Cumbria Tourism’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) has today officially marked a number of changes to its Executive Board and Presidency.

Standing down, Cumbria Tourism’s long-standing President, Lord Inglewood, was recognised at the AGM for his invaluable support of the county’s Destination Management Organisation over the past 15 years.

Lord Inglewood, who has held a number of ministerial positions during his career, has used his extensive regional and national connections to support and lobby on tourism issues at the highest level. Currently Chairman of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), he has confirmed his continued commitment to Cumbria Tourism, advocating on behalf of the county’s visitor economy and supporting the industry on the national stage.

Lord Inglewood’s successor as President will be renowned broadcaster and author Eric Robson. Eric is well equipped to take on this important honorary role for the body that oversees the county’s £3billion visitor economy, having been a member of Cumbria Tourism Executive Board since 2002 – much of that time as Chairman. He is credited for helping to guide Cumbria Tourism through some key challenges including the impact of Storm Desmond in 2015.

Cumbria Tourism’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) also sees the appointment of three new Non-Executive Directors, who will offer specialist knowledge and expertise to the organisation in three key areas; small business operation, professional services, and PR and communications.

Following a rigorous application process, today’s AGM at Roundthorn Country House Hotel near Penrith formally ratified the appointment of three experienced and commercially minded Non-Executive Directors:

  • Carl Bevan, Associated British Ports (ABP) Ports – Professional services or supply chain for the tourism industry
  • Justin Farnan, Lake District Calvert Trust Public relations and communications
  • Mike Turner, Treetop TrekSmall tourism business operation


Each newly appointed Non-Executive Director will hold office for a term of three years; they will then retire and be eligible for re-election for a maximum of 3 terms.

The changes also see the end of a 12 year tenure on Cumbria Tourism’s Executive Board for Haydn Spedding, who is stepping down as a Non-Executive Director.  An active long-term advocate for Cumbria’s tourism sector, and one of Colliers’ most successful members of their staff, Haydn has been marketing hotels, guesthouses and self-catering businesses in the county for the past 30 years.

Lord Inglewood says, “It has been my great honour and privilege to serve as President of Cumbria Tourism. Although I have taken the personal decision to step down from the role, I firmly believe my successor Eric Robson will do an outstanding job.

“Through my work as Chairman of Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership, I will continue to support the industry and will take every opportunity to advocate and support Cumbria’s diverse tourism sector and all the hardworking businesses that contribute to its continuing success.”  

Eric Robson comments, “I am proud to have been Chairman and am looking forward to the opportunities and challenges of my new role. I am inheriting the Presidency of one of the most successful Destination Management Organisations in Britain and I am committed to using my national broadcasting and political contacts to support its excellent team to gain even greater profile and success.”

Haydn Spedding says, “Cumbria Tourism does a great job on behalf of our industry and although I feel it is the right time for me personally to step down, I am absolutely committed to supporting the organisation and will continue to help the Executive Board in any way. The county’s £3billion tourism industry is in good shape and I am sure there is plenty more success to come.”

Cumbria Tourism’s Vice Chairman, Jim Walker, adds, “Tourism in Cumbria, although incredibly successful, requires the strongest possible team at Board and President level to steer the industry through whatever lies ahead and serve our member businesses well. We must continue to evolve and meet these challenges. I firmly believe with these new appointments – and an extremely strong and capable staff team and Managing Director – we are now very well placed to do this.”

Cumbria Tourism’s new-look Executive Board will select a new Chairperson to replace Eric Robson when they meet for the first time next month.

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