Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Chesterfield a welcoming Town

Front line staff recently became the town’s first ambassadors as part of a new initiative launched by Destination Chesterfield.

‘Chesterfield Ambassadors’ is a scheme for front line staff in the town and recognises the important role they play in shaping the impressions of Chesterfield to visitors who are here on business and pleasure.

The workshop, developed by Chesterfield Champion, Evolution Training highlights useful facts about Chesterfield, the towns regeneration plans alongside the importance of good customer service.  

The first ambassadors included street cleaners, security guards and restaurant staff, but the work doesn’t stop with the workshop; Ambassadors will be kept up-to-date with the latest news and events in the town so they can share this information with their customers, colleagues, families and friends.

The first impressions visitors receive will shape their opinion of Chesterfield.  We want front line staff to be confident to talk about Chesterfield and the exciting plans for the future.

Destination Chesterfield will be looking to recruit more Ambassadors in 2012 and if you would be interested in becoming involved contact Dominic Stevens at Destination Chesterfield on 01246 207207 or visit

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A toast to Chesterfield and a prosperous New Year

Destination Chesterfield, for those of you who don’t know, is a public, private partnership led by an independent board of directors that is raising the awareness of Chesterfield as a place to do business. Member companies of Destination Chesterfield are known as Chesterfield Champions. The scheme has receives grant support via the European Union, and Chesterfield Council

The first year of the project has rapid growth in the number of Chesterfield Champions, from a standing start late in 2010, over 95 businesses of all sizes from all sectors have joined to support the promotion of Chesterfield. Many have said that joining the scheme has created new business opportunities for them, and new contacts have been created

The idea of the project is to discuss and debate what we can do in Chesterfield, to improve the prospects for future business, both from existing Companies, and inward investors. As a result of the views expressed by champions, our projects this year have included ideas for improving the gateways to the town, with new road signage, an updated tourist information centre, new canopies for the markets etc- these suggestions are in the course of being implemented, and you will shortly see physical changes occurring about the Town. Destination Chesterfield has run two major marketing campaigns to drive footfall to our town centre and have been working with the regional media to raise the profile of the town as well as holding regular business networking events for the Chesterfield Champions.   We are working closely with Chesterfield Borough Council’s Economic team, Sheffield City Region, D2N2 and the Derbyshire Economic Partnership to develop the most effective way to promote Chesterfield for inward investment and will launch a major campaign in 2012.

It has been a great year for Chesterfield, we have recently had announcements about the refurbishment of the market hall, the new investment from Debenhams, who are to open a new store in 2012, Toys R Us,  have just opened,  and the planning of the proposed Northern Gateway retail  development is underway. The progress which is being made in the Town was recently recognised at the prestigious Regeneration and Renewal National awards run by Regeneration and Renewal Magazine, where the project for the regeneration of the A61 corridor, which includes Chesterfield Waterside, the new Football ground, Tesco, and Casa Hotel, was awarded Highly commended status, finishing second only to the Olympic Park, a major achievement. There was also the great success of the football club last season and their announcement that Elton John will play here at the B2 Net; we have also been successful in getting Chesterfield selected for the route of the Olympic torch next summer.

Chesterfield is prospering and I urge you all to be confident and celebrate the town and if we continue to all work together to raise the profile of Chesterfield we will all prosper.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

The time of year for a celebration

It’s been a great year for the town of Chesterfield, and Destination Chesterfield, the new initiative created to promote the area, will shortly celebrate it’s first anniversary. Accordingly, we would like to invite Chesterfield businesses to join us at the Casa Hotel on the 30th November from 8.00 – 11.30 for a birthday event; this is your opportunity to hear, and to feedback on, the achievements for the year, and what is planned in the coming months by Destination Chesterfield.  To book your place online at

There has been further good news for the town recently, Chesterfield Borough Council has received second place, and a highly commended award from a  panel of professional judges for its regeneration of the A61/River Rother Corridor.  The Council entered the development of the old Dema Glass site and the A61/River Rother Corridor into the nationally recognised 2011 Regeneration and Renewal Awards.  Shortlisted from over 400 entries, the sites were up against some stiff competition and eventually were narrowly beaten into second place by the new Olympic Park in London, a magnificent achievement. This is a great result for Chesterfield and reflects our ambition and passion to make Chesterfield a modern, contemporary destination that attracts investment, employment, tourism and is ultimately a great place to live. 

