Destination Chesterfield Board
Destination Chesterfield Board
The Destination Chesterfield Board is made up of local business people who influence the strategic direction of place-making and place marketing for Chesterfield.
Meeting every other month, our board members work in organisations that care about the town’s economic growth and have committed to support the town’s marketing through the Chesterfield Champions network.
You can find out a little more about each of the board members below, including what they love about Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.
Meet the full Destination Chesterfield Board
Peter Swallow – Chair of Destination Chesterfield and MD of Bolsterstone PLC
As well as being Chair of Destination Chesterfield, I am a private sector representative on the Derbyshire Economic Partnership Board, and I feel privileged to be able to contribute to the growth and development of Chesterfield.
My company, Bolsterstone works nationally, but locally we are best known as the developer of the Chesterfield Waterside scheme.
How would I describe Chesterfield to a potential investor? Well, I went to College in Chesterfield, and love the character of the town – both the people and the architecture, and the town has ambitions for the future which, importantly, are firmly supported by the public, council, and business community.
There are so many positives about running a business in Chesterfield, not least the town’s proximity to excellent road, rail and airport services. Another positive about running a business here is the willing workforce.
Cllr Tricia Gilby – Vice Chair of Destination Chesterfield and Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council
I’m passionate about making a difference on the issues that matter to our local residents and business communities whilst championing Chesterfield as a place punching above its weight on the regional map. To help achieve this, Chesterfield Borough Council works in close partnership with Destination Chesterfield to showcase the borough as a thriving place to live, work, visit and invest.
It was an honour to be elected for another term following the local elections in May 2023, and to have been re-appointed as council leader. I am also the lead member for economic growth, and represent the council on the Staveley Town Deal Board and a range of other economy-focussed partnership forums, as well as being vice chair of the Destination Chesterfield Board.
How would I describe Chesterfield using only three words? Thriving, ambitious and resilient.
Huw Bowen – Board Member of Destination Chesterfield and Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council
I’ve never felt more welcome than I have in Chesterfield – the town’s residents and business men and women are all warm, friendly people, and the Council’s staff bring a great attitude to work every day.
Chesterfield has a great future. The plans underway to regenerate the town’s former industrial sites are transforming Chesterfield into a modern, contemporary destination – a place for entrepreneurs to start new businesses, for existing businesses to grow and for businesses to relocate from other parts of the UK. We offer great road, rail and air connectivity, a quality of life that few towns of comparable size can match with the Peak District on our doorstep, the very best business support and advice services, and a skilled and loyal workforce.
I joined Chesterfield Borough Council in October 2003 and have held the post of Chief Executive since May 2008. It is a special privilege to be Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council. And the grand nature of the municipal building where I spend my time every day gives me a real sense of responsibility to ensure that the people of Chesterfield receive the very best facilities and services.
Julie Richards – Board Member of Destination Chesterfield and Principal of The Chesterfield College Group
It is fantastic to be able to work and live in the town where I grew up. I was born in Scarsdale Hospital, which was just a stone’s throw away from my office at the college. My family run and own a farm in the area so my interest in making the most of the local resources and the skills we have on our doorstep is two-fold.
Businesses tell me they value the access they have to such diverse further education provision on their doorstep. They say it can make a big difference to productivity, staff retention and competitiveness. The Chesterfield College Group works with local employers to design training solutions to meet their demands bringing a local solution to a local demand for skills.
Scott Knowles – Board Member of Destination Chesterfield and Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire)
Chesterfield has seen significant inward investment over the past few years due to the good work undertaken by the team at Destination Chesterfield. The Chamber subsequently provides a platform for engagement and business support for business alongside the borough council and others. We all work together very collegiately, meaning that Chesterfield punches above its weight across the region.
I have been Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber since September 2015. I have worked for the Chamber since 1999 in various roles including Deputy Chief Executive and Director of Operations. With a membership base of over 4,125 businesses and over 3,000 affiliates in Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire, the Chamber is the second-largest Chamber of Commerce in the country. It is more than 150 years old and employs 150 staff across eleven office locations in the three counties.
