As a Chesterfield-born and bred lad, living in the area for 33 years, I was thrilled to run Stepnell’s Chesterfield Hospital Health & Wellbeing Hub construction site.
Having been born at the hospital, and as a local, I am passionate about the development of our great town.
I started my construction career after completing my qualifications at Chesterfield College. I now have more than 17 years’ experience under my belt, and have worked on lots of exciting projects in various sectors.
My role on Chesterfield Hospital’s Health & Wellbeing Hub included being responsible for the
allocation and supervision of resources on site, and ensuring the project was delivered within
programme and to a high quality standard. I am so proud of what we achieved.
The hub is a significant scheme, both for local healthcare in Chesterfield, and as a pioneering NHS project that prioritises the health and wellbeing of staff, that generated significant social value for the community.
What was the greatest achievement for your business over the past year?
Stepnell is one of eight firms that secured a place on the SCAPE Regional Construction Framework last summer.
It’s expected to deliver up to £750m of public sector investment across the Midlands and
the East of England. Stepnell won a place on the Lot which includes Derbyshire. It’s already providing us with great opportunities to work in the area. Frameworks allow public sector clients to work with us at a far earlier stage than traditional procurement routes.
This gives us the opportunity to understand and mitigate challenges before they occur and provides our clients with better value for money.
How would you describe Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, using only three words?
Forward-thinking, imaginative and accessible.
What are your favourite places to visit in Chesterfield and why?
One of my favourite places is Hardwick Hall because of the woodland play grounds, gardens and Elizabethan architecture.
The house provides a fascinating insight into the life of Bess of Hardwick in the 1500s. The Peak District is also a stunning local place to visit right on the doorstep.
How is your business becoming more sustainable?
As a regional business in the built environment sector, Stepnell takes its responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint very seriously. The construction sector is estimated to contribute up to 11% of global carbon emissions.
We have embedded sustainability, carbon reduction and carbon monitoring into our business processes.
We are working towards obtaining ISO 50001 International Energy Management certification this year and upgrading our assets by installing renewables within our offices, increasing the number of hybrid and electric vehicles in our fleet and, at our business park, Stepnell Park, we applied Smart Grid HV/LV technology; PV array to generate 178,400 kWh p.a.
In 2022, we conducted Life Cycle Assessments ‘carbon modelling’, on three East Midlands projects, including Chesterfield Hospital, by engaging with local universities and the supply chain.
The embodied carbon forecasting and materials swapping analysis allowed our clients to compare products and select those with lowest environmental impact.
Stepnell commits to using the local supply chain to support a sustainable local low carbon economy.
Our dedicated Energy & Renewables team, Step Energy, work with our clients to provide bespoke solutions for energy saving and carbon reduction strategies by developing and delivering commercially sound renewable and efficient energy technologies throughout the lifecycle of projects and across all the built environment.
We apply our ‘Step to Zero’ process to all our projects to draw out sustainability opportunities at the earliest stage and attain RIBA 2030 targets, where possible.
‘Step to Zero’ draws out sustainability opportunities within each project at the earliest stage,
maximising their potential; Achieve Net Zero projects where possible; Meet RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge Targets (& interim 2025 targets); Obtain benchmark certifications – EPC / BREEAM / WELL; Achieve ‘zero-carbon in construction’ by 2030; Make the most of budgets with long term, sustainable solutions; Providing sustainable solutions that meet both budget and sustainability expectations
Why do you love working or doing business in Chesterfield or North Derbyshire?
Chesterfield is a great place to live, work and play, boasting independent businesses, historic town centre and world-renowned crooked spire of St Mary and All Saints Church. Chesterfield meets the needs of new, growing and established businesses, offering a brilliant central location, surrounded by stunning countryside, and connectivity.
Stepnell is proud to be a Chesterfield Champion and to play an active part in supporting the local economy.
Following a high profile £2m fundraising initiative by Chesterfield Royal Charity, Stepnell was commissioned to build the new Wellbeing Hub to provide a tranquil space near the main hospital site where around 400 existing and potential NHS employees and associates can recoup and relax in activities intended to enhance their mental and physical wellbeing.
I started working on the Wellbeing Hub is summer 2022 and recently handed it over to a very thankful client. The hospital’s staff couldn’t wait to get inside!
How are you supporting young people in your business through apprenticeships, traineeships or work experience and how are young people contributing to the success of your business?
As part of our continuing commitment to generating significant social value in the Chesterfield area, we engaged with Chesterfield College and Parkside School.
At Chesterfield College, we have supported students with work experience and preparation for employment activities, such as Interview techniques, CV writing, personal branding and handshake practice.
During the Hub works, I was happy to welcome students from Chesterfield College to support their Site Management studies with work placements. Altogether, my site team hosted five placement students during a five-week period (30hr week/four days).
Stepnell contributed to the post-16 education Local Skills Improvement Plan, offering information on skills employers need in 2023.
I attended a ‘Meet the Buyer’ event at Pride Park in Derby in summer 2022, prior to works commencing on the Hub site to engage with the local supply chain. As with all of our projects, we had a big push for the supply chain to use local labour. We achieved this on almost every construction package.
How are you, your business or your team supporting local people?
Our supply chain strategy is focused on balancing the use of local sub-contractors with the
experience of our established supply chain partners and we aim to spend as much money as possible in the course of our business within 30 miles of our projects.
We spent £306,876.93 on the local supply chain, totalling 55.89 per cent overall spend with the local economy and employed three local people on Chesterfield Royal Hospital’s Wellbeing Hub project.
As the Hub was charity-funded, we organised and managed a Christmas charity event, the Rockin’ Reindeer Ride, to help raise much-needed funds.
Our entire East Midlands team was invited to help raise money with our 24-hour exercise bike ride in the foyer of the hospital in December 2022.
A team of 24 people from Stepnell, 12 hospital staff, partners, stakeholders and our sub-contractors and supply chain got into the Christmas spirit for 30-minute Reindeer Rides on bikes loaned from Nuffield Health Chesterfield Fitness & Wellbeing Gym. We raised £2,624 for the charity to purchase soft furnishings and equipment for the Wellbeing Hub to make it a pleasant and relaxing environment for Chesterfield’s NHS staff.
What support or advice has your business received recently and how has it benefited your business?
We are currently looking at opportunities in the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire area and have engaged with other Chesterfield Champion professionals to support us.
Working with local organisations provides us with invaluable insight into the area and securing work in the region helps it to thrive.
Which upcoming development do you think will have the greatest impact on the town and why?
The ‘Town Deals’ money allocated by the Government to Staveley and Clay Cross represents a major investment to transform these local North Derbyshire towns and encourage further investment.
What is your vision for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire in 2030? What do you think the town needs to achieve this?
Chesterfield is an attractive place to live and work and is well-connected. The current investment in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire will enhance the area, encouraging more businesses and visitors to enjoy what the area has to offer.