InvestSK appoints tourism expert to drive sector recovery

InvestSK, South Kesteven’s economic growth and regeneration company, has appointed Mary Powell as Interim Lead for Visitor Economy. Mary, who joins on secondment from Lincolnshire County Council, will provide the strategic framework to drive South Kesteven’s tourism sector recovery following the impact of Covid-19.

Leading InvestSK’s visitor economy team, Discover South Kesteven, Mary’s primary focus will be to set out a way forward to support the district’s tourism and hospitality sector to reopen and recover, while planning a refreshed marketing approach to encourage visitors back to the district for day trips, weekends and holidays.

Steve Bowyer, CEO of InvestSK, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Mary to the team. InvestSK has done some great work to drive the visitor economy in recent years and, through its ‘Discover South Kesteven’ brand, has set strong foundations to support the sector to recover from the impact of Covid-19. I know Mary will provide additional energy, knowledge and strategic guidance to make our long-term ambitions a reality.”

Cllr Rosemary Trollope-Bellew, South Kesteven District Council’s cabinet member for culture and visitor economy, said: “Having worked extensively in tourism across Lincolnshire, Mary brings a wealth of experience to South Kesteven and we’re thrilled to have her on board.

“Tourism is a major sector in the county, and incredibly important to South Kesteven’s own economy, so we need a focused approach to drive its recovery. Our first priority is to support local businesses and attractions to reopen safely, but then we need to look to the future, and Mary’s input will be vital for that.”

Speaking of her appointment, Mary said: “South Kesteven has such an extensive and unique proposition – historic market towns, beautiful countryside, rich heritage and an active arts and culture scene. Combined with such fantastic connectivity, it’s the perfect place to explore and holiday – as a resident or a visitor. I’m excited to be joining InvestSK to play my part in promoting the district.

“As well as supporting businesses through recovery, we’ve also got an eye on the exciting opportunities for growing South Kesteven’s visitor economy, like securing a Government tourism sector deal for Lincolnshire which will deliver vast benefits to South Kesteven through greater collaboration and essential funding.”

Originally training as an urban planner, Mary starting her tourism career at Derbyshire Dales District Council before joining Lincolnshire County Council as Tourism Manager in 1991. She has secured tens of millions of pounds in external funding for initiatives to promote the county and its visitor attractions and successfully managed the £22 million restoration of Lincoln Castle over a ten year period.

In 2006, Mary was awarded an MBE for services to tourism.