A new University of Derby campus due to open in Chesterfield in October will help transform the region’s health care sector and boost the town’s growing advanced manufacturing industries.
Building work at the former St Helena’s Grammar School for Girls is on target for the official opening, which will unveil some of the best teaching facilities for nursing in the UK – including an NHS-standard mock hospital ward.
Degrees in Engineering, Business and IT across the new campus and at Derby will support Chesterfield’s growing advanced manufacturing industry and allow businesses to upskill their workforce and better equip employees for their careers.
After lying disused for many years, the Grade II listed building in Sheffield Road has been sympathetically restored in keeping with its origins as a pioneering educational establishment designed by internationally acclaimed Victorian architect George Widdows.
"The University of Derby has a strong tradition of giving old buildings new life, and the completion of the renovation of St Helena comes in the year we also celebrate a decade in the beautiful Devonshire Dome in Buxton,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Derby, Professor Margaret Bruce.
"Although we have long had a presence in Chesterfield, we are very excited about this development and have been warmly welcomed by the town. We hope that our expansion will contribute greatly towards Chesterfield's economy and enrich the lives of its people."
The building will include a new Innovation Centre which will provide access to facilities and support services for small to medium-sized enterprises and business start-ups, including product development, testing equipment and incubation units.
Research commissioned by the University into the economic impact of its Buxton Campus showed that it supported 500 jobs annually through a total spend of £32 million, a result which it is hoped will be replicated in Chesterfield.