Phil Bramley – Board Member of Destination Chesterfield and Editor of the Derbyshire Times
What I love about Chesterfield is our town’s ambition. People are always amazed when we talk about the amount of investment that is happening here.
The people in Chesterfield are fantastic and I enjoy having a pint in some of the great pubs we have. Our location is perfect too. Our great town centre is only a few minutes from the beautiful Peak District. Also, we’re so close to the big cities like Sheffield, Nottingham and Derby.
I’m the editor of the Derbyshire Times. In addition, I’m North Midlands group editor for our publishing company, Johnston Press, responsible for the Derbyshire Time’s 11 sister titles in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, as well as their associated websites.
Steven Smith – Board Member of Destination Chesterfield and Relationship Director at Natwest Bank in Chesterfield
Our people make our town the honest and friendly place it is. There is also a real sense locally that Chesterfield, despite what challenges it may face, is moving forward and on the up. That sentiment reflects the quiet but real determination of the Chesterfield people.
I am a Relationship Director in the Commercial Banking team at NatWest. NatWest through one of its constituent banks was the first bank in Chesterfield opening its doors for the first time on 30th June 1808. The Branch was based in the Shambles but later moved to its current site on the corner of Glumangate and Market Place. The Bank is proud of its long association with Chesterfield and the support and service it has given to the community over the years.
Ivan Fomin – Board Member of Destination Chesterfield and Managing Director at MSE Hiller
This area has a wealth of engineering talent and people who are interested and willing to work. It has allowed us to build our business to what it is today. Many of our colleagues have been with us since 1990, when we founded MSE Hiller, based in Markham Vale, Chesterfield.
Our company follows a long tradition of centrifuge engineering in Chesterfield stemming from the coal and mineral extraction industries. Nowadays, the industry has adapted to new processes and they are heavily involved in the food and water sectors. I love showcasing this to young people via the Made in Chesterfield marketing campaign.
How would I describe Chesterfield using only three words? Welcoming, tradition and evolution.
Michael Timmins – Board Member of Destination Chesterfield and Director, Water Ports & Power North at AECOM
We recruit people nationally and internationally to work in Chesterfield and are often asked how we would describe the town to a potential visitor. I say Chesterfield is an up-and-coming town with a lot going for it. It offers everything you need, has good transport links and is located next to some major cities and also spectacular countryside.
AECOM also works closely with Chesterfield College and the University of Derby to ensure our business has the best talent pipeline. Many of our staff were at local universities and have chosen to settle in and around Chesterfield after establishing their career with us. Others were at school or college locally and have been supported by AECOM as they develop their education and professional qualifications.
During my time at AECOM, I have been lucky enough to have worked on some really exciting projects both in the UK and internationally – from strategic flood risk studies for major UK cities to water resource, hydropower and environmental studies in Africa and Asia.
Adam Doyle – Board Member of Destination Chesterfield and Head of Business Engagement and Employability at the University of Derby
Looking to the future, I see Chesterfield as a hub with an even stronger and more vibrant community, with organisations working in direct partnership with education and skills providers to ensure local people have access to the most relevant and cutting-edge education and expertise that will support their development and wider community aspirations. Together, we will strive to continually build on our strong connections in Chesterfield and North Derbyshire to deliver a positive impact for the future.
The University of Derby is a modern university with a modern outlook. Everything we do is driven by delivering excellence and opportunities for our students, staff and our region. We are pushing the boundaries of knowledge to create a better, fairer and more sustainable future for everyone.
Sustainability is embedded into all aspects of the university. As an integral part of the local community, we understand that we have a responsibility to ensure that we are leading on the delivery of environmentally-friendly practices. Our six-year De-carbonise project helped 1,000 SMEs. It provided grants of £1.6 million for energy efficiency measures, delivering savings of over £3million/year, and saved 32,000 tC02e against a target of 2,400. We have also planted 150 trees, placed solar panels on 6 of our buildings, provided over 500m2 of wildflower area and reduced our carbon emissions by 22% since 2005.