The Co-operative Group has appointed Sir Christopher Kelly and Simon Burke as independent non-executive directors - the first for its new look board.

Sir Christopher is a former senior public servant and led the independent review on The Co-operative Bank earlier this year.

Burke was previously a non-exec on the society’s food board and is also a non-exec for the BBC.

Both take up their new roles with immediate effect. Sir Christopher will also assist in recruiting the new board, which is expected to be fully operational by May 2015.

“Sir Christopher’s recent report into The Co-operative Bank was detailed and incisive and was instrumental in helping us move on by learning from the mistakes of the past. His deep experience of finance, public policy and governance mean that he is ideally suited to the new role of senior independent non-executive director,” said Co-op Group chair Ursula Lidbetter.

“Simon likewise has a rich understanding and appreciation of The Group following his time on the food board and his extensive business acumen and experience will be a major asset for the main board.”

And she added: “We are confident that these appointments, along with others that are currently under consideration, will help us to rebuild The Co-op Group and restore it to its rightful place at the heart of communities across the UK.”