Deputy Lieutenants

The Lord-Lieutenant is required to appoint a number of Deputy Lieutenants to assist in his duties, the maximum number being determined by the population of the county.  The maximum number for Cumbria is 37. 

The role of the Deputy Lieutenants is varied and they act as the Lord-Lieutenant's "eyes and ears" within local communities and advise him/her more generally.

Deputy Lieutenants are appointed from across the county and have a wealth of experience in connection with voluntary organisations, the Armed Forces and all other aspects of life in Cumbria.

The Assistant Clerk to the Lieutenancy, to whom all initial enquiries are to be made, is:

Assistant Clerk to the Lieutenancy
Cumbria Lieutenancy Office
Parkhouse Building
Kingmoor Park

Telephone: 01228 221722        E-mail:


Julie Barton DL


Julie Barton DL

Julie Barton grew up in Ulverston and still lives nearby with her husband, Peter. They have two sons.

She is co-owner and HR Director at Forge Europa, an LED lighting company based in Ulverston and Dalton-in-Furness, and was instrumental in the company being awarded a Queen’s Award for Outstanding Innovation.

Julie served as High Sheriff of Cumbria in 2020-21.  She is a trustee of The Sir John Fisher Foundation, the Lady Maria Fisher Foundation and the Neuro Research Trust. She is a member of Cumbria Community Foundation’s Furness Grants Panel and a catechist in her home parish in Ulverston. She has previously served as a Governor of Furness College and as a Director of Love Barrow Families.

David Beeby DL

Photograph of David Beeby

David Beeby grew up on a mixed farm in Nottinghamshire where his family have farmed for over 160 years. The youngest of 5 he qualified as a Chartered Accountant. 

Following a number of moves into general management within the printing and packaging industries, David relocated to Cumbria in 1987 to run Smith Brothers (Whitehaven) Limited. He progressively moved into international/global roles within the group that owned the business. In 2004 he moved to run Innovia Group, headquartered in Wigton, where he was appointed as Chief Executive Officer.  During his time there, a major investment included the building of a brand new plant in Wigton to make the polymer banknote substrate to supply the Bank of England.

He retired from running the business in 2015, at which time there were manufacturing sites in Wigton, Belgium, USA, Australia and Mexico with customers in over 100 countries. The business was sold to CCL Industries in 2017 and David was delighted to be able to maintain his contact and interest in the business by becoming Global Vice Chairman of CCL Secure (bank note substrate supplier to central banks around the world).

In addition to his business career, David has been involved in a number of charitable roles within Cumbria including Chair of Princes Trust in Cumbria and member of the Management Committee at Calvert Trust. He is currently Chair of Trustees of Cumbria Community Foundation. He is also Chair of Cumbria CBI and involved in working with a variety of companies, most notably as Chairman of Aqua Power Technologies Limited (a Cumbrian company developing wave power).

David is a past High Sheriff of Cumbria (2021-22)

Ian Brown DL

Photograph of Ian Brown

Ian was born near Wigton, Cumbria, and was brought up on the family farm. Ian qualified as a chartered accountant and in 1982 was one of the founding partners of Cumbrian accountancy firm Dodd & Co where he provided accountancy and tax advice to many rural clients both locally and nationally.  Ian recently retired from his full-time role but continues to work with the firm on a consultancy basis.

Ian was part of the 1999 steering group that set up Cumbria Community Foundation, and was a Trustee  for two terms of nine years, finally retiring as Chairman in 2017. He also served for 30 years as Chairman of Silloth Nursing Home, a registered charity, and now remains as a Trustee.

Ian lives just north of Carlisle with his wife, Jeanette.

Commander (SCC) Philip Burns MBE DL RNR

Photograph of Commander (SCC) Philip Burns MBE RNR

Philip was appointed Deputy Lieutenant in April 2020 and is currently serving as the Senior Staff Officer for the Sea Cadets in the North West covering 46 units, having previously served as the District Officer for Lakeland District working with units across Cumbria. Philip has worked at BAE Submarines in various roles across a number of major defence programmes for over 40 years.

Eventually retiring as Head of Engineering Stage 2/3 on the Dreadnought Programme. In 2012 Philip was awarded an MBE for services to the Defence Industry in recognition of his work on the Queen Elizabeth Carrier Programme. Philip is also a member of the Cumbria & Lancashire Magistrate recruitment advisory committee and the North West region conduct advisory committee for the Ministry of Justice.

Philip has lived and worked in Barrow-in-Furness all his life and is married to Susan.  They have two daughters, Nicola and Lindsay, who also live and work in the local area.

