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The Islands’ Partnership (IP), the official Destination Management Organisation and business lead for the Isles of Scilly, has appointed Andrew Sells as its new independent non-Executive Chairman.

Andrew is currently Chairman of Natural England, the national body responsible for advising the Government on the natural environment – a position he is due to step down from later this month after five years in the role. He will then take up his new position at the Islands’ Partnership in February, serving an initial three year term.

Working alongside the Islands’ Partnership Board and Executive team, Andrew succeeds former Chairman James Berresford, who stepped down at the end of last year after a three year tenure. The incoming Chairman is tasked with helping to drive forward the growth of Scilly’s vital tourism industry and the wider economic prosperity of the islands.

Andrew brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Islands’ Partnership having had a long and successful career in the world of business before moving on to a range of board and senior advisory positions in both the public and private sectors. He is also no stranger to Scilly, having been a regular visitor to the islands for the last 15 years.

“I am delighted to be given this opportunity to chair the Islands’ Partnership Board” says Andrew. “The Isles of Scilly hold a special place in the hearts of my family. All generations have been visiting this tranquil haven for many years and I regard it as a great privilege to be asked to help shape the future of the islands.”

“We are delighted to welcome Andrew to the Islands’ Partnership Board of Directors,” says Robert Francis, Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly and Islands’ Partnership Vice Chair. “Indeed we are honoured that so soon after stepping down as Chairman of Natural England, he has decided to impart to us here on Scilly his immense knowledge and considerable experience in business and the natural environment. I am sure his strong, impartial leadership will be invaluable in enabling us to deliver on the ambitions set out in our Destination Management Plan and to secure a strong and sustainable economic future for the islands.

Mark Duddridge, Chair of the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership adds: “This is fantastic news for the Islands’ Partnership and for Scilly at what is an important time for the region as we collectively set out a new Local Industrial Strategy to government. I look forward to working with Andrew and the Islands’ Partnership over the next three years to help support business and grow the islands’ economy.”