Geraldine Kay has been appointed as the new Chair of Byker Community Trust.

Geraldine will take up her role in September and replaces Jim Coulter who has been Chair of BCT since April 2013. She became an Independent Board member of BCT in June 2018 and is also a member of the Governance & Remuneration Committee.

Geraldine has experience of other non-executive roles and has sat on various Boards and committees across the region. In addition to her duties at BCT, she is currently a non-executive director of the charity Changing Lives.

Geraldine has significant experience of executive and non-executive roles in the housing sector. Her housing career spans over 25 years and she was previously Deputy Chief Executive of Tees Valley Housing Group and became Chief Executive of Derwentside Homes in 2006, until her retirement in 2017.

Commenting on her appointment, Geraldine, said: “This is a really exciting role for me and comes at a time when the Board of Management is re-focussing its strategy and vision for Byker. Our ambition is to make ‘Byker an estate of choice’ and we will be consulting widely with our tenants to find out what their priorities are towards achieving that objective.

“We are currently consulting with tenants as part of a £4m environmental improvement project, which is the culmination of the stock transfer promises made to tenants at the time of the stock transfer and forms part of our major investment programme, which we have already committed over £33m since BCT was established in July 2012.

“My aim is to provide good leadership and governance to the Board, to work collaboratively with the Chief Executive to influence a continued positive performance and work culture in the organisation and to carry on the exceptional work that BCT has achieved to date, including being voted ‘Greatest Neighbourhood’ in the UK and Ireland in 2018. I would personally like to thank Jim for his leadership of the organisation over the last six years and the legacy that he is leaving.”

Jill Haley, Chief Executive of BCT, said: “I would like to offer a very warm welcome to Geraldine who was appointed by the Board in February to take up the role of Chair of BCT when Jim Coulter retires. Geraldine brings a wealth of knowledge and experience and will support the Board’s strategic focus and drive to deliver the BCT’s future vision.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to say a massive thank you to Jim Coulter who has been with BCT since before its formation and has played an instrumental part in leading and managing the Boards business activities, growth and development.

“He has a genuine commitment and passion for Byker and the people who live here. During the last six years in his role as Chair, he has been a fantastic advocate for BCT, role model and mentor for the Board, as well as for me personally. I will be forever grateful for his valued contribution, advice and friendship. I know that he also has a strong affinity with many residents on the Estate, in particular, those who have been directly involved with BCT’s activities on the Board and in the various resident forums.”