James Berresford has been welcomed as a Member of the Peak District National Park Authority.
He has been appointed for a four-year term by Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Michael Gove, and will serve as a Member of the Audit Resources and Performance Committee until the Annual Meeting in July 2018.
A former chief executive of the country’s official tourism body, VisitEngland, James brings a wealth of experience to his new role. During his tenure at VisitEngland, he was responsible for formulating the first-ever national tourism strategy for England and initiated a wide range of high profile public/private sector initiatives.
Since then, he has taken up a number of non-executive roles within the sector as well as advising on a variety of tourism related projects. He is chairman of the Isles of Scilly Tourism Partnership, a director of Derbyshire leisure firm, Pinelog Ltd, a trustee of SS Great Britain and is chairman of the Buxton Crescent and Thermal Spa Heritage Trust Ltd.
James said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Peak District National Park Authority. The Peak District is close to my heart, having been bought up in the area and now living back in the town of Bakewell. I hope that my long experience in countryside recreation and tourism development at local and national levels will be of value in contributing to a thriving future for the National Park.”
Sarah Fowler, the Peak District National Park’s chief executive, added: “I’m delighted to welcome James as our new Secretary of State Member. He has great local knowledge of the Peak District and what makes it special. This, combined with his wealth of experience in tourism and how it supports the rural economy, brings valuable expertise to the Authority.”
Secretary of State Members are appointed for their specific expertise in different aspects of the National Park. The Authority also includes councillors from the county, city, district and parish councils in the Peak District.
Cllr Lesley Roberts, who chairs the Authority, said: “It gives me great pleasure to welcome James to the Authority. I know he will be an asset and will use his many skills for the benefit of the National Park.”