THE new High Sheriff of North Yorkshire, whose area includes Teesside, plans to use his year in office to focus on supporting charities that deal with all aspects of loneliness as well as rural poverty.

James Lambert OBE said: “Many regional charities are struggling following two years of the pandemic – both with the extra volume of work created and the difficulties faced in raising funds. I want to play my part in encouraging these organisations which provide such an important safety net in our society.

“I also look forward to supporting our judiciary and law enforcement agencies, which in a world of stretched resources, continue to fulfil such an important role. In addition, I intend to be closely involved in the many exciting events being planned throughout our region to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee.”

James, who lives at Tunstall, near Richmond, is a successful business leader and entrepreneur who was co-founder in 1985 of a regional ice cream business, which was subsequently re-named Richmond Ice Cream with a head office at Leeming Bar.

The business enjoyed rapid growth, both in the UK and abroad and – now known as Froneri – is the world’s second largest ice cream business employing more than 13,000 people globally. He retired from the business in 2014.

He is currently a board member at UK investment bank Panmure Gordon and he is also an investor in Mason’s Gin, the award-winning gin and vodka distiller.

During the swearing in ceremony, performed by HH Judge Sean Morris, the Honorary Recorder of York Crown Court, James Lambert paid tribute to the work done by his predecessor Venetia Wrigley and thanked her for “being an indefatigable and outstanding High Sheriff who shone a light on the valuable work done by so many organisations during the pandemic”.