A panel came together to discuss Chesterfield's regeneration journey to become a town of the future

Chesterfield has a unique offering and continued collaboration between the public and private sectors is critical in ensuring growth does not stop, according to a panel of industry experts.

Speaking at national contractor Willmott Dixon’s second ‘Towns of the Future’ roundtable – hosted at Tapton Park Innovation Centre – the 10-person panel discussed topics including the current building stock, skills, talent retention and investment.

It was agreed that identifying challenges in regeneration projects and collaborative working by the public and private sector can unlock potential hurdles.

The panel agreed conversations taking place are very encouraging – something, which is especially important at a time when regeneration projects amounting to a value of more than £1 billion are in progress.

Jerry Major, regional framework manager at Willmott Dixon, said:

“Chesterfield has great potential and, because local authorities now understand what the private sector can offer more than ever before, the opportunity to make the most of different areas and create mixed-use developments is being unlocked.
“It’s vital that businesses in Chesterfield, both big and small, play an active role in promoting the careers available here and the opportunity to lead a fulfilling lifestyle. While we have been involved in projects in Chesterfield in the past, we understand the importance of maintaining our relationship with the stakeholders here and offering an advisory role to the public sector organisations in need of regeneration expertise.”

As part of the discussion, there were several references to Chesterfield Waterside and the Staveley Town Deal, though questions centred around what went right and wrong for Chesterfield in 2022, how can more attention be generated on what is happening in Chesterfield and what the focus of growth should be in Chesterfield over the next 10 years.

Dominic Stevens, manager at Destination Chesterfield, said:

“Chesterfield has a clear growth plan, place story and sense of identity. The vision for Chesterfield has been in place now for more than a decade and we continue to see the positive results of this plan.”
“Looking forward to the next 10 years, it was excellent to hear people from different areas of industry agree on the importance of meeting the needs and desires of the next generation. We must ensure that development and regeneration lead to inclusive sustainable growth and Chesterfield continues to be a great place to live, work, visit and invest.”

Ivan Fomin, managing director at MSE Hiller and Chair of Staveley Town Deal said:

“Effective collaboration can ensure that the potential benefits of the many regeneration sites are maximised.
“The public and private sector working together ensures developments keep moving forward while different sources of funding are available to gain.
“More relationships need to be formed so that it is not a small market competing for work, because there is so much potential here that we must all help to realise.”

Building on the success of Willmott Dixon’s two roundtables in Chesterfield this year, the national contractor looks to continue engagement with a range of stakeholders.

The panel was chaired by Liz Cartwright (Cartwright Communications) and featured Jerry Major (Willmott Dixon), Adam Rodgers (Marketing Derby), Ivan Fomin (MSE Hiller and Destination Chesterfield), Peter Swallow (Destination Chesterfield), Dominic Stevens (Destination Chesterfield), Duncan Hogg (Bond Bryan), David Kemp (DLP Planning) and Amy Revell (We Are Spaces).