The man who has led Burnley Football Club's successful charity arm, Burnley FC in the Community, is to leave his post early next year.
Neil Hart will take up the post of chief executive of Huddersfield Town Football Club in March, 2020.
Neil, who hails from Rochdale, was appointed at Turf Moor in January 2014, after spending eight years in a similar role at Watford, where he worked alongside current Burnley first team manager Sean Dyche.
In the ensuing six years, he has overseen an astonishing growth and helped to transform Burnley FC in the Community into one of the most successful community schemes in the county.
Neil said: “It is with sadness that I leave Burnley FC in the Community for a new challenge at Huddersfield Town. I’ve had six of the most enjoyable and rewarding years of my career in Burnley and I have met and worked with some exceptional people.
“However, I simply could not turn down this exciting opportunity and I look forward to getting started in March.
“I extend my thanks to every partner who has helped us create something so special at Burnley FC in the Community, from Brian Nelson and the entire Board of Trustees, who have been great champions of our vision for the organisation, to all the staff who work so hard every day to create positive change in our community.”
Burnley’s community arm had just two members of staff, delivering a small number of community programmes, when Neil was appointed.
He has since steered the charity to its current standing as an internationally recognised, multi-awarding winning organisation, employing over 120 staff members.
Burnley FC in the Community has invested over £10m. in the communities surrounding Turf Moor, touching the lives of tens of thousands of people.
The charity now operates UCFB Burnley, Whitehough Outdoor Education Centre, the Burnley Community Kitchen, the £4.2m., 22-acre Leisure Box community leisure facility in Brierfield and employs practitioners working in the fields of mental health, employability, refugee integration, disability sport, education, women’s football and overseas football development, among others.
Awarded Community Club of the Year at the Northwest Football Awards four successive times, the charity is viewed as a leader in the field of community development.
Brian Nelson, Burnley FC director and chairman of Trustees for Burnley FC in the Community, said: “Our loss is certainly Huddersfield Town’s gain.
“Neil has been a focused, effective and committed leader who has placed Burnley FC’s charitable work on a regional, national and international platform.
“I speak on behalf of the all the Trustees when I say it’s been great to work with him and I thank him for all he’s done for our community. We wish him the very best of luck in his new challenge.”
Neil will depart Burnley FC in the Community in late February to take up his new post at Huddersfield Town in early March.
Burnley FC in the Community will begin the process of recruiting to the position of chief executive in the coming days.
To find out more about Burnley FC in the Community, visit www.burnleyfccommunity.org.