Dame Julie Kenny DBE DL

Dame Julie Kenny is the second Lady Master Cutler in the history of the Cutlers’ Company.

Dame Julie Kenny is a successful South Yorkshire based entrepreneur. Following the sale in 2016 of award winning Pyronix Limited, which she built from start up in 1986, Julie continues her involvement in serving business and local communities and currently holds several trustee/patron positions for diverse charitable organisations.

Most important to Julie is Wentworth Woodhouse, where she is the Founding Chair of the Trust set up in 2014 to enable it to raise the money to purchase Wentworth Woodhouse and to affect its restoration. In two years, the monies to purchase were raised and in the Autumn Statement 2016 the Chancellor of the Exchequer granted £7.6m to fund emergency repairs which was the catalyst for unlocking the purchase which was completed in March 2017.

Julie also Chairs Robson Handling Technology Limited, a trading engineering company and Maltby Learning Trust, a multi-academy trust and sponsor of seven Academies. She is also Vice Chair and Trustee of the National Coal Mining Museum of England. Having served as an Intervention Commissioner with Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council between 2015 and 2018, Julie’s involvement in the promotion of her home town continues as a Rotherham Pioneer and an Ambition Rotherham Board Member.

Julie was honoured in Her Majesty the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in June 2019, with a Damehood for her work with heritage and particularly Wentworth Woodhouse.  Julie’s CBE in 2002 and Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University in 2005, were conferred in recognition of her contribution to business in the region.  Julie was awarded Freewoman of Rotherham in 2020.

Julie has served as a Deputy Lieutenant for South Yorkshire since 2005 and High Sheriff of South Yorkshire 2012/13. Julie was the Vitalise Businesswoman of the Year in 2013, PWC Private Businesswoman of the Year 2014 and received a Special Recognition Judges Award by Northern Power Women in 2018.  Julie has 3 grown-up children and had a successful career as a litigation lawyer in local authority and private practice before changing direction and founding Pyronix Limited.

Wentworth Woodhouse Trust

Wentworth Woodhouse (WWH) is run by the Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust, which aim to use the restoration of the site as a catalyst for positive change in South Yorkshire.  This will be the Master Cutler’s charity for her year in office.  It is not only about the building, but supports a wide range of people and communities in low-income households, including ethnic and minority interests and disability groups to enrich their lives with cultural activities.

Wentworth Woodhouse also provides community and educational programmes, delivering training in dedicated skills in entrepreneurships and the conservation, heritage, digital and hospitality sectors.