RED Funnel boss Kevin George has been appointed chair of trustees at UKSA.

Mr George — current chair and previous chief executive of the Red Funnel group, and business director of the Solent Local Enterprise Partnership — will take up the role at the Isle of Wight youth sailing charity as current chair William Garnett’s three-year appointment comes to an end.

A keen sailor himself, Mr George said: “I have long been a supporter of UKSA for the amazing work it does in helping people achieve changes in their lives through sailing and water sports.

"It is therefore a pleasure and honour to become the chair of trustees.

"A lot has been achieved in recent years and I look forward to helping UKSA move to the next exciting stage in its development.”

Dawn Haig-Thomas, vice chair, added: “On behalf of all of the trustees, I would like to thank William for his support and commitment to UKSA in his role as chair.”

UKSA chief executive Ben Willows said: “Following the success of the last three years, we have a clear focus for UKSA’s future.

"Some 10,000 young people and children train with us annually and our vision through developing our site and capacity will enable an additional 3,000 young people to come to UKSA each year.

"By creating more funding opportunities, we will enable children and young people who wouldn’t otherwise have the opportunity, the chance to experience the transformational power of water-based experiences and education we can offer.

"Kevin’s commercial experience and knowledge of the maritime sector is an excellent addition to UKSA, and I am delighted that he will be supporting us over the next three years.”

Mr Garnett, who will now become a UKSA ambassador, said: "I and all the trustees are delighted that Kevin has agreed to be my successor. He will be a huge asset. I have very much enjoyed being a trustee and then chair of UKSA.

"In that time the board and the new management team have transformed UKSA into a buzzing, financially sustainable charity.

"We have strengthened and broadened the trustee body and our relations with funders including Children in Need, RYS Foundation, Sea Farers UK and Trinity House.

"We have increased the number of young people on all of our programmes, both from and off the Island, and have raised our profile nationally.

"We have invested in our assets including the purchase of four new Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 449s yachts, leased and enhanced the Cowes Youth Club building both for the benefit of our students and the Cowes community, increased our bursaries for young people and finally obtained planning permission for our new development and raised over £1m towards it from our new and broadening group of supporters."

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