Arts Derbyshire


Conference urges business growth and collaboration to boost Chesterfield’s economy

Businesses in Chesterfield are being encouraged to explore ways in which they can grow, as part of ambitious plans to improve the town’s economy and create higher-value jobs for residents.

Speakers at Destination Chesterfield’s annual Celebrate Chesterfield Business Conference highlighted ways in which local businesses can harness support to innovate and create new jobs.

They also identified that if all organisations in the town currently categorised as ‘low growth’ experienced just a 1% uplift, it would significantly boost the local economy.

Helping businesses to grow and ensuring people have the right skills are key objectives of Chesterfield Borough Council’s Growth Strategy (2023-2027). To support this, delegates at Celebrate Chesterfield heard from businesses which are innovating and overcoming challenges to boost growth.

Mike Isherwood, Managing Director of event headline sponsor, System Q explained how his business has evolved and adapted to become a supplier to major organisations, including the Ministry of Defence: “We are committed to providing our customers with the most innovative and advanced technology, ensuring their safety and security at all times.

“Our company is proud to be a part of the thriving high-tech community in Chesterfield, a town known for its innovation and progress. Despite the common belief that the best firms and talent are found in larger cities, this quaint town is home to a wealth of undiscovered talent.”

Ash Young, Managing Director of recently relocated his business to the town.

He said: “If we hadn’t done things differently, we wouldn’t have seen the growth that we have. When we set up the business we were aiming for 100 orders per day, but because we changed the way we marketed the products, we are now shipping around 150,000 orders per year and we’re going to turn over about £7.5m this year.

“We’ve managed to hire a really skilled team in Chesterfield and the transport links mean it’s easy for us to get out to couriers easily.”

Amy Revell, of We Are Spaces Ltd recently expanded her business into larger office space at the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre, having initially moved into the development last year.

She said: “We currently turn over around £7m and have 15 employees, and we are rapidly growing. Chesterfield has played a big part in our growth – we have a lovely office space here which we managed to grow from one of the smaller suites into a larger one. We’ve managed to recruit really good people in the area, and we are strategically placed really well. Being so central has allowed us to grow all of our core services nationally.”

At the conference, Destination Chesterfield also launched its ambitious new strategy and plan, which outlines the partnership’s aims to attract further inward investment, support businesses to grow and encourage more people to visit the town.

Peter Swallow, Destination Chesterfield Chair, commented: “This plan reflects our town’s ambition, and where we collectively see the biggest growth opportunities. Recent research has identified 26% of revenues from tourism, inward investment and talent growth are shaped by people’s perception of a town or city.  Meaning our collective work to promote the town are vital to achieving the towns growth aspirations.

“Since 2010, Destination Chesterfield has worked alongside Chesterfield Borough Council and Chesterfield Champions to promote the area as a contemporary destination to invest, work, live and visit, and our public-private partnership continues to play a central role in the town’s success. We must continue working together to raise the profile of Chesterfield to realise its significant potential.”

Cllr Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council added: “Celebrate is always a fantastic event that showcases the very best that our borough has to offer. It was great to be able to meet with businesses to talk about how the council can support them to grow, but also to hear from them directly and discover what else we can do to drive growth and investment.

“I was also pleased to see a strong reception the new Destination Chesterfield strategy and plan – this aligns closely with our own growth strategy and together we can help grow our local economy, attract more investment and deliver benefits for both businesses and our residents.”

The 2024 Celebrate Chesterfield Business Conference was also sponsored by Markham Vale and the University of Derby. The event also saw almost 40 businesses exhibiting across the East Midlands Chamber Business Support Zone and the Invest in Chesterfield Zone.

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