Conference 17: Contributors

Find out who's contributing to Conference 17: Theatres & Placemaking at the Lyric Hammersmith.

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    Sian Alexander

    Sian Alexander is Executive Director of the Lyric Hammersmith and has previously worked as a senior management consultant in the arts working with organisations such as the Nuffield in Southampton, Creative Industry Finance, Tricycle Theatre, the World Stages Consortium, the Bush Theatre, Julie’s Bicycle and Head of Theatre in London at Arts Council England. She is Chair of Trustees for Frantic Assembly as well as being on the Boards of Julie’s Bicycle, the Gate Theatre, London Theatre Consortium and the advisory board of non-zero one. Sian became a Clore Fellow in 2006.

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    Deborah Aydon

    Deborah Aydon is Executive Director of Liverpool’s Everyman and Playhouse theatres. She was Project Champion for the new incarnation of the Everyman, which won multiple national and international awards - including the 2014 Stirling Prize. She is now turning her attention to redevelopment of the Playhouse, and of its city-centre setting.

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    Ed Bayes

    Ed Bayes is a policy officer in the Mayor’s Culture and Creative Industries Team. He leads on developing the Mayor’s Culture at Risk programme and works closely with the Mayor’s Night Czar to protect and promote ‘at risk’ theatres, music venues, pubs, artists’ workspace and other cultural infrastructure.

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    Richard Blyth

    Richard Blyth has been Head of Policy and Practice at the RTPI since September 2011. Since then he has established the RTPI’s new policy paper series starting with Housing in 2013 and also the special RTPI Centenary Planning Horizons research programme with 5 projects being published in 2014. Prior to this he was an Associate Director at Capita Symonds where he worked on commissions for local authorities on infrastructure planning to support core strategies, and for a number of private clients on regeneration schemes. He spent over four years in the Civil Service, including being responsible for Local Plans in England. Richard led a small team within the Joint Strategic Planning Unit which produced the last Berkshire Structure Plan and has also worked for district councils on local plans. He spent two years in the Gambia West Africa as a physical planning officer working on physical development plans and market regeneration.

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    David Byrne

    Artistic and Executive Director of New Diorama Theatre, David Byrne is a playwright and theatre director, whose first play won a Writers’ Guild & List Magazine Awards for Drama. As a founding member of New Diorama Theatre, David's programme has been awarded three Peter Brook Awards; the first for “establishing a central London home for ensemble theatre” and, mostly recently, winning the main Empty Space award in 2016. New Diorama won The Stage Award for Fringe Theatre of the Year 2017.

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    Paul Callaghan, CBE, DL, FRSA

    Paul Callaghan is Chair of Live Theatre, Newcastle, one of the UK’s most innovative new writing theatres, and also chairs the Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture Trust that is developing a cultural quarter in Sunderland city centre. This will include a new 450-seater auditorium for theatre, music and dance and a number of Edwardian buildings converted for cultural and artistic use. The Trust is one of the lead partners in Sunderland’s bid to be UK City of Culture in 2021.

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    Dr Cara Courage

    Dr Cara Courage is a placemaking academic and practitioner, a Research Adjunct at University of Virginia and Strategist at Futurecity. Cara has a 20-year career in the arts and her book, Arts in Place: The Arts, the Urban and Social Practice (Routledge, 2017), presents case study research on social practice placemaking.

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    Cllr Stephen Cowan

    Councillor Stephen Cowan has led the Labour Group in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham for the last ten years. Stephen has led the Labour administration to: cut councillors’ special responsibility allowances by 10%; save the award winning Sulivan Primary School; be the only council in the country to abolish charges adult social care; halt council house sell offs; increase voluntary sector funding by 25%; cut £63m in unnecessary spending; negotiate £219m from developers; is building nearly 600 new genuinely affordable homes; be recognised by the Trussel Trust as the best council tackling food poverty; led on child refugees; has taken a variety of measures to meet its aim of being the greenest council in the country; is the only London council to cut this term; defend Charing Cross Hospital and the NHS; is helping start-up entrepreneurs; cut and put the largest number of council funded police officers onto local streets in the borough’s history. Stephen was first elected nineteen years ago and enjoys working with residents from all backgrounds to get things done. Originally from the North West, he worked in magazine  publishing before setting up a training business specialising in management, leadership, and negotiation training.

