Great Inns of Britain chairman and co-founder Sir Thomas Ingilby has stepped down after 17 years in the position.
Simon Heaton, owner of Great Inns' member Shibden Mill Inn, near Halifax, West Yorkshire, has been appointed as his successor, supported by John Tullett, general manager of the Michelin-starred Yorke Arms, near Patley Bridge, North Yorkshire, as the vice-chairman.
Sir Thomas said: "It has been a privilege and a pleasure to chair the consortium for the past 17 years, but I was in danger of becoming as ancient and venerable as some of our wonderful Great Inns. In Simon Heaton the consortium has the ideal successor, a leader whose energy, wisdom and inspiration will carry us forward and further enhance the benefits that the consortium brings to our members.'
Heaton added: "It's a great honour to be taking over from Sir Thomas at the helm of Great Inns of Britain - a collection of the finest inns in the country, embracing history, great food, drink, service and attention to detail. I look forward to developing Great of Inns of Britain here in the UK and working to extend its reach further afield."
The group initially launched with eight members, and now numbers 17 properties including the Pheasant in Bassenthwaite, Cumbria; the Bell Inn, Horndon-on-the-Hill, Essex; and the Boar's Head at Ripley, North Yorkshire.
Sir Thomas is pictured here on the left, with Heaton and Tullett.