A University has announced two new senior appointments.

Among the new appointments at the University of Cumbria are a new director, with a wealth of experience in mental health social work, and a COO who will lead the university’s major capital projects.

Dr Amanda Taylor-Beswick joined the university in June 2022 as a new director, responsible for developing a centre for digital transformation as part of the university’s 2030 strategy.

Her work included mental health social work and social work with deaf children and adults in Ireland, which led her to social work academia.

Amanda said she was excited about her new role, and added: “It is a privilege and a pleasure to be taking up the role of director of the centre for digital transformation t the University of Cumbria, particularly at a time of exciting innovations across the university’s portfolio.”

Mark Swindlehurst will join the university as chief operating officer (COO) from Monday, September 5.

He brings with him experience in higher education having previously worked at Lancaster University and on a wide range of projects for many universities in his role as director of both management consultancy and asset management companies.

He worked in a senior role in the BBC before taking up the role of director of estates at Lancaster University during a time of significant estates expansion.

Vice chancellor of the university, Julie Mennel, said: “I am delighted to welcome both Amanda and Mark to our senior leadership team.

“We were established in Cumbria for a reason, and this drives us to increase higher education participation in our county, to address higher-level skills and sector needs and most importantly to positively impact the lives and livelihoods of individuals across our communities.

“We are investing and are being invested in.

“With £63million capital funding from the Borderlands Growth Deal Initiative, Carlisle Town Deal and Barrow Town Deal to transform our university’s digital as well as physical presence, it’s an exciting time to join the university and I look forward to working with them both to deliver our ambitions.”

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