Latest News | 25 November 2020

Investors given key insights at Chesterfield summit

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Investors have been given an important insight into the current schemes and future plans which will shape the future of the north of the county at the Chesterfield Investment Summit.

Held this morning, for the first time in its four-year history the event was staged entirely online due to government lockdown guidelines.

Organised by Derbyshire Economic Partnership, Destination Chesterfield and Marketing Derby – and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund – the summit gives stakeholders and investors an insight into the investment opportunities in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.

For this year’s event, the headline speaker was town centre expert Ojay McDonald, chief executive of the Association of Town and City Management.

Considered one of the country’s foremost experts on the high street, he works with government ministers, parliamentarians, economic development professionals, business leaders and place-makers across the UK and Ireland to support town and city centres.

He delivered a speech called The Future is Dead: Long Live the Future.

In his speech, he looked at the plight of our city and town centres, including the demise of retail and the need for diversification, particularly in light of the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had.

He said: “Public health will dominate the debate and dictate the way our town centres evolve going forward.”

He was joined by a number of other speakers at the virtual event, including Elaine Clark, chief executive of Rail Forum Midlands, Darren Mansfield, partner at global real estate consultants Knight Frank, Dr Huw Bowen, chief executive of Chesterfield Borough Council, Councillor Tony King, cabinet member for economic development and regeneration at Derbyshire County Council and Dom Stevens, Destination Chesterfield manager.

Councillor King said: “We continue to see developments, innovation and investments come to fruition, despite the uncertainties in the economic markets.”

This morning’s summit took place not long after Chesterfield Borough Council announced that plans to create a new gateway for the town had taken a major step forward.

It has taken a part freehold, part leasehold interest in the former Chesterfield Hotel site and will now work with contractors to clear out and demolish the derelict building, which has stood empty since it shut its doors in 2015.

The site is highlighted as a key development opportunity in the emerging HS2 Station Masterplan, which aims to harness the opportunities presented by HS2 and revitalise the area around Chesterfield Train Station.

Planning permission has already been granted to demolish the former hotel and build offices for 300 people in its place.

The council is currently finalising the HS2 Station Masterplan, which will be subject to public consultation in the first part of next year.

The land purchase has been funded through the HS2 Strategic Sites project, which was awarded £2.4 million from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership earlier in the year.

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