A NEW boss has been appointed to lead one of the region's great attractions into the future.

Judith McNicol has been appointed as director of the National Railway Museum, with its homes in York and Shildon, a role she has been performing since last July last in an acting capacity.

She has been based at the museum since she joined the Science Museum Group in 2005, during which time she has held a series of leading roles

The museum is currently planning a multi-million pound redevelopment in York that will transform it into a world-class visitor attraction.

Judith will lead on the masterplan which is slated for completion by 2025 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and the museum’s own 50th anniversary.

She described her appointment as a "very special privilege" and added: "This museum and the collection it holds are close to my heart.

"My great great-grandfather was one of the many to die in the construction of the Forth Railway Bridge and from a young age, I remember travelling across that bridge in awe of the scale, beauty and the possibilities that it held.

“In my very first week at the National Railway Museum in 2005, I was able to ride on the footplate of Flying Scotsman – a magical experience.

"And working amongst the great “firsts” – Stephenson, Brunel, Mallard, Rocket and of course Flying Scotsman – has been a childhood dream come true."