All change for tourism board
Telford's tourism organisation has paid tribute to one of its best-known supporters who has stepped down from the board after almost two decades of service.
Katie Foster has been the chairman of the Telford Tourism Partnership Board for over 17 years, and has been involved in tourism in the Telford and Wrekin area since the early 1980s.
She has now decided to step down as chairman of the organisation and will be replaced by Tom Gray, chief executive of the Southwater Event Group - owners of The International Centre, Telford.
"I have chaired the various forms of the tourism partnership since the mid-1990s, and it has been a great pleasure working with everyone," said Katie, who will continue as chairman of the wider Shropshire & Telford Tourism Strategy Board.
"It is wonderful to see the Ironbridge Gorge Museum going from strength to strength, to see the growth of many successful tourism businesses in the area, and to see the emergence of the The International Centre as one of the biggest conference venues in the UK and now the centrepiece of the regenerated town centre.
"It is with some sadness I have decided to 'retire' from the chairman's role and to hand over to Tom, who I know will do a fabulous job, and I'm sure the membership will give him every support."
Telford Tourism Partnership aims to attract business and leisure visitors to the town, encourages inward investment and is one of the key supporters of the plans to create a dynamic night-time economy with the £250 million Southwater development.
Tom said: "We're very grateful to Katie for all her hard work during the two decades of service she's given to tourism in the Telford and Wrekin area.
"We wish her every success in the future, and we'll be working extremely hard to ensure that the Board and members of the Partnership continue to develop effective and creative strategies that will boost the local economy even further."
Members of the Board are now planning a series of workshops to discuss how tourism in the area will move forward in the future, and to shape a strategic plan to bring in real growth in the sector. The Telford Tourism Partnership Board is made up of key tourism leaders in each sector of the industry representing restaurants, attractions, hotels, venues, transport, retail, and outdoor and leisure companies.