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    Damian Cruden

    Damian Cruden has been artistic director at York Theatre Royal for 20 years. The theatre is renowned for its work with its community, international projects and work with and for young people. He is best know for the site specific Railway Children project which has played at The National Railway Museum York, Waterloo and Kings Cross Stations and won an Olivier award.

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    Anna Devlet

    Anna Devlet is an experienced regeneration professional with a strong background in local authority partnerships and commercial development projects - devising and managing engagement strategies and socio-economic legacy programmes. Prior to joining British Land Anna specialised in devising and delivering large scale social legacy programmes for international events. Her experience includes the Manchester 2002, Melbourne 2006, Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games and the London 2012 Olympics. Anna is responsible for introducing and implementing British Land's Local Charter across the portfolio. This outlines the company’s approach to supporting successful local communities and developing skills and opportunities, with a particular focus on employment, education and training and establishing long‐term sustainable partnerships. She works with the public, and private sectors, diverse communities and special interest groups

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    Paddy Dillon

    Paddy Dillon is noted as a theatre architect and conservationist, and as a writer and broadcaster. He led Haworth Tompkins’s architectural team for the award-winning regeneration of the National Theatre, and before that headed the regeneration of Snape Maltings. He is currently a director at Allies and Morrison Architects, and sits on the casework committee of the Twentieth Century Society. 

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    Ruth Eastwood

    Ruth Eastwood is currently CEO of the Grade II* listed Matcham Grand Theatre in Blackpool. She has worked in touring, presenting and producing theatres from Hull Truck to the Royal National Theatre. She has managed large scale capital developments whilst Chief Executive of Leicester Theatre Trust (2006-2009) and Poole Arts Trust (1997-2006). 

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    Tim Foster MA Dip Arch (Cantab) RIBA

    Tim Foster is the founding partner in Foster Wilson Architects. He has been an Arts Council Lottery assessor in England and Scotland and is currently chairman of the ABTT Theatre Planning Committee and the OISTAT Architecture Commission. He was elected a Fellow of the ABTT in 2012 and was a trustee of the Theatres Trust from 2009 to 2015.

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    Hannah Garrow

    Hannah Garrow is a Director of the Leith Theatre Trust which is campaigning to bring the neglected Leith Theatre in Edinburgh back into use. She has a background in heritage management, urban planning and public policy development and is currently completing a PhD looking at community empowerment and place-making.

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    Cllr Louise Gittins

    Louise Gittins is Cabinet member for Culture, Leisure and Wellbeing and is a Councillor in Little Neston and Burton. She has held the Cabinet role since May 2015 and in a shadow role for three years prior to this. Louise runs her own Management Training company working predominantly with women in leadership roles within the NHS and is a qualified life coach. She is passionate about culture and the role it plays for the wellbeing of residents in local communities.

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    Tim Jones

    Tim Jones leads the development of cultural strategies for Futurecity – a global placemaking agency. Recently he has been brokering a brand new, permanent £7m theatre for East London. He has consulted on the development of cultural districts for 3 cities in Massachusetts. Tim is an award-winning cultural entrepreneur with 25 years’ experience as a senior arts director, consultant, producer and lecturer.

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    Vanessa Lefrancois

    Vanessa Lefrancois (MBA), Chief Executive of The Brewhouse Theatre & Arts Centre, Taunton, where she has led the revival of the venue following its closure in 2013. Previously, she worked internationally as a choreographer and director and was a senior director at contemporary dance organisation The Place, London.

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    Graham Lister

    Graham Lister has worked in the performing arts industry for over three decades. He combines the development of capital projects alongside producing and production work. Recent capital projects include CAST (Doncaster) and Bangor Arts & Innovation Centre. He was also the capital director, representing the end-user for Curve Leicester.

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    Jon Morgan

    With a wealth of experience across the theatre and arts industry, Jon Morgan joined Theatres Trust from the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST) where he had been Director since 2008. Jon's previous roles include Director of Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Executive Producer of Contact Theatre, Manchester and General Manager of TAG, Glasgow with earlier periods at Royal Conservatoire Scotland and Orchard Theatre, Kent.

