KENDAL businessman Peter Hensman has been recognised for his voluntary services to Cumbria’s rural economy.

Mr Hensman, who is executive director of Lake District Estates, which owns Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway and Ullswater Steamers, received the OBE for work over the last 35 years.

“I’m delighted and so surprised and I think many people have done much more but it’s a great honour to be recognised nationally,” said Mr Hensman.

Chairman of Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency for six years, Mr Hensman is also chairman of Kendal Futures Board and the Lake District National Park Authority’s Business Task Force.


He is also a non-executive director of Furness Building Society and chair of the Cumbria Community Foundation.

“There’s been a lot of change.

“I’ve seen the revolution of the importance of tourism in the Lake District National Park, and we’ve realised we can’t have a strong economy without tourism.

“We’ve also seen the arrival of broadband which has been hugely important for businesses,” continued Mr Hensman.

He was also finance director and then managing director of Gilbert Gilkes and Gordon, the Kendal engineers, between 1980 and 2000 and was on the board of the Northwest Development Agency for seven years until 2012.

“I’ve been extremely lucky that I’ve been able to live and work in this area and I hope future generations will have the same chance to do so.

“Since I’ve been in Kendal we’ve lost a lot of employment and we need to keep replacing them and that’s exactly what I’ve been keen to do, and had the pleasure of doing for the past 35 years,” he added.