Meet The KTA Team
Keswick Tourism Association employs a full-time Tourism Manager and a part-time Tourism Officer who are responsible for all of the day-to-day activities and represent the association and its members.
Vanessa Metcalfe, Tourism Manager
Vanessa joined Keswick Tourism Association in May 2016. A lifelong resident, she has a real love for the area. As a keen runner, she can be found at the local Keswick parkrun most weekends or out on the trails with friends.
Becky Nὁrth, Tourism Manager
Becky moved to the are four years ago. She loves running and climbing and spending as much time as possible out on the fells.
Keswick Tourism Association has up to 12 volunteer Directors.
Peter Walter - Chair
Having spent the last 30 years working in marketing, PR and communications down south, I moved to Braithwaite in 2020. My parents lived in Keswick for 25 years so it’s been a bit of a home coming. 15 years ago I set up a Communications Consultancy which I grew to the point of sale of few years ago. I am now lucky enough to have retired early and am enjoying volunteering for a number of charities and organisations. I have also been the Chair of a national charity (www.outdoorlads.com) and the Governor of a large Secondary School.
Liz Weightman - John Young Furnishings - Vice Chair
I have lived in Keswick since 1994, previously we had a smallholding in Dearham and I was a Financial Advisor in an estate agency in Carlisle. But with two young sons I changed career and started in the furniture trade, I've been the Manager of John Young Furnishings in town for 19 years which I love. Many people will also know me as the Honorary Secretary of Keswick Rugby Club, where I've been a volunteer for 23 years.
Spare time is spent playing with my little granddaughter, following my son Peter's rugby career, walking our two dogs, gardening and watching tv.
If you've ever driven into town from Penrith on a December night you might even have seen our Christmas lights!
Tel - 017687 74848
Mrs Anne Cornthwaite - Ashness Farm B&B
I am a tenant of the National Trust at Ashness Farm in Borrowdale. We moved here in 1989, we have operated a B&B business since 1990 and until 2004 a seasonal campsite. The farm and house needed a lot of TLC and I spent many hours doing repairs and decorating the house to how it is today. I have 6 children aged between 15 and 31 and the 3 still at home help run the farm with me. I decided to join the Board in 2014 after having been a member for many years. I was interested to see how the association works to promote Keswick and its members to the wider world. Although many businesses use online travel agencies to boost bookings they don't promote our town.
Tel - 017687 77361
Mrs Helen Ball - Stay in Borrowdale Self Catering
I have owned and managed three self-catering cottages in Borrowdale and Keswick for over 10 years. I bought my first cottage in the area I had regularly visited and loved since childhood, but from a letting perspective I was stepping completely into the unknown. It was a steep learning curve addressing the various issues associated with running holiday cottages whether they be concerning regulations, marketing, customer relations, or other practical issues. The KTA was a great source of support in terms of providing information and opportunities regarding legislation, events, business workshops and marketing. After a number of years combining the management of the cottages with a part-time teaching job, and living between Yorkshire and Borrowdale, I moved up to Keswick to focus running the business full time. As a KTA member I felt I wanted to extend the support received to other self-catering accommodation providers and take a turn on the Board of Directors. I hope I can assist the board with the continued valuable work the KTA carries out in supporting members, helping them to grow their businesses, and promoting Keswick as a diverse holiday destination enjoyed by so many visitors.
Tel - 07720 034494
Deborah Beament - Newlands Adventure Centre
I moved to Cumbria 30 years ago initially for a seasonal job, living and working around the Keswick area. Then as a qualified riding instructor, I worked full time first at Rookin House Farm and at The Calvert Trust riding centre before meeting and marrying Rik and having our son Jack. I then moved to Newlands Adventure Centre and Keswick Climbing Wall as Administrator and in 2013, along with Rik and Gayle and Iain Brooks, completed a management buyout of the business. I have spent the last 30 years working in the local tourism sector and feel passionately about promoting the wonderful town I have chosen to live, work and raise a family in. I have been a Director of the KTA for a number of years now, was on the Commercial Members Committee of Cumbria Tourism and sit on the committee that is working with Keswick Ministries to improve the relationship between them and Keswick businesses. As you can see, I believe in working hard to let the world know just what a fantastic place Keswick is.
