Leeds Heritage Theatres: New CEO Appointed

Vicky Cheetham has been appointed as CEO of Leeds Heritage Theatres, taking over from Chris Blythe, who retires at the end of March 2024.

Currently interim Co-Executive Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company, Vicky brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge gained at some of the UK’s most influential cultural organisations, including Managing Director of Tate, Executive Director, Arts at Southbank Centre, and Executive Producer at London’s Barbican. She has worked across music, theatre, dance, comedy, film, literature, visual arts and creative learning, delivering ambitious artistic programmes both nationally and internationally.

Vicky: “I am very excited to be bringing my experiences to Leeds Heritage Theatres, an organisation that reflects my own beliefs and values. As Chief Executive, I want to deliver exceptional experiences that are culturally inclusive and relevant to both residents and the wider cultural sector.

I was fascinated to read about the work and ambitions of both Leeds Heritage Theatres and the wider Leeds cultural sector. I grew up in Leeds, attending school on Headingley Lane near the Hyde Park Picture House, and was a member of Leeds Youth Orchestra and City of Leeds Concert Band.

I benefitted from growing up in the City; it is a place full of rich, cultural opportunities and ambition; a home for creative innovators, artists and teachers, with a passion for connecting to the local and the global and I am delighted to be able to return.”

Alan Gay OBE, Chair of the Board: “As Trustees, we are thrilled that Vicky will be leading Leeds Heritage Theatres into the next chapter of its story. Over the past two years, we’ve been on a journey of change; redefining who we are and what we are aiming for. We believe that Vicky has the right mix of skills and experience to support the development of our programme, ensuring we make the most of our heritage venues whilst safeguarding their future and helping us to bring the extraordinary joy of film and performance to people across Leeds and the wider region.”

The outgoing CEO, Chris Blythe has steered the organisation through a period of significant change and challenge. Under Chris’s skilled leadership, Leeds Heritage Theatres has experienced significant growth and success. Some of his noteworthy accomplishments include overseeing the installation of a new roof on the iconic Leeds Grand Theatre, navigating the organisation through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and completing the refurbishment of the historic Hyde Park Picture House.

Alan: “On behalf of the Trustees and the whole team at Leeds Heritage Theatres, I would like to thank Chris for his dedication, commitment, and tenacity. He has made a significant positive contribution to Leeds Heritage Theatres and the legacy of his work will continue to be felt for years to come.”

Vicky will take up post in summer 2024.

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