Northampton Theatres Trust, the charity which runs Royal & Derngate theatres has just announced that their new Chair of Trustees will be Chris Heaton-Harris MP, who will take up this voluntary position from end of May 2013.
Currently the MP for Daventry, and previously a Member of the European Parliament for the East Midlands, Heaton-Harris is the Vice-Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Dance.
An experienced business leader, with a keen interest in the arts, Chris will work closely with Royal & Derngate’s Board of Trustees and the senior management team as it develops its strategy, to build on recent successes and ensure that the theatre continues to thrive.
Martin Sutherland, Chief Executive of Royal & Derngate said: “I am pleased that Chris Heaton-Harris has agreed to take on this vital role, providing leadership for the Board and building on the successful tenure of his predecessor, Paul Southworth”.
Peter Knott, Director, Arts Council England, said: “We would like to acknowledge Paul’s six years of service as Chair to Northampton Theatres Trust. The period has been one of internationally recognised artistic success. We welcome Chris’ appointment bringing with him a wealth of experience in both the public and private sector.”
Chris Heaton-Harris commented: "I'm very much looking forward to working with the management, staff and other Board members at Royal & Derngate, and helping this wonderful theatre continue to thrive as a cultural and artistic hub for the County and beyond."
Chris Heaton-Harris takes over the role of chair from Paul Southworth, who is stepping down from the position after six years as Chair and over 20 years involvement with the theatres.
Royal & Derngate has gained an ever higher profile both regionally and nationally over recent years, winning the accolade of Regional Theatre of the Year 2010 in The Stage 100 Awards. Last year the charity’s work with children and young people reached greater numbers than before and overall the theatre’s activities contributed almost £20million to the local economy. By Summer 2013, the Trust will complete the construction of a brand new 90-seat cinema adjacent to Royal & Derngate, the Errol Flynn Filmhouse, further enhancing Northampton’s Cultural Quarter.