More good investment news arrived in Chesterfield recently with the announcement that a planning application has been submitted to turn the former Co-op department store into a £20million hotel, restaurants and leisure development.
I am delighted that the potential of Chesterfield has, once again, been recognised by investors. It is large scale developments in the town centre such as this, coupled with our thriving independent sector, which will help make us a go to destination for shoppers and tourists.
November has been designated the month where we hope to do exactly the same for the town’s manufacturing sector with Made in Chesterfield. The festival has two aims; to attract manufacturing and engineering companies to invest here and create jobs and to get more youngsters turned onto a career in manufacturing
Last year, Made in Chesterfield only ran for a week however it was credited with introducing more than 400 young people to careers within the sector. Building on this success, this year the festival is running throughout November.
Thanks to partnerships Destination Chesterfield has fostered with schools, companies within the sector, Derbyshire Education Business Partnership, Natwest, Chesterfield College, Derbyshire County Council, Chesterfield Borough Council, Placing Futures and Positive 4 Young People, this year more young people than ever will discover first-hand the employment opportunities and the number of varied and exciting roles within manufacturing and engineering.
If your school, child or company would like to get involved with Made in Chesterfield, you can view the programme of events here www.chesterfield.co.uk/made
Attracting young people to the sector is essential if Sheffield City Region (SCR) is to achieve its vision of developing a Modern Manufacturing and Technology Growth Area. Chesterfield’s Enterprise Zone at Markham Vale is already playing an important role in attracting investment to the area and events like Made in Chesterfield are contributing further in ensuring there is a ready workforce to enable SCR to achieve this vision.
We’re also taking a similar approach to the town’s hospitality sector through the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards. Without a ready workforce proposals for developments such as the Co-op would be a non-starter.
Each year, however, Destination Chesterfield partners with Chesterfield College to showcase the skills of the young people about to enter the hospitality sector. Not only does the College sponsor the awards, it provides the venue for the awards but, most importantly, its own students cater and serve the entire event.
After the success of last year’s awards evening at the College – all superbly catered and served by the students, it came as no surprise that tickets for the 2015 awards sold out weeks before the event, prompting us to increase numbers to the absolute maximum.