A planning application has been submitted seeking permission to build a three-floor Enterprise Centre in Chesterfield for small businesses as part of the Northern Gateway scheme.
Chesterfield Borough Council wants to build the centre on part of the Holywell Cross (Donut) car park to meet demand for office spaces to house start-up and growing small businesses.
If approved, work would start in March 2019 and take a year to complete. The building would include:
- 32 air conditioned offices, of different sizes, to suit a range of start-up and small companies
- Two meeting rooms
- High speed broadband access and wi-fi throughout the building
- A reception and shared lobby area
- CCTV in communal areas inside and outside the building
- Facilities for staff working in the building including kitchenettes, break out spaces, showers and a bicycle store
Councillor Terry Gilby, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for economic growth, said: “These plans are a vital piece of the jigsaw in the Northern Gateway scheme and we know from the enquiries we get from start-up businesses how much this type of office space is needed in a town centre location.
“Like our existing innovation centres at Dunston and Tapton this centre would be designed as a place that start-up or new businesses can let on ‘easy in-easy out’ terms with a view to them growing as businesses, expanding and moving in to larger premises in the borough.
“This means we can also support the wider local economy through this development as all those businesses create jobs for local residents. Having a centre like this in the town centre also means that the employees who work there will support other local businesses and provide extra footfall in the town centre area.”
The proposed new building has been designed by Chesterfield-based Whittam Cox Architects and is being supported by funding from the Sheffield City Region Investment Fund.
Andrew Dabbs, board director at Whittam Cox Architects, said: “As a local practice we are delighted to support Chesterfield Borough Council with the development of a new Enterprise Centre.
“This is a key milestone in the regeneration of the Northern Gateway that will provide a new and unique commercial offer which we believe will be a catalyst for further investment into this area.
“We are confident that our design proposals will deliver a high quality contemporary project that will act as a benchmark for the future regeneration of the town.”
The Enterprise Centre forms part of Chesterfield Borough Council’s wider Northern Gateway scheme, which aims to revitalise the northern end of the town centre. It includes:
- The conversion of the former Co-op store in to a 96-bedroom Premier Inn, with six ground floor restaurant/bars and a gym in the basement. Work by private developer Jomast Developments to build the hotel is expected to be completed in November.
- The construction of the new Saltergate multi-storey car park by Chesterfield Borough Council to replace the one demolished in spring 2018.
- Environmental improvements to Elder Way and surrounding areas to create a more environmentally friendly space with a café culture, to accompany the work at the former Co-op store. Work will take place in 2019.
A decision on the planning application is expected to be taken by the council’s planning committee in early 2019.
If the Enterprise Centre plan is approved it will mean the loss of 60 of the 255 spaces on the Holywell Cross (Donut) car park. However, these spaces will be replaced by the extra capacity on the neighbouring Saltergate multi-storey car park, which is being built alongside it. Saltergate will also have capacity to cater for the existing needs of residents, as well as the visitors who will use the Premier Inn.
The Holywell Cross car park will remain open during the construction of the Enterprise Centre.