About Destination Chesterfield

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

Male Chair of Destination Chesterfield Pete on stage at the Winding Wheel Theatre

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 many positives about running a business in Chesterfield, not least the town’s proximity to excellent road, rail and airport services. Furthermore, another positive about running a business here is the willing workforce.


Female leader of Chesterfield Borough Council in red jacket on Town Hall balcony

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.


Dr Huw Bowen - Chief Executive of Chesterfield Borough Council

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. Furthermore, 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.


Female principal Julie Richards of Chesterfield College in front of glass walkway

Julie Richards – Board Member of Destination Chesterfield and Principal of The Chesterfield College Group

It is fantastic 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 their access to such diverse further education provision on their doorstep. Additionally, 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.

Male Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber (Scott Knowles) holding microphone

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 close up

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.


Ivan Fomin speaking at Celebrate Chesterfield 2023

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. So, this 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.

Close up of Michael Timmins

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. So, people often ask 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. It has good transport links. Furthermore, it 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 joining us. Others were at school or college locally. Our team develops their education and professional qualifications with lots of support from us.

I have been lucky to have worked on exciting projects with AECOM 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.

Female business leader Karlie Thompson from Chesterfield Royal Hospital with microphone in hand, speaking at a Chesterfield Champions event in front of a screen displaying Wellbeing Hub

Karlie Thompson – Board Member of Destination Chesterfield and Associate Director of Communications at Chesterfield Royal Hospital

The Trust continues to focus on its vision, to provide exceptional care by exceptional people.  Our developments include the £27m Emergency Department and the £2m Health and Wellbeing Hub. Equally important, we have the £2m Paediatric Assessment Unit too. They all show that the Trust is redefining how and what it does. With our values (compassion, ambition, respect and encouragement) at the heart of everything.

The people here really do care. And the majority of my colleagues are key to the Chesterfield community. People are often born, live and work at hospital, and it gives a real driving force and passion.

I believe that the revitalisation of our town centres in Chesterfield and Staveley will have the biggest impact for our town in terms of boosting the vibrancy of our local area and putting Chesterfield on the map as an excellent destination to visit and enjoy.

How would I describe Chesterfield using only three words? Caring, people-focused and respectful.

Andrew Byrne speaking at Celebrate Chesterfield

Andrew Byrne – Property Development Director at Devonshire Property Group

Devonshire Property Group is part of the wider Devonshire Group, which brings together the charities, businesses and estates in the care of the Devonshire family. We have a number of residential and commercial developments across Derbyshire, but with a real focus in Chesterfield.

We have had two big projects in Chesterfield recently.  Firstly, the Hartington Business Park in Staveley, which is now fully let. Secondly, we’re starting on site on our large residential project, “The Riddings” at Mastin Moor. This will be the home of the Constructions Skills Hub.

There is a real “can do…will do” attitude in the area, from the Council and the Business Community.  The public/private partnership working really sets Chesterfield apart from other areas.

Additionally, I am a big supporter of the Property and Construction Group, and the work they do to support schools outreach programmes.

The three words I would use to describe Chesterfield are… Location, Location, Location!

Man wearing glasses and blue shirt smiling with green plant in background

Ryan Wilkes, Director of Owner Managed Business, Shorts Accountants

I am very grateful and honoured to represent Chesterfield, the town I call home. I’m keen to build on my knowledge of the area, and to provide support and showcase both emerging and established businesses.

Shorts has been trading in Chesterfield since 1890.  My role at Shorts is Director of Owner Managed Business. We look after a wide range of clients’ accountancy compliance, strategy, and business advisory services.

I have a unique insight into the thriving businesses around the area through my role at Shorts, which I would like to share and shout about to attract new business to Chesterfield and show what a great town it is.

Talent attraction and retention are also big areas I would like to focus on.

Looking to the future, I’m most excited about the Station Master Plan. The renovation of the area around the station would give Chesterfield the ‘first impression’ that matches the community and what it deserves, whilst creating more jobs.

My vision for the future is that all the planned developments rejuvenate the town. This will attract more people to live and work in the area, which will allow more development! However, to do this we need to show and shout about all the qualities Chesterfield has to offer.

Destination Chesterfield Logo

Destination Chesterfield

Destination Chesterfield is responsible for developing a co-ordinated approach to marketing the town

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Chesterfield Champions

The Chesterfield Champions scheme is a powerful network helping to drive the development of our economy, shape our future and showcase our town.

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Artist impression of the GAteway at Peak in Chesterfield


Rising from our industrial past is a contemporary destination with a great history and a superb future.

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