A Lake District business leader has been recognised with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2022 for his services to tourism and the Cumbrian economy.
Since 2004, Nigel Wilkinson has been the Managing Director of Windermere Lake Cruises Ltd, one of the top paid for visitor attractions in the country with over 1.6 million passenger journeys annually.
He’s also played a pivotal role in the development of Cumbria’s wider visitor economy in his role as Cumbria LEP (CLEP) Board member, in particular in chairing CLEP’s Visitor Economy Sector Panel.
He’s also usedhis accountancy professional skills to good effect in his role as the Chair of CLEP’s Finance, Audit and Resources Committee.
A highly-regarded business leader, Nigel also sits on the national Tourism Industry Council and has been an essential voice for the region in both championing sustainable economic development, as well as highlighting the recent recovery challenges faced by tourism businesses.
Lord Inglewood, Chair of the Cumbria LEP, said: “This award is very well-deserved and recognises the commitment that Nigel has made to Cumbria.
“Not only has he led the growth of Windermere Lake Cruises, making it one of the nation’s top paid-for attractions, he has also shown unwavering dedication to Cumbria’s wider visitor economy.
“In his role on the LEP board and other organisations, he’s given up his time, expertise and knowledge to strengthen the Lake District’sreputation as an international tourism destination.
“He has done this with real commitment, always looking to support businesses in his sector.
“It has been a challenging and uncertain few years for the visitor economy and throughout this time Nigel has absolutely championed the sector ensuring that its needs, challenges and opportunities are communicated and understood at national level.
“A timely and very well deserved honour.”
A graduate engineer and Chartered Accountant, Nigel is also a director of Winander Group Holdings Limited, Lakeland Motor Museum Limited, Rushbond plc and South Cumbria Rivers Trust.
He is a past chair of the Lake District National Park Partnership’s Business Task Force and also served as a director of Cumbria Tourism for almost a decade before retiring in 2017.