Openwide International appoints new Managing Director

Aug 3, 2023

Openwide International appoints new Managing Director

Openwide International Ltd, operators of Bournemouth Pier and Cromer Pier have appointed Sarah Hunter as Managing Director to head up the company and lead it into the future.

In December 2022, former Director Rory Holburn, led a management buyout to become Openwide’s major shareholder, as former MD Steve Cutbush took a step back to enjoy a well-earned retirement.

Sarah will be leading the company forward on behalf of Rory as he recognises the need for the next generation to step up and meet the demands and desires of the ever-changing marketplace.

Rory Holburn commented, “Over the past seven years with Openwide Sarah has impressed me immensely with her tenacity, drive, and determination to lead the business forward. In her new role as Managing Director, she will bring the next generation of leadership to the company to establish a future to delight the customers of tomorrow. She will lead a strong team of dedicated professionals across multiple disciplines to continue to deliver for the company, our team and all our partners and clients”. 

With 22 year’s experience in a Sales and Marketing background, Sarah brings a wealth of experience, she is a visionary leader with a deep understanding of market dynamics. She has excellent relationship building skills and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and various Leisure attraction groups. Sarah is a high performer and a keen sportsperson, she has recently completed two Ironman 70.3 triathlon races, demonstrating her highly motivated and dedicated personality.

Sarah Hunter advised, “I’m thrilled to have been given this opportunity and I will be looking to work closely with both Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole (BCP) and North Norfolk District Councils to further enhance and develop our attractions on both Bournemouth and Cromer Piers. They are both iconic landmarks and we are extremely privileged to be charged with operating and protecting their heritage for future generations, whilst continuing to delight the needs of the locals and tourists of today.”

Sarah continued “This is such a great industry to work in, our visitor attractions are all about creating fun, memorable adventures and experiences, and the guest experience will always be central in everything we do as we seek to develop new business opportunities and partners in the UK and internationally”.

“This is the start of an exciting new chapter for the company, we have already started working on plans to develop and grow the business and I am truly honoured to have been given this opportunity to lead the company forward.”

About Openwide

The Openwide Group was formed in 1992 as a company of producers and imagineers, designing innovative attractions, shows and new and original themes for conferences and trade launches. As a result of numerous successes, Openwide has diversified into an ever-greater range of projects across the industry and developed its own in-house brands and operations.

As Developers, Operators and Consultants for Visitor Attractions, Theatres & Live Productions, the Openwide Group employs a team of over 150 staff and maintains a network of internationally renowned experts in all areas of attraction development, operation, and theatrical production.

By investing in, and operating, its own attractions, Openwide offers consultancy services based both on decades of industry experience in leading visitor attractions and in the hard realities of delighting their own customers and business partners to optimise returns economically, socially, and environmentally.

Current Operations and Services

Management Contracting

25 Year lease and partnership with Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council (BCP) to develop and operate Bournemouth Pier in the UKs leading beach resort. Includes Restaurants, Events, Bar, Coffee Shops, Family Attractions, Retail and Catering outlets.

Long-term Management Contract with North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to operate Cromer Pier, a grade 2 listed structure including Restaurant, F&B Kiosks, Bar, Retail, Events and Regional Theatre. This contract has now been renewed three times.

In House Adventure Sports Attractions:

RockReef indoor family adventure attraction with 28 climbing features, indoor high ropes course and artificial caving. 

The PierZip – The world’s first Pier to Beach zip line, launching from the end of Bournemouth pier, flying across the sea to land on the beach.

Heritage Attractions.

The Cromer Pier Show – the last remaining full season end of the pier show in the world and a heritage attraction in its own right. Openwide have produced and staged the show for over 20 years, bringing modern production values and quality to the pier to achieve exceptional reviews and acclaim.