A revised Northern Gateway scheme has been approved by Chesterfield Borough Council to improve the town’s northern entrance and create 489 jobs.
The new plan will see:
- A major refurbishment of Saltergate multi-storey car park, which will see it modernised and the number of spaces increase from 408 to 529
- A business enterprise centre built on part of the Holywell Cross (Donut) car park for start-up and small and medium sized businesses
- Environmental and street improvements to Elder Way and part of Knifesmithgate, including wider pavements to create a terrace area
The £19.9 million revised project also includes the £10.5 million redevelopment of the Co-op store by Central England Co-operative and their partners Jomast Developments.
They already have planning permission for a leisure scheme that will include:
- Six ground floor restaurants
- A hotel on the first and second floors
- A health and fitness centre in the basement
Premier Inn and Beefeater are two of the companies that will occupy the site.
The revised Northern Gateway project will be funded by a Sheffield City Region Infrastructure Fund grant of £5.83 million and £3.5 million from Chesterfield Borough Council, with the Co-op redevelopment being paid for by the private sector.
Councillor John Burrows, Chesterfield Borough Council’s leader and cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We had to completely rethink our original plans for the Northern Gateway after the closure of the Co-op building and the change in the economy which meant that large food retailers were no longer looking to build large new stores.
“But by working with the owners and developers of the Co-op building we are now able to deliver the restaurant and leisure aspects of the original scheme.
“At the same time the Saltergate multi-storey car park is reaching the end of its working life and has to be refurbished.
“By incorporating this in to the scheme we can deliver a brighter and modern secure parking location that will meet the needs of shoppers, commuters, visitors and the hotel and restaurant users of the redeveloped Co-op store site.
“The addition of the enterprise centre to the plans enables us to meet the growing demand for business space in the town. Having a site like this in a town centre location will also support the existing town centre economy.
“The revised project is another example of how Chesterfield can benefit from gaining funding from the Sheffield City Region to deliver projects that will create jobs in Derbyshire.”
Work on Saltergate multi-storey car park is due to start this November and to be completed in summer 2017. The environmental improvements to Elder Way and Knifesmithgate will take place during 2017. Work on the enterprise centre is expected to begin in summer 2018 and be completed by summer 2019, subject to planning permission being given.
A rethink of the original plans for the Northern Gateway began last year after it became clear that no large food retailer could be attracted to the site, which was necessary to make the rest of the scheme viable.
The original plan also included proposals for town centre housing. While this is not in the revised plan, it remains an option for the future.
Councillor Burrows added: “The new parts of the revised scheme are in our hands which mean that we can directly control the delivery of them.
“We want to see more housing in the town centre area but I think it is important that we press on with the revised plan first and then look at that again once this work is well underway. But in is still very much a desire of ours to deliver more town centre housing.”
Sheffield City Region has already approved a £5.83 million grant in principle for the revised scheme but a full business case can now be submitted, which is required to get the final sign off for the funding to be paid.