Cumbria Tourism has confirmed that Gill Haigh will become its new managing director.

She is the director of marketing and recruitment at the University of Cumbria and will take up her post in September.

Mrs Haigh will be the permanent replacement for Ian Stephens, who stood down this month.

In June, Tom Newbould was announced as Mr Stephens' successor but had to withdraw because of personal circumstances. Jim Walker was subsequently appointed as a temporary managing director.

Mrs Haigh has worked in marketing and communications for the last 25 years in both the private and public sector.

Her previous jobs include heading up destination marketing and tourism services for Lancaster City Council and four years as north west public relations manager for the National Farmers' Union. She started her career as a journalist.

She said: “I am extremely proud to have been appointed as managing director of Cumbria Tourism, representing a county and sector I have such a strong affinity with.

“Cumbria is a world class visitor destination, and with a second World Heritage site just confirmed for the county, we are entering an exciting new phase that will bring with it enormous benefits for the visitor economy.

“I very much look forward to bringing my experience, enthusiasm and drive to work with the team, the board, members and partners to ensure that together we are in the strongest position to build on and benefit from the great achievements already made and the many opportunities ahead.”

Mrs Haigh lives near Kirkby Lonsdale with her husband and two children. She will work out of Cumbria Tourism's office in Staveley, near Kendal.