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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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Rheged boss becomes director of VisitEngland

The chief executive of Westmorland, the company which runs Rheged visitor centre and Tebay services, has been made a director of VisitEngland.

Sarah Dunning photo
Sarah Dunning

Sarah Dunning, 43, is the only Cumbrian representative on the board of the national tourism body.

She took up the post this week and will serve for five years.

Westmorland is a second-generation family business founded more than 40 years ago by farmer John Dunning who seized the opportunity when the M6 was built across his land.

His daughter Sarah joined the business in 1999 having previously worked as a headhunter and investment banker in London. She was initially the HR director but took over as chief executive in 2005.

She was awarded an OBE for services to the food, drink and hospitality sectors in the New Year Honours.

News of her appointment to VisitEngland came as Westmorland reported pre-tax profits of £1.49m for the year to July, up 73.3 per cent from £857,000 in 2011-12. Turnover was 6.3 per cent higher at £49.62m.

Westmorland employs more than 500 people in Cumbria.

Its Tebay site also houses the Westmorland Hotel and J38 Truck Stop.

Work started last year on a second motorway service area near Gloucester.

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