A FORMER journalist has been confirmed as the new managing director for Cumbria Tourism.

Currently Director of Marketing and Recruitment at the University of Cumbria, Gill Haigh has a 25 year career as a marketing and communications professional.

Throughout her career, Mrs Haigh has worked closely with a wide range of Cumbrian partners in various roles supporting economic investment.

Previous jobs include a senior local government position, heading up destination marketing and tourism services for Lancaster City Council. She also spent four years as North West Public Relations Manager for the National Farmers' Union, having begun her career as a journalist.

“I am extremely proud to have been appointed as managing director of Cumbria Tourism, representing a county and sector I have such a strong affinity with," said Mrs Haigh.

“Cumbria is a world class visitor destination, and with a second World Heritage site just confirmed for the county, we are entering an exciting new phase that will bring with it enormous benefits for the visitor economy.

“I very much look forward to bringing my experience, enthusiasm and drive to work with the team, the board, members and partners to ensure that together we are in the strongest position to build on and benefit from the great achievements already made and the many opportunities ahead.”

Mrs Haigh lives near Kirkby Lonsdale with her husband and two children. Together they share a passion for the county where they spend much of their leisure time relaxing and actively enjoying the wide variety of experiences it has to offer.

Mrs Haigh is due to take up her new position at Cumbria Tourism in September.

In the meantime, interim managing director Jim Walker will continue to head up the team at Cumbria Tourism’s offices in Staveley following Ian Stephens' departure earlier this month, after almost 25 years at the helm.