Wychavon and Malvern District Councils’ Managing Director and Chief Executive Jack Hegarty has taken the helm of the innovative charity Avon Navigation Trust (ANT).

Jack has become Chairman of the Board of Trustees and former General Manager Clive Matthews has been promoted into the role of Chief Executive, as the Wyre Piddle-based Trust powers up for the next thrust forward.

“We are delighted to welcome Jack on board. His wide-ranging experience in Local Government, partnership working, the Droitwich Canals project and the Canal & River Trust (CRT) will be invaluable to us as we continue to evolve to ensure the Avon becomes even more of a magnet for boaters, local people and businesses,” says Clive.

“We are immensely grateful to former Chairman John Tomsett, after his three and a half year term in the lead role. 

“John has done such a lot of powerful good for the Trust, particularly for its professional image and public engagement.”

ANT has made a big splash in the last decade, making the Avon one of the most expertly managed and well-maintained rivers in the country. 

Innovations include the unique webcam network River Watch, to inform and protect boaters, and numerous partnership projects.

“Through Clive’s leadership the Trust has done a grand job building the Avon’s reputation. I am looking forward to working with Clive and helping the team move onwards and upwards,” says Jack, who lives in Harvington, near Evesham.

As well as his day job Jack, who has 31 years local government experience, is also Chairman of a number of organisations. They include Worcestershire Safer Communities Board, South Worcestershire Community Safety Partnership, The Malvern Hills Science Park and, until recently, CRT’s South Wales and Severn Waterways Partnership. But he couldn’t resist the chance to lead ANT too.

“I enjoy new challenges and these are exciting times for ANT,” he explains.

“There is a great potential to grow the Avon’s undoubted importance to our area, our local economy and the world of UK Waterways.”