Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust has appointed a new chairman.

Mark Carne

Mark Carne joined the board of trustees earlier in the year and has now been elected by his fellow trustees to become chairman.

Carne brings a wealth of experience and expertise with him, having been the chief executive of Network Rail from 2014 to 2018.

During his tenure as chief executive, Network Rail carried out the biggest programme of capital upgrades to the country’s railway in a hundred years. Over £15 billion was invested in huge projects such as the rebuilding of London Bridge and Birmingham New Street stations, electrification of hundreds of miles of track. Before his rail career, Carne had worked in the international oil and gas industry, mostly for Royal Dutch Shell in a number of countries around the world.

Paula Martin, chief executive of Cornwall Air Ambulance Trust, said: “Every charity chief executive needs the support and wise counsel of their chairman. I am delighted to be working with Mark and am confident this charity and our strategies will benefit immensely from Mark’s leadership.”

Mark was made a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2018 and was appointed CBE in the Queen’s Birthday honours list in June 2018 for services to the rail industry. He is married with three grown up children, all themselves married.

Fellow trustee, Chris Pomfret, said “Mark has enormous business experience and love of Cornwall. He takes over at an interesting moment in time with the immense positive of our new helicopter. Cornwall Air Ambulance can provide a much-enhanced service to the people of Cornwall, at a moment when the whole world is challenged by Covid-19. Mark’s wide and varied experience will be very important in helping us steer our way through this and see the service continue to develop.”

Carne, who takes over from previous chair, Sarah Pryce, said: “The Cornwall Air Ambulance provides a hugely valuable service to our community, especially at such a challenging time. I look forward to helping the team build on their considerable successes as we address these challenges.”