Rob Cairns DL

Photograph of Mr Robert James Cairns

Rob was born in Birkenhead and educated at Wirral County Grammar School for Boys and the University of Sussex from which he was awarded a BA (Hons) in Social Psychology.

He has spent almost 50 years working in the building society movement and became Deputy Chief Executive of Cumberland Building Society, Chief Executive of Furness Building Society, and Chairman of Penrith Building Society.  Whilst with the Furness he became Chairman of the Northern Association of Building Societies and a Council member of the Council of Mortgage Lenders.  Rob is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and the Chartered Management Institute.

Rob has held various community positions including being the first Chairman of Cumbria Learning and Skills Council and Treasurer of Cumbria Community Foundation.   In 2011, he received the Lifetime Contribution to Cumbria Award in the Cumbria Business awards, and in 2012 he was made Ambassador of the Year at the Love Barrow Community Awards.

Rob is Chairman of Corrie and Co, Patron of SAFA Cumbria (the self harm awareness charity) and Secretary of Cumbria County Cricket Club.

Rob lives on Walney Island with his wife Lesley, and has two daughters and several grandchildren.

Dr Jim Cox OBE DL

Photograph of Dr Cox

A Cumbrian by birth and educated at Keswick School, Jim was for many years a GP in Caldbeck. He was also Medical Director of Cumbria Ambulance Service and a consultant to the General Medical Council. He was awarded an OBE for services to medicine in 2003 and has served as a Deputy Lieutenant since 2004.

He founded and chaired the Northern Fells Group, a charity which addresses rural social exclusion by mobilising local people to address the needs of their neighbours. 

Nationally, he was a member of HRH The Prince of Wales’s Rural Revival Initiative and a member of the BBC Rural Affairs Committee. He founded and chaired the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Rural Practice Group and was a board member of the Countryside Agency and the Commission for Rural Communities. 

Sir Tony Cunningham DL

Photograph of Sir Tony Cunningham

Sir Tony was born in Workington in 1952, and educated St Mary’s Harrington, Workington Grammar School, the University of Liverpool, and Didsbury College Manchester.

During his career in education, he taught at Alsager Comprehensive School, Cheshire; Mikunguni Trade School, Zanzibar; and Netherhall School, Maryport.

In his political life, he has served as a Workington Town Councillor and Mayor of Workington; an Allerdale District Councillor and Leader of Allerdale Borough Council; a Member of The European Parliament for Cumbria and North Lancashire; a Member of Parliament for Workington; and a Government Minister under Prime Ministers Blair and Brown.  He was knighted in 2012.

Sarah Dunning OBE DL

Photograph of Mrs Sarah Dunning OBE

Sarah is Chair of Westmorland Limited, which operates motorway services in Cumbria, Gloucestershire and Scotland.  A second generation family business, it seeks to celebrate its locality by working closely with its communities. 

In addition to this, Sarah is a Trustee of the Francis Scott Trust which supports underprivileged young people in Cumbria, an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cumbria, Patron of Eden Valley Hospice and an Ambassador for the Scout movement in Cumbria.  

Sarah was born in Cumbria where she lives with her husband and two children.

Iona Frost-Pennington DL

Photograph of Mrs Iona Frost-Pennington

Working in partnership with her husband Peter, Iona has transformed Muncaster Castle into a consistently award-winning attraction.   In 2003 Muncaster won England’s Best Small Visitor Atrraction (less than 100,000 visits) in the ‘England for Excellence Awards’.  In the same year, Iona also won ‘Cumbrian Business Woman of the Year’.  Iona has a huge interest in rural diversification.   A farmer by profession, she cares passionately for Cumbria agriculture, as well as the tourism industry.

Iona is the Managing Director of Muncaster Estate and The Muncaster Partnership, 

Director and Company Secretary of Muncaster Visitor Management Limited and Company Secretary of Third Millennium Muncaster Limited.  She is also a Parish Councillor on Muncaster Parish Council and a Member of Historic Houses Association and Cumbria Representative on National HHA Committee, Executive Committee Member, Country Land and Business Association (Cumberland & Westmorland Branch) and the National Business Rural Economic Committee and tourism advocate for the North West.

Other appointments include being a Governor of Giggleswick School, a Member of Ravenglass Coastal Partnership, a Fellow of the Industry and Parliament Trust and a Community First Responder since April 2004.  Hobbies include extreme kite-flying, hill-walking, deer management, dog-walking, ski-ing, an interest in rural issues, and raising her family.

