Ambitious plans revealed to redevelop historic marketplace
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Chesterfield Borough Council has unveiled plans to create an open-air shopping experience with new event space, seating, and landscaping on the site of the Derbyshire town’s market.
Drawn up following a first round of consultation with local market traders, town centre businesses and residents, the draft Revitalising the Heart of Chesterfield Vision Master Plan is to go before the council’s Cabinet this Wednesday (20 July).
If approved, the draft Master Plan will be subject to further consultation before specific delivery plans are finalised – with initial work set to begin early 2022.
Councillor Kate Sarvent, Chesterfield Borough Council’s cabinet member for town centre and visitor economy, said: “Like towns everywhere, Chesterfield must address the challenges that the rise in online shopping presents to the future sustainability of our town centre, a trend that has been further worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Chesterfield Borough Council recognises the need to invest now to make sure Chesterfield town centre remains modern, vibrant, and relevant.
“As the heart and soul of our town centre, we must do all we can to make sure that Chesterfield Market continues to prosper in the modern world, as a destination of choice for traders, residents, and visitors.
“The council’s ambitious plans lay down a new vision for Chesterfield Market and have been drawn up following a first round of consultation with local market traders, town centre businesses and residents.
Key proposals include:
– The re-siting of market stalls currently located in New Square and on Low Pavement into a single market ground of 100 stalls in Market Square – creating a more defined and vibrant market area. The area will also include a flexible events space.
– The re-modelling of New Square as a flexible events space – able to hold large-scale events, and accommodate temporary installations and active edges linked to local bars and restaurants
– Upgrades to the paving to improve the quality while also making it more accessible for people dependent on wheelchairs, pushchairs, or mobility aids
– The introduction of new seating areas and attractive landscaping to create spaces where people want to sit and chat whilst taking in what the town has to offer
– The planting of more trees to increase biodiversity and improve the street scene
– Brighter, more vibrant stall coverings and flexible stalls supplied with water, better lighting and digital connectivity
The proposals have also been developed with due regard for the Conservation Area including giving greater prominence to the Market Hall and the town pump, which is currently obscured, by opening-up the public space in these areas.
If approved, the proposals will be subject to a consultation period running from 2 August to 12 September 2021.
Councillor Sarvent added: “Many elements of the draft Vision Master Plan reflect what market traders, town centre businesses and residents have already told us they want to see from a revamped Chesterfield Market.
“If approved, the draft Vision Master Plan will be subject to further consultation. I would therefore encourage as many people as possible to take a look and have their say on the future of Chesterfield town centre and in particular, the key proposals for our treasured market grounds.”
The council has already secured £1.15m funding through the Derbyshire Business Rates Pilot and D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership. Further funding for later phases is being sought as part of a bid that the council has recently submitted to the Government’s Levelling Up Fund.
Due to the ongoing uncertainty created by the Covid-19 pandemic, the second phase of consultation will be carried out via a virtual exhibition.
Exhibition documents will also be available to view at Chesterfield Market Hall and interested parties will also be able to obtain paper copies of the questionnaire from the council’s Customer Services Centre, just off New Square.