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Visit County Durham has a board of directors drawn from the public and private sectors. The board meets six times a year.
(Chair) Ivor has held senior roles in television with ITV before spending 15 years as chief executive of the Dartington Hall Trust, a major arts and educational charity with visitor centre and conference facilities in Devon. He now holds various non-executive roles in the North East. Ivor has lived for many years in Barnard Castle with his wife Deborah Jenkins MBE DL.
Sandra runs the award-winning Low Urpeth Farm Bed and Breakfast. Low Urpeth Farm is one of the great success stories of the Durham visitor economy, leading the way in delivering innovation, excellence and high standards of sustainability for a small business.
Suzanne is Principal and Chief Executive Officer of East Durham College. She lives in Durham, having previously worked at the College as Assistant Principal from 2003 to 2007. Hartlepool-born Suzanne also worked for five and a half years in the role of Vice Principal at Sunderland College.
Ross, managing director of Seaham Hall, started his career at The Ritz London on the Management Trainee Scheme. Subsequent roles included Food and Beverage Manager at Dublin’s Clarence Hotel, owned by U2, and Deputy General Manager at The Cotton House on the island of Mustique. Ross spent 10 years as Hotel Manager at the Chester Grosvenor before joining Seaham Hall.
Sally is an Assistant Director at Beamish Museum with over a decade of experience in arts and culture, leading on the management of Beamish’s regional, UK and European partnership programmes; communications and marketing; fundraising; and driving earned income through group and venue sales. Sally is a trustee of the Durham-based participatory arts organisation The Forge.
David joined Durham County Cricket Club in 1991 and was appointed Chief Executive in 2001. As well as tremendous success on the pitch during his period of office, including the success of the Ashes Test in 2013, there has also been an enormous amount of development off the pitch with Emirates Riverside hosting international cricket as well as entertainment events.
Ruth is Head of Marketing and Events at Durham Cathedral. She has over 17 years’ experience in the cultural and heritage sectors working in New York and since 2002 in her native North East England. Prior to this she had an extensive career in broadcasting primarily at the BBC in both the UK and the USA.
Duncan joined Raby Estates as Chief Executive in 2017 after a successful track record developing some of the UK’s foremost landed estate businesses. He is responsible for business operations across Raby landholdings in Co Durham and the Midlands including leadership of a change management programme and development of the Estate’s tourism and leisure interests. Duncan was formerly CEO of the Holker Group in Cumbria and was a Director of the Cumbria LEP and Cumbria Tourism.
Carol runs Durham Cottages a collection of three self-contained holiday cottages in Durham City, a business that has been providing quality accommodation to visitors for the last twenty five years. Carol also works as a self-employed tour manager and regularly escorts groups in the UK and Europe.
Stephen is the commercial director of Go North East and plays an active role in the regional business, culture and tourism communities. He is a director of Network Ticketing Limited, which provides integrated public transport ticketing across the region. He was recognised nationally by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as its 2018 ‘Marketer of the Year’ and at the UK Bus Awards winning its Gold Award for ‘Leadership and Inspiration’ in 2017.
Councillor Joy Allen was appointed to the Cabinet in 2015 and currently holds the Transformation, Culture and TourismPortfolio and represents the Council on the Local Government Association’s Innovation and Improvement Board. Prior to becoming a councillor Joy was employed in the Public sector for 20 years working for HM Forces, Police, District, County and Unitary Councils and the Fire and Rescue Service where she undertook various strategic and operational management roles up to Assistant Director Level.
Amy is Corporate Director of Regeneration and Growth for Durham County Council, one of the largest local authorities in the UK.
Responsible for the design and delivery of a transformational economic strategy and programme across the county delivery strategic investment and an ambitious policy agenda. As member of Durham County Councils senior leadership team Amy is driven to achieving more and better employment and homes across the county underpinned by a £3bn regeneration investment programme.
Amy has previously held senior roles in local government in two large metropolitan authorities in the West Midlands and Sheffield City Region, passionate about the potential for growth, Amy has also held senior regional roles for Transport for the North, Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and Transport for Greater Manchester.
Amy has a breadth of experience in delivery major investments, strategy and development, she is an active member of SOLACE and was Named as Planning Magazines ‘Ones to Watch’ in 2016 and is a previous winner of the prestigious McKibben Research Prize for Freight on logistics.
She is committed to the value of local wealth building and creating equality of opportunity.