Bluestone National Park Resort, the five star holiday resort in Wales, has recruited two high-profile non-executive directors comprising a former Trinity Mirror executive who joins the business as chair and a former senior executive with Microsoft.
Blanche Sainsbury is a former senior executive with Trinity Mirror who also worked at newspaper groups Northcliffe and Local World before being appointed commercial director of Local World in November 2013. She continued to hold the same role for Trinity Mirror, following the takeover of Local Word in 2015.
Sainsbury will replace Andrew Probert, the former finance director of insurer Admiral, as chair. Probert will continue in the position of non-executive director.
Nick Barley’s executive career has spanned 35 years and included CEO, CMO and COO positions at Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett Packard and Computer Associates. He is also the founder of consulting organisation, outcomes, non-executive chairman of eCommerce specialist Netalogue and he holds non-executive director positions at Coachwise and Physical Activity.
Bluestone, which already employs 700 staff, has strengthened its board of directors to help drive a period of growth. It sought directors with specialist experience able to guide it and offer insights on strategic development.
The new recruits will join an existing board comprising: chief executive William McNamara; commercial and operations director Pamela McNamara; finance director Neil Evans; and director of HR Debbie Rainbow.
William McNamara, chief executive of Bluestone, said: “We are delighted to announce the appointment of two non-executive directors to the Bluestone board of directors. Both Blanche and Nick join the business with a depth of experience which we look forward to them applying to Bluestone in order to support our ongoing business development.
“I would like to thank Andrew for his support and input during the last four years as chairman and look forward to working with both Nick and Blanche in the exciting years ahead. Staff will have an opportunity to meet Blanche and Nick over the course of the next few weeks and we are sure they will join us in welcoming them into the business and look forward to working with them both.”
Andrew Probert added: “I’m very pleased to welcome Blanche and Nick as the new non-executive directors of the company, and to be handing over the chairmanship of the board to Blanche. Both, I am sure, will bring a fresh impetus to the next stage of Bluestone’s development with their complimentary skills and their real enthusiasm for the business. My time as chairman has seen the park flourish, with the completion of the lodge building programme and visitor numbers rising to 150,000 per year, all through the hard and dedicated work of the executive management and staff. This has been achieved while establishing a stable and profitable financial base, which will enable even greater things to come.”
Jason Llewellyn, director of Corporate Banking at Barclays, said: “We welcome the appointment of Blanche and Nick to the team. By really understanding the business and the industry sector, Barclays is delighted to be able to continue to support Bluestone. Over the past three years Bluestone has made great progress, investing in additional accommodation in the Park and demonstrating a strong track record of cash generation and profitability.
“We are delighted to continue to play a role in helping the management team realise their ambitions and look forward to the next phase of the business’s development.”