PM picks park chief as national trustee

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A Peak Park chief has been chosen by the Prime Minister to join a handful of trustees on a national funding board.

Jim Dixon, chief executive of the Peak District National Park Authority, has been appointed by David Cameron as a trustee of the National Heritage Memorial Fund/National Heritage Lottery Fund board.

Jim will be part of a 15–strong board which runs both funds. Its role is to steer the policy and direction of the two funds and take decisions on larger grant applications.

He said: “I’m honoured to have been appointed to the national board of these funds, which have touched the lives of many people and helped countless communities.

“I look forward to having a direct influence over future decisions on grants to protect landscapes, historic places and important works of art.”

He will fit in his new role alongside his duties as national park chief executive.

Dame Jenny Abramsky, chairman of the board, said: “We’re delighted to be welcoming Jim onto the board.

“ We continue to face tough times in the heritage sector and over the next few years we are anticipating continued high levels of demand for our funds, which means stiff competition and difficult decisions.

“Jim will bring a wealth of expertise on the natural heritage plus fresh insight, and will work alongside our existing trustees to help meet these challenges.”

The National Heritage Memorial Fund has a current annual budget of £4million to £5million.

To date, the Heritage Lottery Fund has awarded £5.9billion to 36,000 heritage projects across the UK. Its grant budget for 2013/14 is £375m.

Peak District National Park Authority chair Tony Favell said: “This is a great opportunity for Jim to play a national role in an organisation which is important to the future of the British countryside and heritage.

“Jim will take up this role later in 2014 allowing us plenty time to organise his work to allow him to play his new role to full effect.”

Jim is a biologist by training and has worked in conservation and policy for the RSPB, the former English Nature, and Defra.

He was appointed chief executive of the Peak District National Park in 2003.

He is lead officer for National Parks UK and a member of the World Commission on Protected Areas.

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