Chesterfield has been announced as one of the final 33 areas to be supported by Business in the Community’s Health High Streets programme. Over the next three years, the programme aims to increase footfall, reduce the number of vacant shops and create jobs in Chesterfield.
A total of 100 high streets are now supported by the programme, including Leicester and Nottingham. Healthy High Streets is backed by more than 40 high street names, including Boots, EE, Greggs, Marks & Spencer, Santander and Wilko, who are committed to using the leadership expertise, skills and resources of their business to help UK high streets achieve their full potential.
A steering group made up of Chesterfield Borough Council, Marks and Spencer, Wilko, Boots, Greggs, Santander, Vicar Lane, the Pavements Shopping Centre and Destination Chesterfield, has been set up to deliver the objectives of Healthy High Streets, which include boosting footfall in shopping areas; reducing shop vacancies; returning pride to the high street and creating jobs.
The group has already begun a promotional campaign promoting the reduced £3 for three hours parking rate available in Chesterfield Borough Council-run long stay car parks, as well as the free parking for Chesterfield borough residents available before 10am and after 3pm on weekdays and all day on Sundays and bank holidays.
Councillor Amanda Serjeant, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy, said: “High streets up and down the country face challenges due to the impact of internet shopping, so it is important that we constantly look at new ways of reinvigorating our shopping areas in Chesterfield.
“By working with the Business in the Community advisor and bringing in corporate partners from shop chains we are able to share national experience and expertise alongside local knowledge.
“One of the areas the steering group is looking at is about improving and adding to our town centre events calendar. It has already been decided that we will hold a pumpkin hunt event in the last week of October and that we will strengthen our Christmas offer by working in a more co-ordinated way with the big high street chains on initiatives such as the Santa’s grotto in the Market Hall”.
Vic Risorto, Destination Chesterfield board member responsible for the town centre, added: “As a town centre business owner myself I am delighted that Chesterfield has been selected as a Healthy High Streets town. Destination Chesterfield looks forward to partnering with the high street stores, independent retailers and Chesterfield Borough Council to bring forward initiatives to stimulate footfall. This can only help us attract more investment, creating jobs and a thriving town centre which everyone will benefit from”.