We would like to extend our congratulations to board member, Jane Lady Gibson, who was awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to volunteering, heritage and the arts.
As well as being an active member of our board, Jane serves on the Board of Spirit of 2012, the London 2012 legacy charity founded by the National Lottery Community Fund, and is Chair of the Hadrian’s Wall Partnership Board.
With her fundamental belief in the power of culture and heritage to transform people and places, Jane helps develop structures that give communities and individuals a stronger voice in regional and national decision making.
Jane’s impact and influence across the North East and Yorkshire and Humberside the region where she was born, studied, and now lives, has been considerable. She is a passionate champion for a stronger Northern economy, and has an unshakeable commitment to the people her work supports, volunteering her time and support generously.
Jane established Joined Up North in the North East, specialising in strategic development, regeneration and place-based marketing though culture, heritage and tourism projects. There she worked on the creation of the Northumberland Cultural Strategy and Northumberland Tourism. She was founding chair of Make It York, working with the visitor economy to bring c.£1bn per annum to York’s tourism sector.
In 2012, Jane chaired the York Mystery Plays Advisory Board, giving over 1,000 people the opportunity to participate in a community cast and crew, and she was a champion for the life-changing Hull 2017 volunteers programme, enabling over 2,000 people to volunteer for their city in its moment in the spotlight as UK City of Culture. Following this, Jane was appointed chair of the Hull Culture & Place Strategic Advisory Group, ensuring that culture and volunteering remained a strategic priority, and continues to advocate for Hull Volunteers.
Jane, Lady Gibson OBE, said: “What a wonderful surprise, and what an honour to receive this accolade in this milestone Jubilee year of all years. Ten years since the London Games and in the middle of our Hadrian 1900 Festival, as we light our Jubilee Beacons along the Wall on Thursday night, I couldn’t be more delighted. Long before it was popular, levelling-up has been my reason for getting out there every morning, building partnerships and making sure that all communities are heard. The volunteers are the unsung heroes here, and it’s to them, all of them, wherever they’re making a difference, day in day, day out, that I dedicate this honour.”
James Farrar, Chief Operating Officer of the York & North Yorkshire LEP, said: “I am delighted for Jane and this honour is testament to the extraordinary contribution she has made through her exceptional career and extensive voluntary work. Jane has also made significant contribution to our understanding of visitor economy through her vast experience in this field. Jane is a passionate and dedicated contributor to our LEP board and has helped to shape a strong sense of identity for our region.”