A PROMINENT figure in the North East public sector is taking over from Mary Coyle as chairwoman of Northumberland Tourism.
Kate Priestley’s first task will be to put together a new board, bringing new investment, and wide-ranging skills and experience to bear on achieving the tourism partnership’s ambitions for the county.
The organisation aims to increase the value of tourism to the economy of Northumberland by 6% by 2015, creating an extra 750 jobs and increasing visitor spending by £40m a year.
Priestley said: “I am delighted to be joining Northumberland Tourism at such an important stage in its development.
“There are enormous opportunities for tourism to play an even more important part in the county’s economy, a vision shared by so many people across Northumberland. I hope that my experience and the time I’m now able to bring to it will help make a real difference”.
Priestley has been chairwoman and member of a number of partnerships, charities and businesses, following a highly successful career in the NHS.
Current roles include chairing Inspired Spaces, the local education partnership for South Tyneside and Gateshead; the Fair Trade business Shared Interest; as well as serving as a Council Member of Newcastle University.
She takes over from Mary Coyle MBE, who steps down as interim chairwoman, having steered Northumberland Tourism through the development of its new business model, and having secured the industry investment and support critical to its continued success.
Coyle said: “It has been a privilege to lead Northumberland Tourism through a profound period of change and consolidation over the last six months. I would like to thank all those individuals and organisations who have stepped forward to champion Northumberland, joining us in our vision for the county.
“With new investment in place, the partnership can look forward to an exciting future. I am delighted to pass the baton to Kate, who I know will do a superb job for Northumberland.”
Coyle is a founding trustee and director for Tyne & Wear Archives and Museums Development Trust.
She is a trustee of Newcastle University staff pension plan, and a member of the International Advisory Board for Newcastle University Business School. She is also a Deputy Lieutenant for Tyne and Wear, and vice- chair of NHS North of Tyne.