Jackie Arnold has been named the first ever female chair of the Cumberland Building Society's board.

Set to assume responsibilities following the society's annual general meeting in July, this marks the next chapter in Ms Arnold 's career, which has included serving as the head of strategy at BAE Systems.

Ms Arnold has previously held the post of vice chair of Cumbria's Local Enterprise Partnership, presiding over the investment panel responsible for financing and delivering £200 million worth of projects aimed at the development of the region.

Ms Arnold said: "As a passionate advocate for Cumbria, I’m delighted to have the opportunity to step into the role of chair of the Cumberland board.

"I’ve enjoyed my time to date as a non-executive director and I’m really looking forward to this next chapter.

"I’ll be proud to work alongside the talented people at the Cumberland, and on its board, to lead the society through the coming years."

With more than four decades of experience accrued in the fields of business and financial management, Ms Arnold provides expertise as a qualified accountant.

She is also an honorary fellow of the University of Cumbria.

Since 2018, she has been a non-executive director at Cumberland and has chaired the people, remuneration, and culture committee since 2019.

Her predecessor, John Hooper, will relinquish his role as chair following five years in the role and almost nine years as a non-executive director.

Reflecting on his time at the society, Mr Hooper said: "It has been an honour and a privilege to steward an organisation with such a strong purpose and rich history through a period when it has set course to a sustainable future, enabling it to continue to be a key provider of financial services to the people of Cumbria, southern Scotland and surrounding areas."

Another announcement came in the form of Eric Gunn’s retirement from his numerous roles at the Cumberland, including non-executive director, chair of the board risk committee, and senior independent director.

Cameron Marr will take over from Mr Gunn to become a non-executive director and chair of the board risk committee.

Mr Marr said The Cumberland’s ‘kinder banking’ approach and culture were key reasons for his decision to join.

Des Moore, CEO of The Cumberland expressed his gratitude to those leaving and his optimism for the future.

He said: "We are deeply thankful to John and Eric for their extraordinary service and dedication to The Cumberland.

"Their leadership has been pivotal in shaping our company’s direction and success.

"We would also like to warmly welcome Jackie and Cameron to their positions and look forward to their contributions in driving the company forward."