Nicholls, who was previously strategic affairs director for ALMR, has over 20 years’ experience in the licensed sector and a strong understanding of the organisation’s political goals.
“I am honoured to be given this opportunity to represent our dynamic and vibrant industry,” she said.
“I have enjoyed working with David, the Board and our membership over the past year to drive forward a new and ambitious agenda for the ALMR and relish the challenge of delivering a strong, united and robust voice for licensed hospitality”
The ALMR announced McHattie’s decision to quit as chief executive after just 16 months in the role this morning, citing personal reasons including his imminent move to the North of England and his desire to develop his pub business, the Devonshire Arms in Baslow.
"My personal circumstances have changed and I am relishing the opportunity to move North with my partner and remain in this industry which we all love,” McHattie said.
“The ALMR is in a position to finally become the united voice that licensed hospitality retailers deserve. I hope I have helped in developing the ALMR and look forward to continuing to do so."
McHattie, who joined as chief executive in April 2013, was credited with introducing food service pubs and casual dining into the ALMR with the recruitment of Tragus, Carluccios, Brasserie Blanc and Red Hot World Buffet in recent months. He will take up a position on the Council for the organisation from the end of September.
"David leaves the executive of the Association in a much stronger position with a breadth of membership that now spans all sectors,” said ALMR chairman Steve Richards.
“I am delighted at David's continued involvement on the Council as we continue to grow the representation of food led businesses."