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Urban Green Newcastle announces Carol Pyrah as new Chief Executive

Carol Pyrah, incoming CEO, Urban Green Newcastle

Today we are thrilled to announce Carol Pyrah, Executive Director of Historic Coventry Trust, as our new Chief Executive.

Carol brings a wealth of experience in the charity, heritage and conservation sectors having held senior positions at both English Heritage and Historic England.

Her new role at Urban Green Newcastle marks a return to the North East for Carol, who spent more than 15 years working in the region before moving to the West Midlands to head up Historic Coventry Trust.

Jim Beirne MBE, Chair of Trustees said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Carol Pyrah as our new Chief Executive. Carol will be familiar to some as she spent a considerable time in the North East working as a senior figure within Historic England and English Heritage. 

“She is currently the Executive Director of an entrepreneurial heritage development trust, Historic Coventry Trust, which has restored a new visitor attraction in the city, and created a 70-acre Heritage Park that includes two miles of the River Sherbourne Valley, as well as areas of woodland, and former allotments.

“Carol is driven by a love of place; landscapes and buildings alike; and the Trustees and staff of Urban Green Newcastle are excited to be working with her.”

Carol replaces former Chief Executive James Cross, who helped form the charity and led us through the coronavirus pandemic.

Carol Pyrah, incoming Chief Executive of Urban Green Newcastle, said: “I am delighted to be joining Urban Green Newcastle at this exciting stage in its development and to be returning to the North East.

“If the pandemic taught us anything, it is the value of our local green spaces to the health and wellbeing of local communities. I am looking forward to leading the work to ensure that Newcastle’s parks and allotments are healthy, safe, welcoming places to be, and havens for biodiversity.”

As Executive Director of Historic Coventry Trust – a charity responsible for bringing new life to Coventry’s heritage – Carol led the organisation from a volunteer, trustee-only structure, to a sustainable, staffed organisation looking after a portfolio of 22 historic buildings and landscapes in the city, marking one of the largest public asset transfers to a heritage charity in the country. The Trust also managed a £25M capital programme for Coventry UK City of Culture 2021.

Prior to joining Historic Coventry Trust, Carol was Assistant Director of Planning at Historic England, working across the North West, North East, Yorkshire and West Midlands.

Carol Pyrah officially joins Urban Green Newcastle in July 2022.

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