Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Creative Chesterfield

News that part of Paul Cummins’ iconic poppy sculpture could return to its spiritual home of Chesterfield is an opportunity to further put the town on the map if our bid is successful.
As the inspiration for this magnificent sculpture came from Chesterfield library and commemorates the many men who lost their lives in the First World War, it seems only fitting that it returns to its spiritual home if only for a brief time.

As well as showcasing our wonderful town to visitors, the sculpture will also highlight the wealth of artistic talent that has originated and also remains here. Although now living outside the area, Mr Cummins was a Hasland resident and studied at the College. He is not the only artist to receive national acclaim. Ashley Thomas, whose wonderful At Home range is sold in Debenhams’ stores nationally originally hails from the town, as does award winning ceramicist Clare Gage who continues to live here and sell her designs at Libby’s on Chatsworth Road.

The businesses involved in Chesterfield’s digital and creative community are making an important and significant contribution to the local economy and many of the fledgling start-ups in this sector can now be found at Chesterfield College’s fantastic West Studios off Sheffield Road.  Melanie Jackson, the artist responsible for the wonderful Growth sculpture on Horns Bridge is one of the many talented artists, designers and producers based there.
Often when people think of careers in the digital and creative industry they think of logo design or computer games, however this sector permeates virtually every industry, not least manufacturing. Just look at the fantastic Franke Sissons sculpture at Chesterfield Coach Station, which we unveiled during Made in Chesterfield Week last year, for proof if it were needed.

I am delighted Made in Chesterfield, which is being organised once again by Destination Chesterfield and Derbyshire Education Business Partnerships returns in November. 

Last year, during the course of a single week we reached out to more than 400 young people and raised awareness of careers in the manufacturing sector. This year, thanks to the involvement of the digital and creative sector and an entire month devoted to Made activities, we can showcase a greater breadth of careers and, importantly, show that they can follow their creative dreams and make a career out of them, here in Chesterfield. 

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