Chesterfield’s new flagship enterprise centre, which will support new and expanding businesses to respectively start and grow in the town, is now officially open. The Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre was officially opened by Councillor Terry Gilby, formerly the council’s member for economic growth who started the project in 2017, at a small ceremony on Wednesday 13 July.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, leader of the council, said: “The opening of the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre represents the completion of the first phase of the Northern Gateway master plan. It will support local people to bring to life their business ideas and strengthen the local economy as we recover from the effects of the pandemic.
“We’ve built on our experiences at Tapton and Dunston Innovation Centres to develop this new building and with nine local businesses already signed up take space it is already evident that we have been successful in creating a modern environment where Chesterfield’s budding entrepreneurs can collaborate and flourish. We look forward to welcoming more tenants to the centre over the coming months.”
Roaring Mouse Public Relations have officially moved into the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre, with more companies, including East Midlands Chamber, already lined up to move in over the next few months.
The Enterprise Centre includes 32 office suites in a range of sizes, all of which are fitted with the latest hi-tech features that are now standard requirements for modern businesses. It has conferencing facilities allowing businesses to host hybrid meetings and secure cycle parking and shower facilities to allow tenants to bike to work – supporting low carbon transport options. There are also features like break out rooms where businesses can network and find out how they can work together.
Tom Woodhead, Business Services Director at Robert Woodhead Group, said: “After a difficult start in 2020, we’re very happy to be handing over the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre to Chesterfield Borough Council. This modern facility will be extremely valuable to Chesterfield’s thriving business community, helping it to grow and flourish, especially with the hi-tech and hybrid-working features which have been included.”
But the Enterprise Centre provides much more than just office space, as tenants will be able to access bespoke business support services that can help them grow and develop, supporting the creation of more jobs and boosting the local economy.
The building also boasts some great sustainability features which will help keep energy usage down and ensure the building is fit for the future.
Nick Fenton, Associate Director at Whittam Cox Architects, said: “We’re delighted to see the Enterprise Centre complete on site. The Centre is an important part of the Northern Gateway regeneration scheme, providing a new and unique commercial offer which is designed to be a catalyst for further investment and development.
“The project is the third generation of office development for the Council which reflects their aspirations to promote and enhance small enterprising start-up businesses.
“As a local practice, we’re passionate about the region. It has been a privilege to work with the Council to deliver a sustainable building that will help the council move towards their net zero carbon target by 2030. The sustainability agenda is hugely important to us, a critical driver in all that we do is to reduce carbon to the greatest extent possible.”
Andy Dabbs, Board Director at Whittam Cox Architects and Chair of Chesterfield Property and Construction Forum said: “The importance of this scheme should not be underestimated. Things do not just happen! The successful delivery of the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre relied on Chesterfield Borough Council creating a vision, successfully securing funding, and then labouring for many years, including navigating some incredibly challenging market conditions, to realise the delivery of a fantastic new commercial offer for the town.
“We are proud to have worked alongside the Council through all stages of the development. The true quality of a team is revealed when things don’t quite go to plan – and the pandemic certainly was not part of it. Despite such challenges, we are proud as a local practice to have supported our Town in delivering such a high-quality facility for businesses wanting to locate in the town centre. This building is further evidence that Chesterfield is open for business and is a sound investment for the future.”
The Enterprise Centre was part funded through a grant from the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority Investment Fund, with additional funding provided by Chesterfield Borough Council.
Laurie Thomas, Assistant Director, Programme Management Office from South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority said: “We believe the Northern Gateway development will help breathe new life into the area and promote the growth of business activities in the ICT and professional service-based sectors”.
“South Yorkshire Investment Fund invested £5.83m in the construction of the Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre, signalling a boost in confidence for investors. The investment will leverage in £12.5m investment by the private sector, support the creation of 150 jobs and indirectly create further jobs once the premises are fully let.”