Christmas will soon be upon us and Destination Chesterfield will be running a campaign promoting the Town over the festive period.  The campaign will go to 40,000 homes in Derbyshire and South Yorkshire and 100,000 email addresses across the country.  In partnership with Chesterfield Borough Council we will be announcing a great incentive to visit the town, running a Christmas competition with over £2000 worth of prizes and of course highlighting the great events from the Christmas lights switch on with Batman (20th November 17.00) to the Pantomime (8th December – 3rd January – Pomegranate Theatre) and from A Christmas Carol (22nd – 26th November – Pomegranate Theatre) to traditional Carol Concerts at the crooked spire church.  Full details of what’s on and to enter the competition visit  from early November

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Shopping for the Future

These are exciting times if you are a shopper in Chesterfield. The town has high occupancy rates, good footfall, one of the largest markets in England and a great mix of independents alongside high street names. However as part of the town’s on-going regeneration the offer is to be improved further.

Chesterfield Borough Council is to undertake a £4 million refurbishment of the town’s historic Market Hall. These major improvements take place because of a funding package which includes £2.1 million of European and Lottery grant with the remaining money coming from the Council. The planning and listed building applications will be submitted in late July with consultation over the summer/autumn. Market traders who have units in the Market Hall have been offered temporary accommodation, the main part of which will be in a temporary market hall on New Square. Traders are expected to vacate their current stalls in January 2012. The refurbishment should begin in February 2012 and the Market Hall is scheduled to reopen in February 2013.

Secondly Chesterfield Borough Council has announced that it is to start searching for a development partner for one of the Town centres’ major regeneration projects. The “Northern Gateway” scheme. The proposed redevelopment of the Donut roundabout area, aims to extend the Town centre shopping offer by creating a newly constructed retail area, with the aim of attracting new brands/names to the Town, thereby improving the quality of the shopping experience. This development will support the existing retail offer and improved highway arrangements will link the town with the Railway Station and the Chesterfield Waterside development. It is hoped that the development could be completed by 2015.

Monday, 25 July 2011

Rewarding Regeneration

Some great news this month, two of Chesterfield’s regeneration projects have been shortlisted as finalists in the prestigious Renewal and Regeneration Awards, a UK wide competition which assesses in depth the quality and deliverability of redevelopment proposals. This provides a further indication that the ongoing work of Developers and the Council promoting the Town is beginning to bring some national recognition.

Chesterfield Borough Council put forward the development of the old Dema Glass site and the A61/River Rother Corridor for an award. There were over 400 entries into this year’s competition and Chesterfield has secured two places in the finals. The judges visited the sites in early July with the winners being announced at an awards ceremony to be held in London in September.

The Dema Glass site, which features the newly constructed B2Net Stadium and the Tesco Extra Superstore has been entered into the award for “mixed-use development of the year”. The A61/River Rother Corridor which includes the Chesterfield Waterside development, the new BMW and Mini showrooms, the Casa Hotel and the Dema Glass site has been entered into the Strategic Planning award category.

Just reaching the finals in these awards is recognition of how much Chesterfield is regenerating into a great destination for residents, visitors, students and the business community. The work of the Chesterfield Champions in bringing forward new ideas for promoting the Town, and the Businesses who are based here, continues apace, and we will all shortly start to see the first visible evidence ‘on the ground’ of the initiatives which have been created and delivered.

For more details on the development sites in Chesterfield visit

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Investment Confidence in Chesterfield

This month I thought I would up date you on the key development sites in the town following the latest Chesterfield Champions event, Inspired Investment at the B2Net Stadium.  There was positive news on a number of the projects.

Markham Vale has been announced as part of the proposed Enterprise Zone for the Sheffield City Region which it is hoped that it will be confirmed by Government later in the year. This will give incentives to businesses to start up and relocate to Chesterfield and will focus on the towns traditional strengths of manufacturing.

