Town centre future discussion meeting

The Civic Society wants your views on the future of Chesterfield’s town centre and we are holding a meeting to discuss this on the evening of 27 February.

Though the borough council have successively invested in the town centre, like most other towns and cities, the changing face of retail is having an adverse impact.

There are also some historical considerations that have resulted in what we still regard as the town centre shopping area – around Holywell Street parts of Cavendish Street, Stephenson Place and St Mary’s Gate – falling prey to empty properties and lack of retail offer. Is the shopping area now simply too big for a town of Chesterfield’s size?

Couple this with the inability of the town centre to compete with lower rates and property rental against those offered at retail parks, internet shopping, empty properties and car parking issues. There’s also increased expectations for the shopping experience fostered by malls such as Meadowhall. Local authority cut-backs have also had far-reaching consequences.

So, what’s to be done?

We hope to explore this at our meeting on Monday 27 February, starting at 7.30 pm at Thomas Church Centre, Chatsworth Road. All are welcome and admission is free. We hope to have a couple of short key-note speakers to set the scene, followed by general discussion.

In the next few weeks we’ll also be looking via our Facebook page and website at some ideas on town centres to help further inform the debate. You might like to begin with looking at our Chairman’s perhaps controversial views on the sustainability of the existing shopping area.

And what will be the outcome?

We hope that the discussion will assist us and others in helping to define a new vision for the town centre, which is just of the civic society’s aims.

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