Looking forward - Chesterfield in 2018
“Chesterfield’s green lungs have overtaken the town’s mining heritage which is making it an attractive 21st-century investment prospect to investors.” Those were the words of Huw Bowen, Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council, speaking at the Chesterfield Investment Summit held on the 30th November last year.
2018 is set to be a year of progress on key developments for Chesterfield. More than a billion pounds of development is now underway in the Borough and more is forecast to come onboard throughout the year.
Key developments for the Borough include Chesterfield Waterside, Peak Resort and Northern Gateway. Plans are already afoot for the town’s forthcoming HS2 station which was announced last year.
The first HS2 train will arrive in Chesterfield in 2033. Ahead of this, the Borough Council has outlined plans to improve the approach to the railway station and better connect it to the town centre, as well as improving public transport links locally and to the Peak District. The development would link to the Chesterfield Waterside development and build on the momentum of the £320 million project.
The first phase of Waterside, the £75million Basin Square development, is underway comprising:
· PRS Apartments 310 1/2 bed apartments with ground floor retail circa 1500sqm
· Multi-Storey Car Park 442 spaces
· Office Building 2,500sqm of B1 and 525sqm A1/A4
· An 84-bed Hotel, plus ground floor A3/A4
Being situated directly opposite Chesterfield railway station, Basin Square is instrumental in creating a sense of arrival for visitors arriving from the train station into the town.
Elsewhere in Chesterfield, works began in December 2017 on the enabling infrastructure for Peak Resort, the all-year tourism destination designed to capitalise on Chesterfield’s proximity to the Peak District. These works are due to be completed by March 2018, and work on the £81 million first phase will begin immediately after.
Phase one will include a university campus specialising in tourism, hospitality and leisure, with Sheffield Hallam having shown interest in investment. A 150-bed five-star hotel and a gateway building will meet the demands of both day and staying visitors. This site will not only attract more people to Chesterfield, but also give more incentive to retain visitors for longer stays.
More central to Chesterfield’s town centre is the developing Northern Gateway scheme, which includes the former Co-op department store. Works to redevelop the former Co-op department store began in December 2017, with the comprehensive refurbishment due to be completed in September 2018. A 92-bedroom Premier Inn hotel, several restaurants and bars and a gym are expected to open to the public shortly thereafter.
Northern Gateway is more than just the Elder Way Co-op redevelopment, however. It aims to reconnect Saltergate with the heart of the town centre, including the redevelopment of the Saltergate multi-storey car park, improvements to Knifesmithgate, and an enterprise zone for small and medium-sized businesses on a section of the Holywell Cross (Donut) car park – all a short walk from Basin Square at Chesterfield Waterside.
Slightly more speculatively is the plan for the former Queen’s Park Sports Centre site. A proposal has been made to turn the site into an all-weather artificial sports pitch, with the surrounding area restored to parkland, in keeping with the existing landscape of the Grade 2 listed park. The Grade 2 listing means that a heritage assessment would need to be completed prior to submitting any planning applications.
This proposal is in line with a Sport England recommendation for artificial pitches within the Borough in order to improve the wellbeing of local residents, as well as views given by the public consultation held in Autumn 2016. If Chesterfield Borough Council councillors support the proposal, a planning application could be submitted in early 2018.
Commenting on the current developments in and around Chesterfield, Peter Swallow said: “Every year has seen commercial growth in the town, however 2017 has been transformative for Chesterfield with physical work starting on key developments. These are huge investments in their own right, however the announcement in July that we are to get our own HS2 station has taken the town’s potential to attract new investment to a different level, and put Chesterfield into an entirely new league.”
If you’re interested in the investment opportunities at Chesterfield Waterside, please get in touch to learn more.