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North Devon Theatres' Trust appoints new Chair

North Devon Theatres’ Trust (NDTT) has this week announced the appointment of Richard Purchase as its new Chair.

A keen supporter of the arts, Richard’s professional background is in HR and employment law having run his own business for the last 25 years.  He has worked professionally and personally been involved with a large number of charities and has spent a substantial amount of time in non-executive positions within the NHS including chairing a large Trust, being a member of a Strategic Health Authority and chairing audit committees.  

He has keen interest in the arts and specifically how those disadvantaged in society (financially and culturally) can engage meaningfully for personal development.

Picture shows L-R, Richard Prowse handing over to Richard Purchase

Speaking about his new role, Richard comments: “I am really excited to lead an innovative and vibrant charity tackle the challenges all arts organisations are currently facing. NDTT is an impressive organisation with excellent staff and offering a top quality arts programme with strong educational links. We currently have opportunities to expand what we do and I look forward to helping engage with the public across northern Devon to provide and enhanced offering”.

Richard will take over from Richard Prowse who has been Chair at NDTT since 2006 and has been on the board for over 20 years. Richard has been a major player in the arts world of North Devon during that time and has been heavily involved in many projects including the renovation of the then Queen’s Hall and reopening of the Queen’s Theatre in 1993, building the Landmark Theatre back in 1998 and the backstage refurbishment scheme to bring the Queen’s up-to-date in 2013.

Richard Prowse on his time at NDTT says: “NDTT has developed significantly in recent years, recognised by the Arts Council regionally and nationally as a major provider of Performing Arts.   Key to our success is our partnership with North Devon District Council who have consistently recognised the significance of our role in the cultural and economic life of Northern Devon and whose support has been so important to us.  It has been a huge privilege to have been a small part of this and to have served as Chair in recent years.  During this time the Theatres’ Trust has become part of the fabric of North Devon life and is increasingly becoming one of our major local charities as well as fulfilling a vital social and cultural role. It has been a huge privelige to have been part of this and to have served as Chair in recent years”.

Of Richard’s appointment as Chair, Richard Prowse comments: “In Richard Purchase the Trust has selected a Chair with the perfect skills to develop it further and to lead it through the next stages of its development.  I wish him, the Management Team and everyone at NDTT every success and look forward to more and more exciting artistic achievements in the years to come!”

Alan Dodd, Director of NDTT comments: “We would all like to say a huge thank you to Richard Prowse for his tireless work as Chair and for steering the theatres on this incredible journey. There are exciting times ahead for us and we now look forward to working with Richard whose wonderful new energy will drive us onwards”

NDTT has also welcomed three new trustees to the Board. Jilly Collins has degrees in Drama and Dance and has spent her career in the arts; Susan Emery who has worked for the National Trust organising their retail outlets and Martin Knight, a successful entrepreneur.

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