Bryan Gray CBE DL

Photograph of Mr Bryan Mark Gray CBE

Bryan has served as Pro-Chancellor of Lancaster University, and Chairman of the Northwest Regional Development Agency, of Peel Media Group (responsible for MediaCityUK), of Westmorland Ltd (which operates motorway services and the Rheged Centre), of Liverpool European Capital of Culture in 2008, of Preston North End Football Club, and founder Chairman of the National Football Museum. 

He is the founder Chairman of the Lowther Castle and Gardens Trust and also of the Cumbria County History Trust, and a Lay Canon of Carlisle Cathedral.  He  is Chairman of RESTORE (a Christian charity supporting local communities), and of the Settle and Carlisle Railway Trust.

He has served as High Sheriff of Lancashire and is a Vice President of the National Churches Trust.

Tess Hart MBE DL

Photograph of Mrs Tess Hart MBE

London born, Tess has lived in Cumbria for 50 years  Mother of three and grandmother to five, she became involved in charity fundraising and volunteering while caring for her special needs daughter, campaigning for Special Educational Needs Provision, working on the NSPCC Full Stop campaign, and participating in annual NSPCC events.  A trustee of Carlisle MENCAP and Crossroads (Caring for Carers), Tess was honoured with an MBE for services to the community in Carlisle in 2012.

Tess’s 25 year association with Cumbria Woman of the Year began as nominee. She became Vice Chair and, ultimately, Chair.  Separately, she has organised four fundraising balls, Roaring 20s (supporting the Crossroads charity), Mardi Gras (Eden Valley Hospice), Heart & Soul (Cumberland Infirmary), and Bollywood (Carlisle MENCAP.).

Tess was consort to the High Sheriff and appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2014. She lives in Longtown near the English/Scottish border. Her passions include travel, gardening and cooking.

Chris N C Holmes DL

Photograph of Mr Christopher N C Holmes

Chris moved to Cumbria in 1991 from J Bibby & Sons Agriculture Division to take up the role of Managing Director of Carr’s Milling Industries Agriculture Division.  In 1994 he was appointed Chief Executive of the Group, a position he held until becoming Chairman in 2013.  He retired in 2020 when the renamed Carr’s Group plc had 71 Agriculture and Engineering locations around the world, supplying products and services to over 50 countries.

In 2014 Chris was awarded the Blamire Medal for services to Agriculture in the old county of Cumberland and awarded the CN Business Award for a lifetime contribution to Cumbria.  He was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cumbria in 2015 and Deputy Lieutenant in 2016.

From 2013 until March 2023, Chris was Chairman of Carlisle Youth Zone, a charity with almost 3,000 members aged 7 to 25, committed to life changing youth-work that has a genuine impact on the lives of young people.

Chris is married to Sue and has four children and six grandchildren.

Debbie Keighley MBE DL

Photograph of Mrs Deborah Keighley MBE

Debbie was born in Nottingham, brought up in Essex, and graduated from Newcastle University with a degree in Metallurgy in 1977. She initially worked as an engineer for Pirelli Cables in Southampton, and moved to Cumbria in 1979, to work in research and development at Sellafield, focusing on nuclear plant inspection and corrosion. She remained at Sellafield for 37 years in technical, skills development, and management roles, and retired in 2016.

She has held multiple roles in Girlguiding, and served as County Commissioner (2002-2007). She was awarded the Girlguiding Laurel Award in 2001, Cumbria Woman of the Year in 2009, and an MBE in 2015. Her current voluntary roles include: Chair of the Cumbria Woman of the Year Committee, Churchwarden, Ranger Leader, and Secretary of Whitehaven Beekeepers.    

Group Captain M D Leeming OBE DL

Born in London, Ontario, Canada in 1966, Mark is married to Jeanne, a Cumbrian by birth, and after 17 house moves, all over the UK and the world, they finally settled in Cumbria in 2014.  Having joined the Royal Air Force in 1984, Mark has served on operational deployments in Afghanistan, Kuwait, the Falkland Islands and Saudi Arabia.  Awarded the OBE for services to RAF families in 2015, he now leads the RAF Air Cadet Organisation in the North of England, some twelve thousand cadets and adult volunteers.

Mark has two grown-up children, one of whom also serves in the Royal Air Force.  Mark enjoys walking and cycling.

Antony Richard Leeming DL

No biography 

Arthur Littlefair MBE DL

Photographs of Mr Arthur William Littlefair MBE

Arthur was born into a local family, firmly rooted in Kirkby Stephen and the Upper Eden Valley.  Educated at Kirkby Stephen Grammar School, he joined his family business, a builders merchants based in Kirkby Stephen working throughout the Eden and Upper Lune valleys, the North Yorkshire Dales and Northern Pennines. With the business until 2008, he was a builders merchant for 40 years.

