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Wales Co-operative Centre appoints new chief executive

Derek Walker is the new chief executive of the Wales Co-operative Centre

The Wales Co-operative Centre, which champions social, digital and financial inclusion through co-operation, has appointed Derek Walker as its new chief executive.

Mr Walker, who is currently head of external affairs at the Big Lottery Fund, will take up his new role in January.

He will replace Simon Harris, who has moved to become director for Wales at Business in the Community.

Derek Walker was previously the head of olicy and campaigns at the Wales TUC. His background is in policy and communications and he has extensive experience in developing strong relationships with key stakeholders in government and across the public, third and private sectors. 

Derek was instrumental in establishing Wales’s groundbreaking social partnership agreement between public sector organisations and unions. Derek also helped set up Stonewall Cymru’s first office.

Derek Walker is a committed trade unionist, a member of the Co-operative Party and the Co-operative Group. Promoting equality and social justice have been central themes in his career to date.

David Jenkins, chair of the Wales Co-operative Centre, said: "I am very pleased to welcome Mr Walker as chief executive of the centre. He has proven experience of influencing policy, developing and directing strategy and has exceptional communication skills. I am confident that he will champion the centre’s values and will have the creativity to develop new opportunities for the organisation. On behalf of my fellow Board members I would like to congratulate Derek on his appointment."

Mr Walker said: “The Wales Co-operative Centre has a proud history of helping to transform the lives of people and communities across Wales. The work of the centre has never been more important than it is now. I am delighted to join such an innovative organisation and look forward to the Centre continuing to be a key player in building Wales’s social economy.”