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General News16th May 2022

Tourism Chief appointed to Historic Trust Board

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Deirdre Wells OBE, Chief Executive Go To Places, to our Board of Trustees. Deirdre will officially take up the post at the Trust’s next Board meeting on 24 May 2022.

Deirdre has been Chief Executive of Go To Places, encompassing the award-winning destination management organisation Visit Kent, since September 2018. Prior to this Deirdre was Chief Executive of UKinbound and Head of Tourism at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport working on a range of high-profile projects including the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Having spent over 30 years in senior positions in the Government and the private sector, Deirdre is an expert in the visitor economy and the UK’s cultural landscape. Since 2018 she has led Visit Kent and Visit Herts, delivering Destination Management across two counties, which includes supporting over 1500 businesses, delivering national, Discover England Fund, projects and EU Interreg projects. Deirdre champions the tourism industry to local and national Government and makes regular appearances on local and national media supporting the sector.

She was awarded an OBE in 2007 in recognition of her work in leading the team behind the national memorial services for the UK victims of the 9/11 attacks, the Bali bombings, the 2004 Asian Tsunami and the London 7/7 attacks.

Alongside her new role with Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, Deirdre holds a number of external appointments including chair of English Tourism Week, Member of the UK Government’s Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group and she sits on the Board of the Tourism Alliance.

Deirdre said: “I am thrilled to be joining the board of the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, which is a leading light in the Kent visitor economy. The Dockyard is an exemplar of cultural regeneration at its best, combining a first-class visitor attraction with exciting and innovative workspace and support for lifelong learning. I look forward to working with Sir Trevor and my Trustee colleagues to ensure that the Trust continues to be a beacon of economic and cultural excellence for generations to come.”

Sir Trevor Soar KCB OBE DL, Chair of the Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust, said: “I am very pleased to welcome Deirdre as a Trustee of Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust. As a charity with an award-winning museum and visitor attraction, Deirdre will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise of the visitor economy to the Trust. She is a passionate advocate for the industry and has extensive experience in place-making and delivering partnership programmes. I have no doubt that with Deirdre’s involvement we will be able to drive forward our strategic objectives and expand opportunities for the Trust on both a regional and national level. I look forward to Deirdre joining the team and working more closely with her.”

Deirdre will replace Sandra Matthew-Marsh MBE on her retirement, Sandra has served on the Board of Trustees since 2013 and has contributed significant expertise during her tenure.

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