He was Chairman of Kirkby Stephen Economic Development Group, an active member of Kirkby Stephen Chamber of Trade and a Board member of Cumbria Rural Enterprise Agency. He has served as a school governor and in other community roles, and is an active member of Upper Eden Rotary Club.

Arthur joined Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team in 1970, serving as Team Leader for 23 years, part of a very enjoyable 53 year association.  He was awarded an MBE in 2014 for services to the community and the Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team.  Arthur is married to Vivienne and has three adult children. He is a keen hill walker and researches family history.

Professor Julie Mennell DL

Photograph of Professor Julie Mennell BSc, PGCTLHE, PhD

Professor Mennell, a Physics and Mathematics graduate of the University of Leeds, is Vice Chancellor of the University of Cumbria.  Professor Mennell’s academic field of interest is forensic and crime scene science, and has involved contributions to forensic science strategy, education and workforce development in the UK and overseas, including serving on the Home Office Forensic Science Advisory Council and the Skills for Justice Forensic Science Occupational Skills Committee.

Professor Mennell is involved in a range of regional and sector groups with a particular focus on people and place. These include:  Director of the Cumbria LEP Board and Co-chair of its People, Employment and Skills Strategy Group; Chair of the Carlisle Youth Zone; member representative for the Energy Coast University Technical College; member of the Barrow and Carlisle Town Deal Boards; Carlisle College Board  member and Sedbergh School Governor.  Nationally she is a member of the Cathedrals’ Group of Universities and the MillionPlus university group.

Adam Naylor MBE DL

Photograph of Mr Adam Charles Illingworth Naylor MBE

Adam is a landowner and antiquarian bookseller.  Raised in Cumbria, he has a doctorate from the University of Edinburgh, where he taught part-time.  Returning to Cumbria in 1992, he served as High Sheriff in 2005/06. 

He was Chairman of the Lakeland Arts Trust from 1996 to 2012, buying and restoring Blackwell the Arts & Crafts House, and adding the Windermere Steamboat Museum (now The Jetty) to the Trust’s portfolio. 

Currently he is Chairman of the Cumbria Gardens Trust and the Churches Trust for Cumbria. 

Other voluntary posts have included nine years as a Trustee of the Cumbria Community Foundation and ten as Chairman of his local Parochial Church Council.  Married to Marianne, his partner in the bookselling business, as in life.  Their daughter Claire now also lives and works in Cumbria.

Sam Rayner CBE DL

Photograph of Mr Samuel (Sam) Alan Miles Rayner CBE

Sam was born in Kendal and has lived and worked almost all his life in and around Windermere. He was educated at Heversham Grammar School, following which he worked as a volunteer in Uganda, before joining the family business.

Having previously served as Managing Director, Sam is currently Chairman of Windermere-based Lakeland Limited.  Sam has served on a number of industry related boards, including the Food Freezer Council, the Microwave Association, Cumbria Rural Enterprise, and the Show Exhibitors Association.

He supports a number of local charities and community causes, serving as Trustee for the Frieda Scott Trust, Lakeside YMCA, Westmorland Agricultural Society and The Well Communities. He is also a Fellow of Brathay Trust and an Ambassador for Cumbria Scouts.  In the past he was a Board Member of Kendal College, a Governor of Sedbergh School, and President of Kendal Sea Cadets.

Sam served as High Sheriff in 2015-16, was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2016, and was awarded a CBE in 2020 for services to business and the community of Cumbria.

He is married to Judy.  They have three children and three grandchildren.

Marcia Reid Fotheringham JP DL

Photograph of Ms Marcia Reid Fotheringham JP

Marcia was born in London and moved to New York as a child where she was raised and attended university studying Sociology, Psychology and Family Therapy, before going on to work in these fields in a variety of roles in Massachusetts.

In 1997, Marcia moved to Cumbria where she has owned and managed dental practices with her husband, Jim, and worked as a psychologist/family therapist for ten years for the NHS in Carlisle.  

Marcia has held and continues to hold a wide range of board appointments across the county’s educational, health, cultural, charity, business and sports organisations.

Marcia was appointed Cumbria’s High Sheriff for 2019-20 and a Deputy Lieutenant in 2020. Marcia served for 20 years as a magistrate and held a number of magistracy appointments including Chair of North & West Cumbria Bench, and regional and national appointments.

Marcia lives with Jim in Brampton.

Gerard Richardson MBE DL

Photograph of Mr Gerard Richardson MBE

Gerard was born in 1962 and is married to Dianne. They have four children and ten grandchildren. Gerard left school and joined the Royal Navy, serving as an Air Engineer on helicopters before becoming a firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician at Sellafield. 

