A TRUST set up to buy and manage Hartlebury Castle for public benefit has appointed a new chairman as part of a restructuring.

The trustees of Hartlebury Castle Preservation Trust have recruited three new trustees and Alison Brimelow, recently retired president of the European Patent Office, has joined the board and will take on the role of chairman.

She will lead the further development of the business strategy and work to secure the funds to purchase the property, while the outgoing chairman, Sue Beeson, will concentrate on leading the team working on volunteer management and fund-raising events for operational funds.

The other newly recruited trustees will bring support for the activities needed to raise funds, manage the trust’s growing membership, develop its partnership with schools and colleges and keep it in the public eye.

In a statement released by the trust, it said: “The past two years has seen the trust grow from an interesting idea, through a small localised group, towards being a substantial organisation, fit to compete on the open market for the purchase of Hartlebury Castle.

“The newly strengthened board is the next step in the trust’s long-term strategy, enabling it to move up a gear and aim at, not just the acquisition of the castle, but long-term sustainability, with genuine public participation and benefit.”

The statement added: “Alison Brimelow brings vital experience and skills to the project and will be a significant asset to the board.

“Within a couple of weeks of her retirement from an eminent and demanding job she agreed to join the other trustees in this daunting but exciting task.”

Mrs Beeson, speaking for the board, said: “This is a very exciting stage of our development. We are tremendously fortunate that Alison has chosen to work with us.

“Without hesitation she has taken up the challenge and already proved herself to be committed to working in close partnership with the other board members and the many supporters of the trust.

“I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with her and am confident that she is the right person to lead us forward.”

The trust is actively recruiting volunteers to assist with activities ranging from IT to gardening.

For more information, visit harlteburycastletrust.org, email sue.beeson@hartleburycastletrust.org or call Mrs Beeson on 07890 171453.