Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

Southbank Centre appoints Susan Gilchrist as board chair

4:55, 15th January 2016

Susan Gilchrist is to replace Rick Haythornthwaite as the Southbank Centre‘s chair of the board of governors.

Gilchrist has served on the Southbank Centre board since 2008. She sits on the board of trustees of the Old Vic Theatre and is a founding supporter in the US of the 30% club, an organisation devoted to equalising gender balance across organisations and especially boardrooms.

Currently group chief executive of the Brunswick Group, she previously worked as a correspondent at the Times and as a management consultant at Bain & Company. In 2015 she was appointed to the board of the Arthur W. Page Society.

Expressing her desire to further expand the Southbank’s programme of educational initiatives, festivals and events, Gilchrist said: ‘I share the commitment of everyone who works at Southbank Centre to ensure that as many people as possible can experience the power of the arts as a transformative and integral part of their lives.’

Southbank Centre chief executive Alan Bishop said: ‘Southbank Centre is going from strength to strength and, in Susan Gilchrist, the board has chosen a leader with the enthusiasm, skills and a great reputation as someone who drives positive change. I look forward to working with Susan as we seek to take the organisation to even greater heights.’

‘Susan’s experience in running a large complex business and her work with many world-class arts organisations will put her in good stead to chair Southbank Centre. The organisation is in good health, with a new refurbishment plan in place, committed and capable staff and a growing, engaged membership,’ said Haythornthwaite. ‘I believe that cultural organisations such as the Southbank Centre, with its world-class resident orchestras, and focus on ensuring arts and culture belong to everyone, are needed more than ever. I will continue to watch the Southbank Centre’s progress with sincere interest and all good wishes for the future.’

During his seven years as chair, Haythornthwaite helped to raise funds for the restoration of the Royal Festival Hall organ and oversaw proposals for the redevelopment of the Southbank Centre complex.

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