Explore Your Future and Cruise Passenger programmes welcome new leads

  Three new Programme Leads have joined us at Shaping Portsmouth this month, taking over the driving of activities for our Explore Your Future and Cruise Passenger Programmes.


 Chloe Bolton is the new lead for our Explore Your Future programme which introduces Portsmouth students to the wide variety of careers, and paths to those careers, available to them in the City.

Chloe Bolton’s role as Enterprise & Skills Executive for the Portsmouth area is a joint post between the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Portsmouth City Council, which aims to support schools and colleges with their careers programmes. An important part of the work she does involves supporting schools and colleges with their employer engagement, to ensure each student understands the various career pathways available to them.

Chloe said “I am delighted to be joining the Explore Your Future Programme with Shaping Portsmouth. In my role I hope support getting this is a fantastic resource into schools across Portsmouth, to support their engagement with employers, industry, and the working world. This is an opportunity to showcase the fantastic range of employers across the city and inspire young people in their future career pathway.

“I am passionate about supporting young people across Portsmouth to make informed decisions about their future career. The Explore Your Future programme provides an opportunity to demonstrate the range of careers opportunities in Portsmouth and the surrounding areas.”


Kate Pearce and Pat Sowerbutts are the new Co-Leads for our Cruise Passenger programme, which is establishing Portsmouth as a leading UK cruise industry port..

 As Partnership & Development Manager for Hovertravel, Pat Sowerbutts is responsible for sales & development across several key business areas including Freight, Corporate, Advertising, Group Travel, Excursions & Experiences as well as the management of key accounts and stakeholders. When Pat originally joined Hovertravel in 2014, he started in the operational side of the business followed by a short spell overseas in real estate before returning to join the commercial team.

Whilst proactively working in the in-bound tourism industry and as a destination ambassador for Portsmouth, he is delighted to be co-leading the Cruise Passenger Program to continue to promote the city and to ensure visitors to Portsmouth receive the best experience on arrival.

Pat said “I believe we have some of the best attractions and experiences in Portsmouth and I am keen to tell the story of the city and attract more international visitors.”


 Communications expert Kate Pearce is delighted to be supporting Shaping Portsmouth as the new co-lead for the Cruise Passenger Programme. 

 Kate is the Head of Communications & Connections at the Queens Hotel, Southsea and Community Manager for Business South.

Her background is in journalism (Woman’s Editor, Daily Echo and Editor, Shoreside Magazine – the magazine of Portsmouth Naval Base) and in recent years she has worked in communications including a stint as Communications and External Affair Manager at the Port of Southampton.

Commenting on her new role, Kate said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Cruise Passenger Programme and look forward to working with Pat Sowerbutts from Hovertravel. Portsmouth has a major opportunity to benefit from passengers visiting the city and those joining cruise ships that leave from Portsmouth International Port. Whether you run a B&B, hotel, café, restaurant or attraction we all have an opportunity to benefit from visitors disembarking and spending time in Portsmouth.”

A cruise ship visit is estimated to boost the local economy by £1m each time they call and Kate and Pat are keen to ensure Portsmouth businesses benefit as much as possible from cruise passenger spend.

We would also like to thank outgoing Cruise Passenger programme lead Sarah Bell, for her hard work in building up the programme to where it is today.

Sam McGrath, Director for Operations & Marketing at Shaping Portsmouth, said “I met Sarah Bell back in January when she started her role as lead for the Cruise Passenger Programme. From the outset, Sarah brought industry knowledge, passion, and commitment. Her leadership drove the programme to achieve more within its objectives than scheduled, in 2022 the team will be supporting approx. 27 cruise ships arriving in Portsmouth, welcoming, and organising for thousands of tourists to visit the cities landmarks. As well as this Sarah introduced us to the 4 main Shore Excursion companies and started to frame our Business Cruise Event in November.


“We wish Sarah all our support for her future, and we are very much looking forward to extending on her hard work with Pat and Kate, both joining us from our partnerships with local and industry cruise backgrounds.”