As 2018 comes to an end, it’s time to reflect on the year and look at the progress Chesterfield Waterside, and the town itself, has made.
Commenting on 2018 Peter Swallow, Managing Director of Bolsterstone Group Plc, the company leading the £340 million Chesterfield Waterside project, said: “Year after year Chesterfield never ceases to surprise me and 2018 has been no different. Highlights for me included both the Retail Awards and Food and Drink Awards, proving that these sectors are not only growing but thriving in Chesterfield. We’ve also made significant progress on key residential and commercial developments in the town in 2018, including the transformation of the former Co-op, Northern Gateway and Chesterfield Waterside, all of which leave us well-positioned to respond to the needs of both workers and residents that further investment in the town will bring.
“I believe that the interest shown in the town by Spanish train manufacturer Talgo has further put us on the map for investment from both the rail sector and overseas companies. As a result more exciting investment opportunities will present themselves in 2019. Chesterfield may be the final resting place of the father of the railways George Stephenson, but Talgo’s and HS2’s investment all point to the town becoming recognised as a pioneer of rail travel. 2019 is a year I am very much looking forward to.”
If you missed any of the highlights in 2018 for Chesterfield, Here’s a brief synopsis:
January - Work began on transforming the former Co-op building on Elder Way into a Premier Inn Hotel. Occupying a pivotal site in the town centre, the transformation of the 1930s, Mock-Tudor building will breathe life into the Northern quarter of the town. Handover of the transformed building is expected at the beginning on 2019 with the 92-bed hotel opening in spring.
February - Chesterfield welcomed the giant observation wheel into the market place. The 60 metre observation wheel with 40 gondolas, which previously featured in high profile locations such as Hyde Park, the London Olympic celebrations, Liverpool, Leeds and Bristol, brought people into the town from both local areas and from further afield to take in the sights of the town centre and wider borough.
February also saw work start on the replacement Saltergate car park, to replace it with a modern 24-hour a day multi-storey. The car park is being created to provide safer, more secure parking facilities for motorists.
March – More than 250 delegates attended Celebrate Chesterfield 2018, At the event Huw Bowen, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council revealed that nearly 2000 homes are set to be built in the next five years. 170 of those homes will be built in The Park neighbourhood at Chesterfield Waterside.
April - Planning permission was granted for canal restoration works at Chesterfield Waterside, allowing us to move forward and facilitate the connection of the canal basin which was constructed in 2009 at Basin Square with Chesterfield Canal. This reconnection will play a key role in further enhancing Chesterfield’s visitor offering.
May - Proposals and designs for a new enterprise centre on the Holywell Cross carpark (locally known as the donut) were submitted for planning approval. The enterprise centre is the focal point of the plans for Chesterfield’s Northern Gateway and will provide high-quality office space over three floors and aims to nurture and support start-up and early stage businesses. A revised Northern Gateway scheme was approved by Chesterfield Borough Council in July 2016 to improve the town’s northern entrance and create 500 jobs.
The town’s first Street Food and Grooves Festival also took place in May, with a wide range of stalls selling food and drink and live music to suit every musical palate.
June - The Chesterfield Retail Awards had its most successful year yet in 2018, as it celebrated the best shops, stores and market stalls across the town to a sold-out Winding Wheel. Specsavers took home the title of Retailer of the Year at the glittering ceremony.
July – July was a green month for the town. Chesterfield Canal was officially recognised as one of the UK’s best green spaces. Three sites along the Chesterfield Canal – Hollingwood Hub, the whole of the eastern end of the canal from Kiveton Park to West Stockwith where it meets the River Trent, and Tapton Lock which neighbours Chesterfield Waterside – were all awarded a Green Flag award. Additionally, five of Chesterfield’s parks and open spaces, maintained by Chesterfield Borough Council, were, once again, given a prestigious Green Flag award which is the mark of a quality park or green space.
August - A month full of sunshine and events for Chesterfield. The Chesterfield Motor Fest returned to the town’s Market Place – with a range of stalls offering a range autojumble goods as well as classic cars on display. The Chesterfield Food and Drink Festival also took place for the second year in Queen’s Park.
September – A packed Chesterfield Investment Summit was held at Casa Hotel. This year the focus was on the town’s visitor economy. Speaking at the sell-out event, keynote speaker James Berresford, Chair of the Derbyshire Culture, Heritage, Arts and Tourism Board, revealed that converting just 5% of Chesterfield’s day visitors into overnight stays would catapult the town’s visitor economy into world-class territory. More than 2,500 beds will be added to the borough’s accommodation offering over the next 36 months, including an 84-bed hotel in the Basin Square neighbourhood at Chesterfield Waterside.
October - The busy month of October saw the Chesterfield Food and Drink Awards have their most successful year yet with Bottle and Thyme being named as the town’s top restaurant. The winners were announced at a glittering ceremony at the Chesterfield College, hosted by celebrity chef – Lesley Waters. Two new awards were also introduced to the lineup this year – Apprentice and Apprentice Employer of the Year.
Chesterfield was also announced as one of six shortlisted locations being considered by Spanish train manufacturer Talgo for a new UK factory. Although Chesterfield missed out on the factory, Talgo recently announced that it is to build a £7million innovation centre here.
November - Planning permission was granted by Chesterfield Borough Council to build the new access bridge and road at Chesterfield Waterside. Commenting at the time, Peter Swallow said: “I am delighted that Chesterfield Borough Council has granted permission to create a new access bridge and road to what will become The Park neighbourhood within the Chesterfield Waterside development. This represents yet another important milestone for the project, and we are now in a position to progress proposals to develop new homes in The Park area of the site next year.”
December – 2018 ended on a high note when it was revealed that national auctioneer John Pye will open its first auction site in the town, creating 150 new jobs in the process. The 233,000 sq ft site is the second largest in the John Pye portfolio. Located adjacent to Tesco Extra and Chesterfield Football Club, the new site will further regenerate the A61 corridor.
It has been a great year for Chesterfield and we are looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings for the Chesterfield Waterside and the town itself. To keep updated with the latest news on the Chesterfield Waterside development, please sign up to our free newsletter here: chesterfieldwaterside.com/news.