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    Julian Middleton

    Julian Middleton is an architect for the performing arts sector, designing buildings for theatre, music, arts education and dance including the award winning Tara Theatre, Northern Stage in Newcastle, the restoration of Waterford Theatre Royal, the Chickenshed Theatre and the original rejuvenation of the Donmar Warehouse. He is currently working with Sir Cameron Mackintosh on refurbishing the Victoria Palace Theatre and with the RSC on their new Costume Workshop.

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    Angus Morrogh-Ryan

    Angus Morrogh-Ryan is co-director of award-winning practice De Matos Ryan, established in 1999 with José Esteves de Matos. Angus has a particular interest in cultural, community and education projects. De Matos Ryan combines expertise in architecture, interiors and landscape to create imaginative and well-detailed environments. Built works to date include the refurbishment of Sadler’s Wells London and York Theatre Royal. Current projects include the redevelopment of St George’s Hall, Bradford and The Mansion House, York.

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    Daniel Rose

    Daniel Rose is the Director of Swindon’s Mechanics’ Institution Trust. The Mechanics’ Institution is a complex Grade II* building at risk which the Trust pursues to bring into community ownership. Daniel has previously worked for the National Trust in several national roles and is also a consultant Support Officer for the Architectural Heritage Fund.

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    Ann Skippers

    Ann Skippers is a chartered town planner with over twenty-five years’ experience in the planning sector in a career which has spanned the public, private and academic sectors. Director of Ann Skippers Planning, Ann specialises in neighbourhood planning and is a well known advocate for the profession. She was President of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) in 2010, was the Vice President (Europe) of the Commonwealth Association of Planners from 2010-2012 and Vice Chair of the Construction Industry Council from 2011-2014. She is currently a Visiting Professor in the Bartlett School of Planning at UCL. 

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    Anna Strongman

    Anna Strongman leads the asset management team and drives the performance of the investment assets, estate management, property management, placemaking and regeneration initiatives at Argent’s King’s Cross development and is developing strategies for Argent’s new schemes. Anna also leads the development of the Coal Drops Yard, a unique retail scheme at the heart of King’s Cross. Anna believes passionately in creating successful places for all who live, work and visit them.

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    Ian Timms

    Ian Timms has worked in Local Government since 1994 fulfilling a broad range of roles. He is currently leading a range of projects and activities as an element of Taunton Deane and West Somerset Council's ambitious growth plans. This includes the key placemaking project in the centre of Taunton aiming to create a new cultural quarter in the Coal Orchard area of town.

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    Jatinder Verma MBE

    Jatinder Verma, Artistic Director of Tara Arts, has developed a unique cross-cultural theatre style – Binglish: where Asian theatre sensibilities meet European drama. He has overseen the redevelopment of Tara Theatre in Earlsfield, south London as an architectural fusion of East and West. Jatinder has been awarded an MBE for services to diversity.

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    David Watson

    David Watson is an Associate Director at Rick Mather Architects. He has 15 years experience delivering a variety of cultural, education and mixed use projects. He has extensive experience working with existing buildings in urban settings, including various phases of the Southbank Masterplan; the latter stages of the extension to the Congress Theatre, and new build Towner Contemporary Art Museum, Eastbourne which regenerated the town by initiating a new cultural quarter for the local community. David lead the delivery of the Lyric Theatre Podium Development in Hammersmith, completed in 2014. Modelled as the first ‘teaching theatre’ for the performing arts the extension provides a unique learning environment for young people at the heart of a professional theatre where artists and teachers collaborate to inspire young people. This was achieved through meaningful engagement with the client, local community and key local user groups which ensured the delivery of a building that truly meets their needs. Most recently David has been driving the Fairfield masterplan to create a new mixed use cultural quarter for Croydon. He is currently overseeing the delivery of the first phase; refurbishment and extension of the Fairfield Halls to become a contemporary centre for arts, culture, entertainment and community participation.

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    Brian Whiteley

    Brian Whiteley has 39 years local government planning experience, mainly London-based. Initially he dealt with planning applications at Westminster Council and later led local and waste plans teams at three different London Boroughs.  Since January 2014, Brian has been a planning advisor at RTPI and has successfully supported 50 neighbourhood plan teams across London and the South East regions.  Brian also co-ordinates Planning Aid England’s public advice service and volunteer activities.