Since 1995, he has been a shop-keeper in Whitehaven and has volunteered for the community in one form or another for 30 years. He co-founded a youth club in 1993 and became a Justice of the Peace in 1994, serving in that role until 2014. He is currently on the Supplemental Bench.

From 1999 until 2015 he was the CEO of the Whitehaven Maritime Festival Company, and since 2015 he has liaised with Whitehaven Town Council to organise an array of town events including markets, exhibitions and science shows. He was awarded the MBE in 2010 for services to Cumbria. 

Colonel (Retd) Chris Sanderson OBE JP DL

Photographs of Colonel (Retd) Christopher Sanderson OBE JP

Chris was brought up in Ambleside and Grasmere, and educated at Heversham Grammar School. He returned to Cumbria in 2013 after a 30 year career in the Army and eight years providing risk management support to governments and international organisations working in challenging environments.

In the not-for-profit field, Chris was influential in the development of professional and human rights standards for the UK and international private security industries, and was awarded an OBE in 2015 for his contribution to human rights, conflict prevention and the international private security industry.  More recently Chris has led Cumbria’s Army Benevolent Fund, Cumbria Scouts and Patterdale Mountain Rescue, and served as a Trustee for others, most notably Cumbria Community Foundation.  Chris has also sat as a Magistrate on the North and West Cumbria Bench.

Chris lives with his partner, Francesca, and their two young children in Kentmere in the South Lakes.

Caroline Thomson DL

Photograph of Mrs Caroline Agnes Morgan Thomson

Caroline has a mix of appointments in the arts and media worlds. In 2023 she  stepped down as Chair of Digital UK, the body which is responsible for digital terrestrial television and was a Director of CN media group.

In the arts world, she is a Trustee of Tullie House Museum, English National Ballet, the National Gallery Trust and until 2016 was Deputy Chair of the National Gallery.  Caroline is a Non-executive Director of Videndum plc. She has been a Non-executive Director of one of the National Health Service regulatory bodies and a Non-executive Director of UK Government Investments. Until 2020 Caroline was also Chair of Oxfam.

Caroline stepped down from her role as Chief Operations Officer at the BBC in September 2012 after serving twelve years as a member of the Executive Board. 

Susie Villiers-Smith DL

Photographs of Mrs Susan Odling Villiers-Smith

Susie has lived in Cumbria for over 20 years and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant in 2022.  Previously, she has been President of St John Ambulance Cumbria and Honorary Colonel of Cumbria’s Army Cadet Force.

Currently, she is Chairman of Beetham Poor Charity, Trustee of the Tattershall Almshouse, President of the CLA for Cumbria and a non executive director on the Board of the Country Land and Business Association (CLA).  Susie sits on the Livery of the Drapers‘ Company in the City of London, and is involved in their Charities Committee, Hall and Heritage Committee and Drapers’ Den. 

She is passionate about Cumbria, the countryside and saving the red squirrel.

Juliet Westoll MBE DL

Photograph of Mrs Juliet Westoll MBE

Juliet was born in Suffolk in 1956.  She married Richard Westoll, a Cumbrian farmer in 1981, and they have two children and five grandchildren.

Juliet founded and ran Cumbria Women of the Year for 20 years and is now its Patron. She is also Patron of Eden Hospice at Home, a Divisional Vice President for the NSPCC, a Trustee for The Cumbria Churches Trust, and President and Trustee of the Carlisle Branch of Riding for the Disabled.  She is also a strong supporter of her local church, Kirkandrews on Esk, a keen gardener, and a very hands-on granny.

Juliet was High Sheriff of Cumbria in 2012/2013 and sat on the national High Sheriffs' Association Council for six years.  She was awarded an MBE for services to Cumbria in the Queen's Birthday Honours in 2010.  She was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant in 2011

Peter Woolaghan DL

Photograph of Mr Thomas Peter (Pete) Woolaghan

Peter was born in Whitehaven and has lived in Cumbria for all but a few years following graduation from university.  Peter is a chartered engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and an Honorary Fellow of the University of Cumbria.  He is a founding director of a number of successful engineering and technology companies, many of which are based in Cumbria including REACT Engineering Limited, HiDef Aerial Surveying Limited, CREATEC and Sportlight.

Peter is also founder and Chairman of the REACT Foundation, a charity established to encourage young people from West Cumbria to pursue further education in science and technology, and he takes a hands-on approach to inspiring young people into the profession.

Peter lives in West Cumbria with his wife Alison and they have three children.