Following an extensive national search, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has announced the appointment of John Longworth as its new Director General. Mr Longworth will replace David Frost CBE, who has run the leading business organisation since January 2003, in September.

Mr Longworth has held a number of high-profile roles in business and public life, including stints as a senior executive at Asda and Tesco. He is currently a non-executive director of the Co-operative Group Food Ltd and Nichols plc, is a member of the Competition Commission, and is active in both social enterprise and a Midlands-based venture capital-backed company, SVA Ltd.

Announcing Mr Longworth’s appointment as Director General, Neville Reyner CBE DL, President of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “John Longworth is an outstanding choice to lead the BCC at a time when its influence on the UK growth agenda has never been higher.

John has wide-ranging business experience, a passionate commitment to local growth, and a strong understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing Chamber members across the country. I am confident that the BCC will thrive under his leadership over the coming years.

“John will be building on the achievements of David Frost, whose hard work over the last eight years has made the BCC a peerless voice for businesses of every size and in every part of the UK.”

John Longworth added: “I am delighted to be joining the BCC team at this crucial time in the economic cycle. There is no doubt that the BCC represents the business backbone of the British economy and will make a unique contribution to recovery.

I have personal experience of running businesses in the UK, large and small. So it’s a real privilege to have the opportunity to contribute to a cause about which I am passionate. Above all, I am excited to engage with our dedicated Chambers of Commerce, who work tirelessly in local communities across the country. Together, we will help stimulate jobs, growth and prosperity.”