Dr. Peter Dewhurst
Dr. Peter Dewhurst brings a wealth of experience to the Destination Chesterfield board, currently working as Commercial Director at the University of Derby. Alongside this role, Peter is a Non-Executive Director of East Midlands Chamber, as well as Vice Chair of Business Peak District and Chair of the Peak District Partnership. He is also currently overseeing the delivery of the Derbyshire Festival of Business and is one of the team overseeing the delivery of the Green Entrepreneurs Programme.
Since 2018 Peter has focused his attention on the University’s commercial, enterprise and civic activities, liaising closely with colleagues across the University and with many external stakeholders. He is passionate about supporting universities to operate as “thought leaders” at the heart of the communities they serve, and throughout his career has worked to break down the barriers between “town and gown”.
Peter is also involved in supporting the regeneration activities in North Derbyshire as a member of both the Clay Cross and Staveley Town Deal boards.
How would you describe Chesterfield and North Derbyshire, using only three words?
Resolute, ambitious, resourceful
How are you supporting local people?
The University is delivering a variety of initiatives that support local people, but one that resonates closely with me is “Community Chesterfield”, which is a collaborative partnership between the University and Derbyshire Voluntary Action. The team is based at the University’s St Helena’s site, where we work to bring Chesterfield’s community organisations and the University together in order to strengthen the local health and social care sector.
Which local business would you recommend and why?
For 10 or so years, I have been engaging with Birchall Properties Ltd on visionary plans for Peak Resort, which are now beginning to deliver what promise to be spectacular new business developments, which will, in turn, generate significant employment opportunities for the residents of Chesterfield and North Derbyshire.
I’d also like to briefly mention the amazing work of the Bolsterstone Group, which is helping to transform the Waterside area of Chesterfield.
In both of these instances the visionary support of Chesterfield Borough Council must also be flagged as a key catalyst for what promises to be transformational change.
Which upcoming development do you think will have the greatest impact on the town and why?
I have already referenced the exciting developments that are taking place at Peak Resort and in the Waterside area. Added to this are game changing Town Deal funded projects in Staveley and Clay Cross, which alongside a hugely exciting masterplan for Chesterfield town centre, mean that over the next few years this part of the county is set to become a national beacon for economic revitalisation. The key will be to ensure that the benefits of these developments collectively enhance the life chances of all residents.
What is your vision for Chesterfield and North Derbyshire in 2030? What do you think the town needs to achieve this?
My vision is for a diversified and robust economy that provides all sections of the community with an opportunity to prosper. This needs to be achieved in a way that reflects and respects the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, thereby ensuring an enriched quality of life for all residents, as well as an enriched natural environment.
This can only be achieved through effective and close collaboration between all sections of the community, with everyone working together towards a series of shared goals. The University is part of the community and we stand ready to provide our support.