RETAILERS, restaurateurs, hoteliers and house builders are being urged to pitch for a place in Chesterfield’s £50m Northern Gateway project after council chiefs said places won’t be allocated until the end of the year.
The ambitious scheme, which is set to transform the Donut roundabout, will be 100 per cent privately funded and the council and partners at Wilson Bowden Developments will be looking for the best deal possible.
A council spokeswoman said interest was high, and there had been several expressions of interest already for the cinema, supermarket and hotel.
But no decisions will be made until after a planning application is approved, likely to be at the end of October. Work is set to start late next year and could be completed by 2015.
It is estimated that the project will create around 1,000 jobs with around 300-400 during the construction process and a further 700 on completion of the site.
John Burrows, leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, insisted the project was going to happen and wasn’t just ‘pie in the sky’.
He added: “The Northern Gateway is going to be one of the biggest developments we’ve had in Chesterfield for many years.
“It is a scheme that is deliverable and not pie in the sky, wish list stuff. And just to bust an early myth, we will be retaining a similar level of car parking on the site.
“Chesterfield is on the up.”
The Northern Gateway project will feature a major foodstore, shops and restaurants, a cinema, 80-bed hotel, 85 homes, offices and an outdoor performance area.
The scheme will also include underground car parking and a public space.
The 11-acre site is currently occupied by council car parks, the Allen and Orr timber yard, Jackson & Shipley builder’s merchants and the former Newbold Road petrol filling station.
A public exhibition will take place in Unit 9 of The Pavements Shopping Centre (formerly Thomson travel agents) from 10am to 4pm today and tomorrow.