Following the approval by members of both the BHA and ALMR at a meeting held on February 21, the two associations will create a new association called UKHospitality headed by ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls.
It was unclear when the merger was announced back in January whether Ibrahim, who has been chief executive of the BHA since July 2010, would have a role in UKHospitality. Now it has been confirmed that she is to leave the organisation, ‘to pursue other interests’.
UKHospitality aims to be the voice of the sector for over 700 member companies, operating 65,000 venues in a sector that employs 2.9 million people, spearheading hospitality’s representation on the strategic, structural and regulatory issues it faces.
The board of UKHospitality will be led by Kate Nicholls, who is joined by CEO; Nick Varney of Merlin Entertainments, chair; and Steve Richards of Casual Dining Group, deputy chair.
Commenting after the EGM votes, Kate Nicholls said: “The hospitality sector is at a critical point, with fantastic innovation, dynamism and enthusiasm across the industry, however this is being jeopardised by significant cost increases and red-tape.
“The incredible member support for creating UKHospitality demonstrates our ambition to reshape the future of an industry, which represents 10% of UK employment and generates £38bn of tax for the Exchequer.
“I look forward to working closely with all members to achieve our vision and to give a sector of huge economic, cultural and social importance the voice it deserves within government, and to deliver the much-needed policies that will support its strong growth trajectory.”
Nick Varney added: “I thank Ufi Ibrahim for her significant contribution to the BHA; as CEO she reshaped and reformed the organisation from the ground up, raised its profile with government and championed many policy-shaping initiatives.The board and members wish her every success in her future ventures.”