The Canal & River Trust has appointed Henriette Breukelaar as director for the West Midlands region from 1 April 2024.
Henriette’s diverse career encompasses the role of CEO at Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP. Prior to that, she spent four years as an executive director at ExtraCare Charitable Trust, four years as director at High Value Manufacturing Catapult, and ten years as partnerships director with the regional development agency.
“I’m delighted to welcome Henriette to the Trust,” said Julie Sharman, Trust chief operating officer.
“She will be an inspiring leader for the West Midlands, whose former industrial canals are uniquely placed to support the recovery of wildlife and bring nature into cities, improve community wellbeing, tackle health inequalities, and support jobs and the regional economy.
“There are challenges ahead to keep our 250-year-old waterways safe and available to all, as more frequent extreme weather events take a toll alongside significant funding challenges. Henriette’s experience will be invaluable in that journey.”
And she thanked Adnan Saif for his enthusiasm and commitment as regional director.
Henriette, who originates from the Netherlands but has spent much of her working life in the West Midlands, added: “I am passionate about the region, the people, its culture and heritage.
“Canals are central to life in the West Midlands and an adequately funded and well looked after canal network is so important for the health and wellbeing of this special place.”