Now we’re in the New Year it’s easy to get excited as we have so much to look forward to as a town in 2015. However, I think it’s important to remember all that has been achieved in 2014, so allow me to give you all a quick reminder… I hope that you will be impressed!
Amongst many things this year, we’ve seen the installation of the new ‘Growth’ sculpture on Hornsbridge Roundabout which enhances one of our key gateways and best of all did not cost our town a penny as it was kindly funded by Barratt Homes and ERDF funding.
We also had the great news in February that University of Derby will soon be establishing a campus here in Chesterfield. This opens up so many opportunities to young people in the town and surrounding areas.
In April, work started on the first homes at the much anticipated Chesterfield Waterside project and we’ll be welcoming first residents in 2015. As one of the largest regeneration schemes in the country, this first stage means everything for Chesterfield.
The town’s first ever Retail Awards were held in June celebrating and recognising our thriving retail scene. The awards recognise Chesterfield’s talent in the retail sector and shows why we still have one of the best town centre shop occupancy rates in the country.
October saw a celebration of our town’s talent in the food and drink industry at the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards 2014, which was double the size of last year’s ceremony. TV Chef Ainsley Harriott was once again a hit as our host for the evening. There must be few people in Chesterfield without a selfie with him on their phone!
More recently, Chesterfield’s St Mary’s High School was recognised as one of the top comprehensives in the UK in The Sunday Times, and the town’s first manufacturing festival was hailed a success.
The Mayor and Mayoress of Chesterfield unveiled the new sculpture outside Chesterfield Coach Station, another key gateway, to kick off the Made in Chesterfield Week (10-14 November). The sculpture, kindly donated by Franke Sissons, is a shining example of what can be achieved when young people, apprentices, and businesses work together.
The festival highlighted the thriving Manufacturing and Engineering sector and the many companies based here in our town who not only operate nationally but internationally. Most importantly the events throughout the week highlighted a career option to many youngsters who may not have considered it, proving there is so much opportunity, ability and passion right here in Chesterfield
With all that and more, what a successful year 2014 was? We’re certainly off to head start for a good 2015! I hope you will join me in celebrating and recognizing our achievements properly on 25 March at the Celebrate Chesterfield 2015 event.