Positive progress continues to be made with the proposals for the Chesterfield Waterside scheme. The project, recently rated at Number 50 in Regeneration and renewal magazines table of the UK’s largest developments, now has Architects in place preparing detailed proposals for individual commercial buildings to be constructed around the newly constructed canal basin, located on the former Trebor Bassett site. In addition, detailed layouts are also being prepared for the housing element of the scheme, to be located on the former Arnold Laver timber yard, accessed from Brimington road, and it is hoped that this element of the scheme will shortly be the subject of a detailed planning application.

Other projects discussed at the event were the proposed Northern Gateway development.

For the latest news on the key developments in Chesterfield, don’t forget to visit

Friday, 27 May 2011

Chesterfield Champions Olympic Success

This month I would like to look forward to next year’s Olympics and the involvement of Chesterfield in an event that will attract a worldwide viewing audience of 4 billion, but how is it relevant to Chesterfield?  This event isn’t just about sport, it is about, business, culture and community as well.

Our last Champions Breakfast meeting focussed on the Olympics and how Chesterfield has been and how we can get further involved.

For businesses there are still a large number of contracts relating to the event to be won.  So far 7 Chesterfield companies have won contracts on the Olympic project, this helps to support local jobs and add to the kudos of our businesses.

We also have local athletes, we were fortunate enough to hear from Liam Pitchford, a commonwealth medal winner, British number 2 and hopeful member of the British Olympic Table Tennis squad, to talk about his plans over the next year in the build up for the Olympics.  Also there is Hannah Lawrence, member of the British Fencing Squad, who is proud to promote Chesterfield is one of our Chesterfield Champions.

Local artist Paul Cummins has been commissioned to produce an installation for the Cultural Olympiad, showcasing the creative talent we have in our town.

It’s also how we get involved as a community and there are a number of initiatives being developed with local schools and communities to celebrate this once in a lifetime opportunity. One example being Mandeville, the Olympic mascot, will make the school sports day extra special for pupils at Walton Holymoorside Primary School in Chesterfield, Derbyshire on 21 June this summer as a prize for taking part in a competition about exploring what is unique about their community.
If you are planning an event or have a story about the Olympics contact us at

As always the latest news on Chesterfield can be found at

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Meet the Chesterfield Champions

In previous blogs I have talked about how the ‘Chesterfield Champions’ are driving forward Destination Chesterfield, with the support of the Borough Council, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to mention some of the businesses, how they got involved, and why they are proud of Chesterfield.

Steve Perez of Global Brands said “I am passionate about continuing the investment that is already happening here – investment that will attract new business and put Chesterfield on the map as an exciting, ambitious and beautiful place to live and work.”

Laura Jo Davis of Adorn Jewellers based in the Shambles chose Chesterfield for their business because “When considering opening Adorn our priorities were the look and feel of the location and the accessibility for locals and tourists. Chesterfield was the obvious choice for its historical look and feel which compliments Adorn perfectly, with it's wide range of shops and wonderful market.

Hannah Lawrence who is Britain’s number 2 fencer and is training for the Olympics said “I have realized that without the community spirit of Chesterfield I would never have had the drive to achieve what I have, nor to keep striving to achieve, and I hope to promote my home town further in the run up to our own Olympic Games, London 2012.”

Guy Robinson of Robinson Packaging said “I am proud to be a direct descendant of John B Robinson and believe the central location of Chesterfield with good rail and motorway links has contributed to the success of our business”.

Claire Gage, an award winning ceramic artist said “Chesterfield has a thriving creative community which I have benefited from being involved with. There are also a number of supportive creative networks here in the East Midlands who's support and advice have helped me to build my business quickly”

You can read more about the businesses involved and their views on Chesterfield at

What are your favourite things about Chesterfield? Let us know and we will add our favourites to a new section of the chesterfield website later in the year. Simply tell us why you love Chesterfield in less than 300 words and email it to

Finally, some good new with which to close this month’s column- Chesterfield Waterside, the landmark Development project proposed for the land adjacent to the A61, which formerly housed the Trebor Bassett factory, and the Arnold Laver timberyard, has been selected at number 50 in Regeneration and Renewal magazines top 100 projects in the UK- a significant achievement, and one which is sure to put the Town on the map for further Inward investment.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Spreading the Word

Welcome to my second blog, which provides a monthly insight as to what is happening to promote the town of Chesterfield and its businesses, via the Destination Chesterfield project.

