Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, which runs the 10,000 acre Lee Valley Regional Park that follows the River Lee from Ware in Hertfordshire to East India Dock Basin by the Thames, has appointed a new Chairman.
Paul Osborn will lead the organisation which owns three London 2012 venues – Lee Valley VeloPark and Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, and Lee Valley White Water Centre in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire – as well as a string of award winning sports and leisure visitor destinations, nature reserves, gardens, heritage sites and riverside trails.
Paul, a London Borough of Harrow councillor, has been Vice-Chairman of the Authority since July 2009. He said:
It’s an enormous honour to be appointed Chairman of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority. Since its creation back in the 1960s, we have transformed thousands of acres of neglected land and industrial sites into a hugely popular visitor destination with six million visits a year.
The Authority is playing a major role delivering a legacy from the London 2012 Games and is entering an exciting new chapter as we hand over the day-to-day operations of 14 of our venues to Vibrant Partnerships.
Paul takes over from Derrick Ashley, who will now serve as Vice-Chairman. Derrick has been a Member of the Authority since January 2006 and is a Hertfordshire County Council councillor. Paul is the first Chairman from a London borough since 2002.
Paul thanked Derrick for the contribution he has made to the Authority during his six years as Chairman and said:
Derrick has steered the organisation through key moments, in particular, ensuring legacy was at the heart of the London 2012 venues that the Authority owns – Lee Valley White Water Centre, Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre and Lee Valley VeloPark. These are now all open to the public and are hugely popular with visitors, blending sessions for first timers, major events and regular use by elite athletes.
Derrick was also heavily involved in the restoration of Myddelton House Gardens in Enfield, through a two year Heritage Lottery Fund project and now has a very popular Visitor Centre and museum.
Paul was born and went to school in the London Borough of Ealing and studied Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton. He worked for a number of years in the IT sector in the City of London.
Paul is the Vice Chairman of Conservative Way Forward and the Director of Strategy for the Young Britons’ Foundation. He also serves as a school governor for two schools in Harrow.