James Berresford

James Berresford

James was educated at Huddersfield Polytechnic where he gained an Honours degree in Humanities, majoring in drama, and at the City of London University. He has an Honorary Doctorate in Business from Chester University and is a lifetime Honorand of Derby University.

James’ early career started in arts administration and theatre management before moving to countryside recreation. He went on to become Nottinghamshire’s first ever Tourism Officer and subsequently became the County’s Assistant Director of Leisure, responsible for the management of various tourist attractions including Sherwood Forest and Rufford Abbey.

He was appointed to the Heart of England Tourist Board as Regional Director in the East Midlands before joining the Northwest Regional Development Agency as Director with oversight for Tourism and Culture where he was instrumental in Liverpool’s successful Capital of Culture programme.

In 2009 James became the Chief Executive of Visit England, the official tourism body for England. During his tenure he was responsible for formulating the first ever national tourism strategy for England and initiated a wide range of high-profile public/private sector initiatives. Since moving on from Visit England James has taken up a number of non-executive roles within the sector as well as advising on a variety of tourism related projects. He is Chairman of the Derbyshire Culture, Heritage and Tourism Board, a Director of the Derbyshire leisure firm, Pinelog Ltd, a Trustee of SS Great Britain and is Deputy Chair of the Peak District National Park Authority.

James is married with one son. He lives in the Peak District where he likes to make the most of passion for the countryside as well as taking time to follow the exploits of his boyhood team Chesterfield Football Club, where he is a season ticket holder.