A businessman whose career has included regular meetings with national and international heads of state, has joined the British Lithium board.

Peter Long, who established Newquay-based and family-run Legacy Properties in 2008, will be joining the company as a non-executive director.

Long, who is an active member of the Cornish business community, is also reported to be a firm advocate of supporting companies with clear growth potential.

As Chief Executive of TUI Travel PLC , Peter Long had a role in creating TUI Group – the largest integrated leisure tourism business in the world with 64,000 staff and 30 million customers.

His previous non-executive chairman and non-executive director roles include Rentokil Initial, RAC, Royal Mail and Countrywide. He has also been president of the Family Holiday Association charity since 2013.

Peter said: "I’m delighted to be joining British Lithium at such an exciting time in the company’s development.

"The work the team have been doing in the St Austell area is based on three years of painstaking research and their future potential as a leading producer of lithium carbonate – a vital component of electric car batteries - is clearly going to play a major part in the Government’s green revolution plans."

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British Lithium is the first company in the world to be progressing commercial extraction of lithium from the mica in granite and the first in the UK to commence drilling operations.

The company has recently been awarded more than £2.9m from the Government’s Sustainable Innovation Fund, following a £500,000 Innovate UK Smart Grant at the end of last year.

British Lithium CEO, Andrew Smith, said: "Peter’s long and hugely successful business career speaks for itself.

"His experience, commercial acumen and connections at the very highest levels make him an outstanding addition to our board at this very important stage in our operational progress and we look forward to working with him."

British Lithium will be building a pilot plant in 2021 and is using its innovative Li-Sep technology to concentrate the lithium-mica that occurs in granite without the use of acid and to extract it, aiming to do so with minimal carbon emissions and waste.

For more information, visit: britishlithium.co.uk