THE former head of a cancer charity has been named as the new chairman of the York Archaeological Trust.

Professor Anthony Robards OBE has served for the last six years as chairman of Yorkshire Cancer Research, and was named this week as the new chairman of the Trust.

The York Archaeological Trust was set up in 1972 as an independent educational charity to respond to threats posed to the city’s heritage.

It has been led by current chairman Terence Suthers since 2007.

Mr Suthers will remain in position until May to oversee the reopening of the JORVIK Viking Centre, following its £4.3 million overhaul and refurbishment, before handing over his role to Prof Robards.

Mr Suthers said: “On behalf of myself and the Board of Trustees I am delighted to announce Professor Robards as my successor as chairman of the board.

“There was significant nationwide interest in the position, however Professor Robards’ work overseeing many regional initiatives including co-founding Science City York and founding Venturefest Yorkshire to name but two, truly shows the wealth of experience he will bring to the Trust.”

Prof Robards’ academic career has spanned more than 40 years, and he has also held a number of company directorships and board positions within the biological research and education sectors.

He has also served as president of the York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce, and Governor of the Company of Merchant Adventurers of the City of York.

Professor Robards said: “Having spent my whole professional career in York I have had the opportunity to see and admire the contributions York Archaeological Trust has made to York’s portfolio of outstanding organisations and attractions.

“I was delighted to be invited to accept the post of chairman of the trust and to have the opportunity to work with chief executive, David Jennings, and his expert team to help move the trust to even higher levels of attainment and recognition than already exist.”