Business West makes changes to senior team as James Durie departs

By Nick Batten on 3 November, 2022

James Durie, Chief Executive of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative and Executive Director of Business West is to step down from his role after 21 years. 

Having been part of the leadership of the organisation for the past two decades, James has played a significant role in speaking for, representing, and leading the business and employer community in Bristol and the wider West of England region influencing positive change.

Before leaving Business West at the end of the year, James will be assisting Emma Carter in a newly created role that is central to the new approach to Business West Chambers of Commerce and Initiative membership. As Director of Membership her task will be to integrate all Business West’s existing membership levels and teams into a regionally cohesive offer that works across the whole of the region covering Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire, and Wiltshire.

Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West said, “James will be much missed by his Business West colleagues, our members and the many partners we work with.

“He has brought knowledge, skills, and energy to his role, demonstrating great passion for Bristol and the West of England. Over the last two decades, he has enabled business to be well represented, playing an active role in shaping, and influencing positive change for the benefit of all our communities. In particular, he has provided unwavering support and leadership to the members and the board of the Bristol Chamber of Commerce and Initiative together with our various partnership organisations.

“I would like to take this opportunity to appreciate James’ great commitment and thank him for his invaluable contribution to Business West and the Bristol Chamber and Initiative. We wish him the very best with his new venture.”

James said, “After 21 years I have decided the time is right for me to step down from my role at Business West Chambers & Initiative.

“I have had the privilege to work with so many amazing people in my role in the development of Business West Chambers & Initiative and the important work it does and different roles it has been able to play.

“I now feel ready for a change of emphasis and will be embarking on new and exciting challenges, more details of which I will be sharing in the New Year and coming months.

“As ever and particularly in this current economic environment, Business West has lots to offer companies to ensure they survive and thrive, and I wish them every success as they continue on their mission to do this.”

If you would like more information about Business West Chambers of Commerce membership, please contact Emma Carter at

Pictured above: James Durie, who will leave Business West at the end of this year