James Cross steps down as CEO to join Environment Bank

This Autumn our CEO James Cross will be stepping down and moving on to become Chief Executive of the Environment Bank, an organisation he knows very well having joined their board as a director in 2019.

James said: “I feel that the time is right for me to move on from Urban Green Newcastle and I feel privileged to have been a part of something so ground-breaking, so visionary and so important. I remain of the view that the model we have brought to life in Newcastle will serve as the standard for urban greenspace management for future generations.

The immediate challenges that faced Urban Green Newcastle at our creation are behind us, and as promised we now have the community at the heart of everything we do through setting up and empowering a range of groups and forums, which includes our community representation group, our park action groups and our volunteering programmes. Furthermore, we have built a leadership and delivery team who are culturally aligned with the Urban Green Newcastle strategic vision and its values.

Being part of the Urban Green Newcastle team and the wider family of those who care so passionately about our green space has been one the most rewarding experiences of my professional career. It has simply been a joy to be part of a group of people who all want the very best for these wonderful spaces.”

Jim Beirne Chair of Urban Green Newcastle said: “We are sorry to see James leave us at Urban Green Newcastle, but he has been offered a fantastic role as CEO of the Environment Bank, another great organisation committed to improving biodiversity, who will be creating England’s first Habitat Bank later this year. Habitat Banks are huge areas of land that will see the creation of meadows, woodland and wetland to reverse the UK’s long term biodiversity losses.

James, with whom we’ve had a very positive working relationship, has taken Urban Green Newcastle from its very first steps: created a new organisation and team, established a new base for the organisation, developed the strategic plan, managed the parks through the pandemic year, and we recently opened the first of several Urban Green Newcastle projects with the new Urban Green Cafe in Exhibition park.

The Trustees thank James for the skill, commitment and strategic expertise he has brought to Urban Green Newcastle. He will leave the organisation in the autumn after nearly three years at the helm. The Trustees are now working on a recruitment process to find a new CEO for the charity that has achieved so much under James’ leadership.”