What a prosperous year Chesterfield has had and our employment figures bear this out. For the first time since records began the town’s unemployment figures fell below the national average in August.
The marketing and hard work during 2015 has paid off, as I believe that Markham Vale Business Park has become the go to destination for national and international investors relocating here and creating hundreds of jobs with more set for next year. I personally find this very exciting for the Chesterfield’s young people as it is giving them more choice and opportunity. Ahead of these exciting developments, Destination Chesterfield has worked hard through the Made in Chesterfield festival to raise awareness of the jobs and careers available in the manufacturing sector so that companies relocating and expanding here have a ready and able workforce now and in the future.
As well as all the developments already underway, hopefully, 2016 will see plans for the former Co-op department store take shape and become a reality. The redevelopment of such an iconic town centre building has the potential to enhance the town’s offering, helping us attract further town investment and make us the go to destination for shoppers and tourists.
There is no doubting the development potential of Chesterfield but it’s also important to recognise what is already here – the hundreds of independent businesses that have weathered the economy and survived and many of these were honoured at the Chesterfield Retail Awards and Food and Drink Awards this year. Both awards were our most successful yet with more nominations received than ever before and each award ceremony larger than the previous year yet still a sell-out. The events are now well established in the town’s social calendar and a great example of the many independent businesses that combine to make Chesterfield such a unique and going places town.
What a great year it’s been Chesterfield, let’s make 2016 even bigger and better.