Firstly - Happy New Year to all readers!
Chesterfield could not have asked for a stronger economic foundation on which to enter 2014. The Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Chamber of Commerce’s (DNCC) Quarterly Economic Survey for Q4 was released at the beginning of this year showing that the recovery that began in Q2 of 2013 had accelerated in Q3 to enable the area to finish off the year strongly.
In fact, figures from DNCC show that more than two thirds of businesses operating in Chesterfield expect turnover to improve over the next 12 months. George Cowcher, DNCC Chief Executive tempered this by saying: "Much work still needs to be done to ensure the recovery experienced is sustainable." I couldn't agree more. Chesterfield, however, should be confident it has laid the foundations for continued success and we will continue to see evidence of this throughout 2014.
In the first quarter of the year, the diggers will finally roll on to the Chesterfield Waterside site to begin construction of the first phase of new homes. In 2013, Chesterfield was one of the first areas to report a housing boom and it looks likely this will continue with a number of developments planned throughout the town.
In fact Barratt Homes, which is building 68 new properties on the former Chesterfield Football Club site on Saltergate, is one of the major contributors to the £300,000 Hornsbridge roundabout artwork –‘Growth’ – which will be appearing at the main gateway into Chesterfield from the M1 later this year.
There are many reasons to visit Chesterfield, not least out thriving restaurant and retails sectors. After the success of the inaugural Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards in October 2013, I am delighted to announce that the Destination Chesterfield board has approved the presentation of the awards again in 2014. We have also decided to launch the new Retail Awards-as with all awards, you have to be ‘in it to win it’ and we’ll tell you more about the competition process nearer the time.
Our aim is for 2014 to be the town’s most successful year yet both at home and away. That’s why we will be celebrating everything that comes from Chesterfield, whether it is food, arts and crafts or engineering equipment; we have a lot to offer, and many businesses based here are actually supplying goods throughout the world. Destination Chesterfield intends to celebrate this fact with our Made in Chesterfield campaign to be implemented in the autumn.
One thing that is sure to put the town on the map before then however is the arrival of none other than Sir Tom Jones at the Proact Stadium in June. He’s just one of many big names coming to Chesterfield’s entertainment venues in 2014, so if you’re not lucky enough to secure tickets for Tom, there is plenty more which is sure to be happening!!
As Tom Jones once asked: “What’s new pussy cat?” I can tell you with confidence there’s an awful lot new for Chesterfield this year.