The New West End Company (NWEC) has hired former East Midlands Tourism boss Richard Dickinson as chief executive.

The appointment comes as the organisation secures funding for a further five years to drive the development of the capital’s key shopping district.

Dickinson will take up his post on February 12 and replaces Gary Reeves, who stepped down in September but remained a consultant until his role was filled.

Retailers voted at the end of December in favour of renewing the NWEC’s mandate for a further five years to promote retail in the West End.

NWEC has secured£34 million of funding in its effort to ensure Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street remain world-class shopping destinations. A key initiative will be to introduce a new transport system for Oxford Street, in an effort to reduce traffic congestion.

NWEC chairman Ian Henderson said: “We have brought Richard in to give the strategic direction required for London’s West End to take full advantage of Crossrail, maximise the district’s commercial development opportunities and retain its competitiveness ahead of 2012 and beyond.”

Dickinson, a former semi-professional motorcycle racer, has worked at VisitBritain, English Tourism Council and the European Commission.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said the success of NWEC’s second term, which kicks off in April, will ensure the West End continues to develop.

“I will be providing NWEC with£17 million in matched funding for transport improvements over the next five years,” he said.

The vote and appointment of Dickinson comes at a crucial time for the West End. This Autumn the 1.4 million sq ft Westfield London centre opens at nearby White City.