Tel - 017687 72000
Jonathan Moore - Keswick Alhambra Cinema
I love the outdoors and particularly the mountains and moved to the area in 2020 looking for a new career. Not knowing quite what that might have been, I’ve happily ended up being half of the owner/management team that runs the Keswick’s Alhambra Cinema. I’m committed to creating a great experience for visitors to the cinema, to Keswick and to the Lake District, so that they can enjoy them all as much as I do.
Gary Lovatt - Laurel Bank Guest House
I spent 18 years in the Army spending a considerable amount of time in and around Keswick. I have been the owner and director of my own small businesses since 1994 – primarily in the financial sector as a Financial Adviser and now in the hospitality sector as a guesthouse owner in Keswick. As a small business owner and FSB volunteer I sit on a number of boards for the Lancashire and the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnerships, a board member for Keswick Tourism Association and also sit on the European Structural Investment Fund committee for Lancashire. This gives me a clear insight into the needs and challenges facing SMEs and is experience I regularly draw on for my work with KTA. A qualified rock climbing, caving and canoeing instructor, I have been on top of every mountain in England over 2000 feet. Married to Sue with two Labradors and 12 grandchildren, my spare time is equally full and varied. I now wish to use my knowledge and experience to help KTA and Keswick in general thrive in this competitive environment that we find ourselves in, making it not only a place to visit, but a place where we can all live together, working in harmony with each other and the landscape we all love.
Tel - 017687 73006
Jan Boniface - Croft House Cottages Self Catering
I relocated to Keswick in 1997 – and have operated our self catering business here ever since - not realising I would still be doing so over 20 years later! I have been a member of KTA for most of that time and a Director for over 3 years. I became a Director so that I could represent the self catering sector on the KTA board. I chair the website sub group and am also a member of the Membership and the Marketing sub groups. The KTA website, www.visitkeswick.com, is a great asset for members and for visitors. The majority of the KTA membership fee for accommodation providers is covered by the cost savings if they install the same Innstyle booking platform as on the KTA website on their own websites. The KTA website is continually enhanced to provide more information for visitors and encourage them to holiday here. Whilst Cumbria Tourism markets the whole of the Lake District it is KTA that promotes Keswick and the local area specifically - there is no equivalent member organisation for any other Lake District town. KTA can represent the membership at a number of key strategic forums across the Lake District and Cumbria – which would not be possible for individual members to do.
Tel - 017687 73693
Carol Rennie - Alhambra Cinema
I attended Keswick School as a boarder from Botswana in the 1980s, and then returned in 2017 with husband Alan and two school-age children to take over the century-old Keswick Alhambra Cinema, which my father has run for almost a quarter of its long history. We aim, in our tenure, to future-proof this much-loved local business as a community asset for Keswick and its visitors. Most of my career has been spent promoting UK-China links in research and higher education, so I look forward to supporting the efforts of the recently-established North Lakes China Forum, as well as providing the perspective of a small business operator in the town on the KTA board. It is such a privilege to be able to step out of our Braithwaite front door and head straight up the fells: I am loving introducing our sons to the joys of fell-walking, and slowly but surely acclimatising myself to the joys of dipping into the icy-cold lakes below them.
Tel - 017687 72195
Justin Farnan - Skiddaw Property Management Tel - 07960 071132
After 20+ years working in media in London, Birmingham and Edinburgh, I moved to Cumbria in 2010, settling here permanently in 2014. I then spent 6 years as a senior manager at the Calvert Trust responsible for driving resident numbers and fee income. During this time the centre saw (pre-COVID) 5 consecutive years of record fee income and consistent growth in visitor numbers and I also managed the delivery of the award winning 'Go Herdwick 2016' public art trail. After a short period running a holiday lettings company in the south of the county, in September my partners and I set up Skiddaw Property Management, a business focussing on supporting tourism accommodation in Keswick and the surrounding area. In 2018 I moved into the centre of the town, with my wife also working locally and both children attending Keswick School. I have also recently finished a 2 year stint as a Non-Exec Director of Cumbria Tourism.
Meg Singleton - Go Ape
I am a born and bred Cumbrian who attended school in Keswick and returned to work here after graduating from university a few years ago. I work as an outdoor instructor and love staying active and getting out into the hills. I am delighted to be involved with the KTA, as I believe the organisation is incredibly important in contributing and supporting the sustainable growth of the tourism industry in our community, as well as encouraging previous visitors to return to Keswick and the surrounding areas.