A new leader has been appointed to the tourism body for south Warwickshire.
Darren Tosh will take on the new role of Operations & Marketing Director at Shakespeare’s England from Thursday, June 1st as the organisation’s longstanding Chief Executive, Helen Peters steps into a new part-time consultancy role.
Darren – who joined Shakespeare’s England in March 2022 as Digital Marketing Manager – will take over the day-to-day leadership of the organisation.
The Leamingtonian takes on the leadership role with more than 17 years of marketing experience, which included time spent with Merlin Entertainments where he helped launch Warwick Castle’s Knight’s Village and worked on the creation of the Castle’s new website.
Darren, who was educated at Myton School and Warwickshire Colleague Group, said: “I am really excited about the opportunity to lead Shakespeare’s England at a time when the UK tourism sector is continuing to bounce back strongly from the pandemic.
“Pre-pandemic, South Warwickshire attracted more than 10 million people every year, with an economic impact in excess of £805 million – underlining the fantastic variety of attractions we have in this region.
“One of my key priorities will be to continue the brilliant work that has been done under Helen’s stewardship, surpassing the previous successes and not only helping to promote the area to the wider world, but also to ensure that our members’ voices are heard by decision makers too.”
Helen is stepping down from her role as Chief Executive after more than seven years at the helm, and a career in travel and tourism spanning 40 years.
She added: “The last seven years has seen Shakespeare’s England double its membership numbers – despite the challenges of Covid where we adapted overnight so we could continue supporting our members with tourism forums, webinars and Q&As with local MPs.
“The way our team reacted to the unpredictability of Covid is what I am most proud of, and is a key reason why our membership stayed true, and is continuing to expand.
“I’m also proud to have overseen the expansion of our Board to welcome Board members from the transportation and education sectors, whilst introducing two new marketing products, Stay, Play, Explore – Warwickshire and The Explorer Pass to highlight great value days out in our region.
“I would also like to thank the Shakespeare’s England Board for all of their support during my time as Chief Executive – it has allowed me to develop many skills, build fantastic relationships and gain a greater understanding of the working relationships between the public and private sectors.
“The organisation is in fantastic hands with Darren as it continues its journey to becoming an accredited Local Visitor Economic Partnership, which will see more collaborative working to attract even more visitors to the region.”
Tara Robinson, The Eden Hotel Collection’s Sales and Marketing Director and Chair of Shakespeare’s England, commented: “Helen has played an influential role in helping to put our region on the map both with consumers and businesses, and on behalf of the Shakespeare’s England Board, I thank her for her exceptional service as Chief Executive.
“Myself and the Board are looking forward to working with Darren in his new role, and wish him the very best in his new position.”