby, given its rich heritage, good ranking and wide range of programmes which students can choose from.

“Our students have now embarked on the learning journey with University of Derby at DIMENSIONS. We are excited with the plans to roll out more of Derby’s programmes in 2022.”

DIMENSIONS joins a growing list of partners offering a range of programmes by the University of Derby. This list includes institutions such as the Mediterranean College in Greece and Domain Academy in Malta, as well as specialist institutions such as Botswana Accountancy College, and Swiss Education Group – an alliance of internationally-recognised schools specialising in hospitality, business and the culinary arts.

Richard Side, Associate Director of International at the University of Derby, said: “We worked closely with the British Council in Singapore to carefully identify colleges with ambitions that are closely aligned to our own, with whom we could potentially work. It was clear that DIMENSIONS very much met our requirements for delivering degree programmes from across our colleges.

“There are a number of phases to the partnership. Phase one will see five courses being delivered from this summer. Discussions about which of our Science and Engineering courses will be provided by DIMENSIONS under phase two in 2022 have just begun.”

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University invites Midlands businesses to sign up to employee mental health support scheme

Businesses across Chesterfield and the Midlands region are being offered the chance to boost productivity by working with the University of Derby to provide better mental health support for employees.

The Mental Health and Productivity Pilot will see the implementation of new workplace interventions at pilot organisations and the rollout of existing approaches in small, medium and large businesses across the Midlands Engine region.

The programme aims to:

● contribute to the reduction of mental health distress
● break down the barriers to accessing care faced by people experiencing mental illness
● support their continuation in and return to work
● make a positive contribution to organisational productivity, in terms of wellbeing and economic outcomes

Dr Paula Holt, Pro Vice-Chancellor Dean of the College of Health and Social Care at the University of Derby, said: “The cost to the economy of mental health across the Midlands could be in excess of £45bn this year. Yet research shows that for every £1 invested in supporting the mental health of employees, the return to the employer in productivity is £5. Those returns are greater still when employers take preventative, rather than reactive, steps to help their staff.”

Around 1,900 employers took part in the first phase of project, exploring the issues of how mental health and wellbeing are currently dealt with in the workplace and its impact on performance.

Around a third of those taking part reported sickness absence among staff due to mental health issues, and a similar proportion recorded presenteeism, particularly in the hospitality and business services sectors.

Factors negatively affecting mental health of employees include:

● Lone or remote working
● Client expectations on time, quality and cost
● Job insecurity
● Recruitment practices

Dr Holt added: “A healthy and inclusive workplace is essential for all businesses, so providing appropriate support for employees, creating a culture of openness and tackling discrimination and stigma, will help to remove some of the barriers to growth and development for firms.

“The research we have carried out shows that employers recognise that understanding how to address mental health issues effectively can boost morale, engagement and motivation, but also reveals that they are not always sure where to obtain the help they need.”

The pilot will link employers directly to initiatives such as Every Mind Matters, This is Me and Mental Health First Aid, which all provide expert guidance. Once embedded into an organisation, the guidance aims to help reduce the prevalence of mental health difficulties and increase productivity among the workforce.

The University is now offering businesses of all sizes and from all sectors in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Stoke and Staffordshire, Shrewsbury and Shropshire, and Herefordshire the opportunity to work with them integrate effective mental health provision into their organisation.

Training courses which not only help to raise awareness but could be used to support continuing professional development (CPD) are also available.

Businesses taking part will be asked to commit to an initial meeting to discuss how the programme would work for their company, creating a roadmap for its success, and promoting their commitment to the pilot in the workplace.

To find out more about the pilot, visit our website: https://www.derby.ac.uk/business-services/midlands-engine-mental-health-and-productivity-pilot/

Cash Funding for Clever Ideas

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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.

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Funding available for Chesterfield businesses to take on remote-working interns

Small businesses in Chesterfield and Derbyshire can receive up to £7,000 in funding and support to recruit remotely-based student and graduate talent into their workforce.

The rise in remote working due to the COVID-19 pandemic means the University is now able to work with more businesses than ever before, including those who previously may not have had the office space to accommodate a graduate.

The opportunities are provided by the GRADS for D2N2 project which is part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and is part of the ESF High-Level Skills programme.

ESF supports activities to extend employment opportunities and develop a skilled workforce. The GRADS for D2N2 project is delivered by the University of Derby as part of the High Level Skills consortium which also includes Nottingham Trent University, Derby College, Nottingham College, and Nottingham City Council.

Chesterfield small business (SME) owner Rebecca Erskine, owner of Yellow Bird Marketing and Communications recounted the benefits of working alongside the University after taking on a graduate, Maciej Rus and current University of Derby student, Freya Padmore.

The team put together a series of remotely-filmed videos showcasing the virtues of remote working and the importance of internships as a way for students and graduates to gain “a competitive edge” and “apply the skills learnt at the University to the workplace.”

Rebecca said: “I recently took on two interns from the University of Derby. I think it is really important that the University, regardless of its name, supports businesses across the county of Derbyshire and that is the benefit of this particular programme.

“I think that when people are hard-working, they deserve real opportunity in life. Very often there are things that sit on the back-burner as far as your business is concerned.

“As a small business owner, obviously what brings in the money is the billable work and that has to be your priority, but it can’t be at the expense of business development or promoting your business so the interns coming into the project have really helped me make sure that I am looking at every element of the business. Remote working has given me the perfect opportunity to get the candidates that I really wanted for the project, regardless of where they’re based.”

Freya said: “Having experience that I can talk about in interviews and my applications gives me just that competitive edge compared to some other students who haven’t had any experience yet.

“I’m working in a really small team now so we can really bounce ideas off each other. It’s just given me a much better idea about what I want to do when I graduate.

“I don’t have to commute to work anymore. I can literally just sit at my desk and everything’s there that I need. I can literally log on whenever I want to, finish working when I want to, just based on when I feel like working.”

Support available to SMEs includes organisations needs assessments, talent grants, graduate internships, Employability and Apprenticeship workshops, curriculum co-design and more.

For more information please contact driven@derby.ac.uk

The University of Derby supports the marketing and economic growth of the town through  Chesterfield Champions, a network of over 180 organisations across Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

 

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