Sustrans expands senior management team, including charity’s first Director of Urbanism

Daisy Narayanan, John Lauder, Grace Martin

From left to right: Daisy Narayanan, John Lauder and Grace Martin

Ashley Hunter

Ashley Hunter will take over the role as Director Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

30 May 2019

Walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, has made a number of senior appointments UK-wide and in Scotland and Northern Ireland to reflect the charity’s ongoing commitment to people-centred places, and expansion of operations in these locations.

John Lauder, who has been Sustrans Scotland’s Director since 2005, will now take the role of Deputy Chief Executive of Sustrans, as well as National Director Scotland, Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.  He has overseen an expansion in Sustrans Scotland’s operations over his 14 year period with the charity. In addition, John has been at the helm throughout a period of intense change in the role, profile and policy position of walking, cycling and wheeling in Scotland, not least a doubling of the Scottish Government’s budget for active travel to £80M a year in 2017 and the appointment of an Active Nation Commissioner in 2018.

After a year acting as Deputy Director, Grace Martin will move to a new role of Director, Scotland.  She joined Sustrans Scotland from previous senior leadership roles in Scottish charities, most recently as Director of the Scottish Seabird Centre.

Following a year’s secondment to City of Edinburgh Council leading the much-admired City Centre Transformation project, Daisy Narayanan has been appointed as Sustrans’ first ever Director of Urbanism. She will continue her secondment to Edinburgh until September, but in the meantime, she will continue to build Sustrans thinking and influence in Urban Design and placemaking. She will both support the delivery of high quality design through the charity’s funded programmes, and support development of the charity’s strategic priorities in defining what liveable towns and cities for everyone means.

Ashley Hunter joins as Sustrans Director, Northern Ireland & RoI. Ashley will be accountable to the Deputy Chief Executive on all operational programmes and developments. John Lauder will be working with Ashley and the team in Northern Ireland to develop Sustrans Northern Ireland’s work strategically, as well as reviewing and refreshing programmes and continue to deliver and evidence impact.

All appointees, Director, Scotland, Grace Martin and Director, Northern Ireland, Ashley Hunter and Director of Urbanism, Daisy Narayanan will report to John Lauder.

Commenting on the appointments, John Lauder said: “I am delighted with all the changes taking shape in Sustrans throughout our charity, not least the review of the National Cycle Network, which produced our Paths for Everyone commitment to improving the network and our continued commitment to make walking, cycling and wheeling easier for everyone. Grace Martin brings superb insight and experience to the role of Director, Scotland.

“The appointment of Daisy as Sustrans’ first Director of Urbanism is hugely significant as she brings a wealth of experience from her secondment to City of Edinburgh Council, where she has helped lead the City Centre Transformation project. Daisy will do much to help Sustrans shape our priority to help make cities and towns right across the UK high quality, people-centred places. In addition, the appointment of Ashley Hunter following the retirement of Gordon Clarke provides a new stimulus for our work throughout the island of Ireland.”

Commenting on her appointment, Daisy Narayanan said: “In the appointment of a Director of Urbanism, Sustrans has made a bold statement of intent – with a clear commitment to people-centred place making at the heart of what we do.  I’m delighted and honoured to take up this appointment and look forward to both learning, and contributing to the charity’s thinking.”

Grace Martin, Director, Scotland said: “In the field of active travel and place making, the team Sustrans Scotland has an unrivalled range of skills, expertise and talent. I am delighted to be leading this team.  We are also fortunate to have a committed and engaged funder in Transport Scotland, and to work with such a range of partners in local authorities, community trusts, NHS estates and others. I look forward to building on the excellent work already done by John and the team.” 

Ashley Hunter, Director Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland said: “I’m thrilled to take up the position of Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland Director for Sustrans,”

“My predecessor Gordon Clarke successfully developed behaviour change programmes in schools, workplaces and communities to reduce car dependency and encourage walking and cycling. There is still much to do on the whole island of Ireland, especially to improve infrastructure for active travel, but I look forward to the challenge.”

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