Demand for office space has soared in Derbyshire’s largest town following the completion of several high-quality schemes.
That’s the claim from Destination Chesterfield, a council-led body to promote the town’s economy.
Chesterfield's business population has grown by more than a fifth in the last decade, creating 2,000 new jobs, including 1,800 high-value roles in sectors such as advanced manufacturing and professional services.
The town recently published an ambitious growth strategy to attract 400 more businesses and 2,000 more jobs by 2030.
The body says demand for space in Chesterfield's enterprise centres, which provide flexible accommodation for start-ups and businesses with high growth potential, has increased since the Northern Gateway Enterprise - the town’s newest centre - opened in July 2022.
More than three-quarters of the office suites are now occupied at Northern Gateway, well ahead of a 50 per cent 12-month target set by Chesterfield council.
Almost half of tenants at Northern Gateway Enterprise Centre are new to Chesterfield, and have either fully relocated to or opened satellite offices in the town since July 2022.
Occupancy rates at Chesterfield's established enterprise centres have rebounded to above pre-pandemic levels.
Some 85 per cent of space at Dunston Innovation Centre and 87 per cent of Topton Park Innovation Centre are now let.
Occupation at both locations was below 80 per cent at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and had fallen to 67 per cent at Dunston and 57 per cent at Tapton Park during the third national lockdown in early 2021.
Two floors of One Waterside Space, a 35,000 square foot office block next to Chesterfield’s mainline railway station are now occupied, and the town council reports strong interest in the remaining space. Opened in January 2023, One Waterside Place is located in Basin Square, a major part of the £340m Chesterfield Waterside regeneration scheme.
Private landlords are also succeeding in attracting businesses to new developments in Chesterfield.
Occupancy has reached 94 per cent at The Glass Yard, a 50,000 sq ft office and retail park opened in 2022 by Blue Deer on Sheffield Road, Chesterfield.
Chesterfield council says it’s helped bring to market almost 300,000 square feet of modern office, industrial, manufacturing and logistics space since the start of 2022, and expects to make further premises totalling more than a million sq ft available by the middle of 2025.
A council spokeswoman says: “Our local economy is growing and the investments we have made in modern attractive office space has helped bring new businesses into the town and created new jobs for our residents.
“Our investment coupled with our central location, culture of invention, competitive cost base and quality of life, is driving growth across the borough. Demand is soaring from local start-ups, relocating entrepreneurs from the likes of London, Leeds and Sheffield, and bigger businesses wanting more space or to consolidate their facilities in a single, central location.”
Tim Turner, Managing Director at Blue Deer Ltd, comments: “Chesterfield is a thriving business location and the perfect place for the mix of office and retail space we offer at The Glass Yard. Demand for space here has been particularly strong since we opened last year, both from local companies and incoming businesses.”
Dom Knowles, Head of Offices at FI Real Estate Management (FIREM), comments:“We’re passionate about putting Chesterfield on the map as a great place to work, improving its offering in line with nearby cities and enriching the lives of the local business community. We recently carried out a £1.2m refurbishment of The HQ to update the building to a Grade A workspace and we’re already receiving high levels of interest. The HQ offers excellent bespoke office solutions and benefits from well-connected rail and road transport networks, making it a great choice for businesses.”