A new finance director has joined a successful South Cumbrian leisure business.

Stuart Sims has been appointed by the Holker Group, the parent company of a range of businesses including Holker Hall and Gardens, Cartmel Racecourse, Burlington Stone and the farming and property interests of the Holker Estate.

Mr Sims, who lives in Kirkby Lonsdale with his veterinary surgeon wife Catriona, has previously worked for businesses including Aviva, Fyffes, Premier Foods and Renold Plc.

He said: “My role will be to oversee the financial health of the portfolio so that the senior management team can continue to deliver fantastic services to the public and the wider business community."

The Holker Group is chaired by The Rt Hon Lucy Cavendish, of Holker Hall, alongside non-executive chair Heather Hancock, a former managing partner of Deloitte in the UK and Switzerland.

He added: “I’ve worked across a number of different businesses over the course of my career but there’s a unique feel here within the Holker Group.

“This is a long established set of businesses with a great deal of history and heritage behind them.

“Continuity is very important to ensure this legacy is protected for the future.

“The focus is on the medium to long term view which is really refreshing. It’s not something you tend to find within plcs.”

Allen Gibb, Holker Group chief executive, said: “This is an exciting development for the Holker Group.

"Stuart brings a wealth of experience and expertise to the table from a diverse range of companies which will add strength to our senior team."