As an example, during early March, i travelled to MIPIM, the world's largest property conference, which is attended by thousands f delegates from across the globe representing banks, investors, local authorities, architects - the list of disciplines goes on and on.

As a delegate, attending on behalf of my company and amongst other things promoting the Chesterfield Waterside project, I took the opportunity to promote the town and businesses of Chesterfield to this worldwide audience.

This is an example of how, at no cost to the Destination Chesterfield project, and as 'Chesterfield Champions' we can use our ongoing activities to promote Chesterfield as a whole, providing information on all the opportunities available, and raising the profile of the town.  It is important that we all get involved in promoting the town, whether as residents, workers or business owners.  However, I'm sure many of you may be asking 'how do i start?

It could be as simple as following us on twitter or becoming a fan on facebook, sharing and commenting on the news stories we post with your friends, family and colleagues.

You may live and work in Chesterfield, or work elsewhere, but will be dealing with people on a day to day basis.  This inter-action provides a great opportunity to talk about what's happening in Chesterfield, the latest events, news, the great meal you had at a local restaurant or the exciting developments that are happening in and around the Town.  By way of example, did you know that the Red Lion at Stonedge is opening a newly constructed boutique hotel in April?  Why not tell all your friends and colleagues?

We will update the latest news at and will be sending out a regular e-newsletter that you can sign up for.

If you own or manage a business locally, consider the Chesterfield Champions scheme.  This is a way you can become directly involved and be a driving force in shaping the project; you can ensure your staff or team are aware of what's going on locally.  For example why not add a section on to the end of your staff meeting to discuss what's happening in the town this week?

Over the last month the town has enjoyed ministerial visit is and influential people have been impressed with Chesterfield's achievements and future plans.  Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change said "Chesterfield is a great example of how the local authority and local companies are making the most of the low carbon economy.  Chesterfield Borough Council and the new Casa Hotel are putting in to practice what many areas are still only talking about."

The Government's Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Andrew Stunell MP, said: " The lively and vibrant town centre is clearly the hub of the local economy and community, and Chesterfield is going from strength to strength."

There is now real progress in growing the prospects and profile for Chesterfield in the future. Please think about how you can play your part.

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Introducing Destination Chesterfield

Destination Chesterfield is a project funded through money from the European Regional Development Fund and is helping improve the economic prosperity of the town through a campaign to promote Chesterfield as a modern, contemporary destination for inward investment.
Welcome to my first blog entry. My name is Peter Swallow and I am Chairman of Destination Chesterfield.
This new approach to promoting the town sees the local business community playing a central role in its success by leading an independent board of directors for Destination Chesterfield, and businesses pledging their support by subscribing to become Chesterfield Champions.
To date more than 45 businesses have joined the scheme from sole traders to multi-national
companies and we want to involve any trade or company who is of the view, as we are, that raising
the profile of Chesterfield will benefit their business. If that is you, please get in touch and come to
our next event to see what it is all about.
So why did I get involved? I am a Chesterfield resident and our company, Bolsterstone Group,
has been investing and working on assembling the Chesterfield Waterside project for the last
seven years, a scheme which is listed by Regeneration and Renewal magazine as the 50th biggest project in the UK.

Now is the time to promote Chesterfield in a new light, reflecting our heritage and our strategic location but in a new and
contemporary way.  There are a number of key regeneration projects including Waterside around the town and as residents, employers and  employees, we all have a role to play in this new look Chesterfield to ensure we reach our potential. Examples of this merging change are already there for all to see; for example, the new football ground and the Casa hotel.
The Destination Chesterfield board is pleased to have appointed a manager to drive this project forward, Dom Stevens. Dom is employed on a full time basis to promote the place and the businesses of Chesterfield.

I am looking forward to updating you on what is happening in Chesterfield and celebrating the town’s successes;
we will also introduce you to some of the ‘Chesterfield Champions’ through this column.
Our new website will act as a portal for everything that is happening in Chesterfield and if you use twitter please follow us or facebook on
To find out more about Destination Chesterfield and the Chesterfield Champions Scheme visit or contact Dom on 01246 207207 or email