Chatham Dockyard chief stands down

Bill Ferris, who has overseen development worth £47m in 19 years, is to retire as CEO of Chatham Historic Dockyard.

In that time the dockyard has become a model for heritage enterprise. The “living museum” concept that prevailed when he arrived in 2000 has been replaced by a “preservation through reuse” strategy, which has led to long term financial stability for the dockyard trust.

Once dilapidated, post-industrial buildings in the former naval base have been transformed to be part of a flourishing mixed-use heritage estate, at the heart of Medway’s regeneration. The dockyard is now home to a community of 115 houses and over 110 businesses and organisations, including the University of Kent. It has 190,000 visitors a year and it supports over 500 jobs, all of which generates more than £29m annually.

“Bill’s drive for excellence and entrepreneurial thinking, underpinned by carefully considered charitable choices, has been central to our development. He has played an instrumental” said trust chairman Sir Trevor Soar.  Bill Ferris was made an OBE in 2011.


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