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Chesterfield is open for business as Council approves new growth strategy

An ambitious plan which sets out a long-term vision for economic growth – including a focus on quality jobs for local people, access to higher level skills, and environmental sustainability – has been approved by Chesterfield Borough Council.

The new four-year Growth strategy (2023 – 2027) represents a long-term commitment from the council to make Chesterfield a thriving borough by strengthening local skills provision, supporting local businesses and further cementing Chesterfield’s role as a visitor destination.

It builds on the success of the last decade which has seen the creation of more than 2000 new jobs and more than 500 new businesses operating in the area, along with significant regeneration and investment across the borough.

The strategy – which was approved at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday 22 February – also has environmental sustainability at its heart, supporting the target of becoming a carbon neutral borough by 2050.

Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “This strategy is vital to ensuring our borough remains a thriving place to live and work, where everyone has the opportunity to boost their skills, and has access to quality jobs.

“It’s also crucial that we build environmental considerations into our long-term plans, as part of our ongoing commitment to create a sustainable borough for future generations and ensuring we do all we can to reduce carbon emissions.

“The plan builds on our successes over the last ten years including the creation of more than 2000 jobs, and with over 500 new businesses operating in the area.”

The strategy includes five key objectives, which are:

  1. Help businesses to grow and secure new business investment in the borough.
  2. Build a competitive place infrastructure that accelerates employment and housing growth.
  3. Strengthen the distinctive character and vibrancy of our town centres
  4. Develop Chesterfield’s role as a visitor destination and as a base for exploring the surrounding area.
  5. Ensure local people have the right skills to support progression in the labour market and benefit from future employment opportunities.

Councillor Gilby added: “Despite the ongoing economic challenges which are facing towns and cities across the country, Chesterfield is not standing still – we are an ambitious borough and this strategy reflects that. It focusses on higher value growth while balancing our commitment to a greener, more sustainable future.”

Within each of the strategy’s objectives, several key activities have been developed. For example, to help encourage growth the current Innovation Support Programme will continue to run for the benefit of local businesses.

Projects like the Derbyshire Rail Investment Vehicle (DRIIVe) and Construction Skills Hub – both of which are being funded through the Staveley Town Deal – will help deliver new training facilities to ensure local people can develop the skills to access high quality careers.

Regeneration within Chesterfield town centre, including the Stephenson Memorial Hall renovation and Revitalising the Heart of Chesterfield project will continue to contribute to strengthening the town’s position as a visitor destination and to meet the needs of residents. These are complemented by the HS2 Station Master Plan, the £340 million Chesterfield Waterside scheme and the major PEAK resort development which promises to be a landmark tourist destination within the borough.

The full strategy is available to read on the council’s website here.

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