HAMPSHIRE Chamber of Commerce has appointed a new chief executive officer – and he is a well-known figure in the county business world.

Stewart Dunn will take up his new role next month, replacing Jimmy Chestnutt who is retiring.

Mr Dunn is chairman of award-winning Southampton-based inte-grated marketing communications agency Carswell Gould, which specialises in digital market-ing, PR and creative solutions to busi-ness, where until the end of last year, he was managing director. Prior to this, Mr Dunn was managing director of Newsquest Hampshire. Newsquest is the parent company of The Gazette.

Mr Dunn, left, said: “I’m really looking forward to taking up my appoint-ment as CEO at this very exciting time for the organisation as Govern-ment recognises, through the Heseltine report, that the chamber is the first choice for helping to deliver business growth for the region.

“It’s also an exciting time for the chamber in that we are working closely with Government and the Enterprise M3 and the Solent Local Enterprise Partnerships, which is acting as a catalyst to help galvanise businesses to expand. We are there to help businesses for the common good.”

Mr Dunn is keen for Hampshire Chamber to continue to grow and make its mark throughout the county, particularly in north Hamp-shire.

Upbeat about Hampshire busines-ses and the optimistic trend for the UK economy, Mr Dunn said: “I think we have seen some recovery in 2013, and we are looking forward to a better future in 2014. But I think it will be a challenge and the recovery will be slow.

“There’s been some recovery in some key sectors and if we see them grow, it will ripple out to other sectors.”

In 2011, Mr Dunn was awarded an honorary doctorate by Southampton Solent University for his contribution to the media industry.

Mr Chestnutt, who has led Hampshire Chamber since its inception in 2010, said: “I fully support this appointment.

“Stewart will bring a wealth of business and media experience to the chamber, which will be invaluable in supporting the chamber’s initiatives for business growth in the months ahead.”