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Gulbenkian theatre at University of Kent appoints advisory board to work alongside director Oliver Carruthers

One of the county's theatres has confirmed the appointment of a new advisory board, put in place to deliver its four-year business plan.

With next year marking its 50th anniversary, the Gulbenkian arts centre at the University of Kent's Canterbury campus has appointed a team to pursue an ambitious plan stretching from 2018 to 2022.

Gulbenkian director Oliver Carruthers explained: "The Gulbenkian already does so much great work, but we want to do so much more.

The Gulbenkian on the University of Kent campus in Canterbury
The Gulbenkian on the University of Kent campus in Canterbury

"We have brought together this amazing group of people, with incredible experience and skills between them, to challenge and support the team here.

"Over the next couple of years, we have big ambitions to reach lots more people in Kent, to improve our business model, and to fundraise to support our Young People projects. The knowledge and support of the advisory board will be essential if we are to be successful.”

The advisory board will be chaired by Neil Webster of the KM Media Group, and include specialists in business, catering, media and marketing as well as experts in arts programming, education and young people.

The Gulbenkian's advisory board
The Gulbenkian's advisory board

The board includes representation from staff and students of the university and there is also a representative from ART31, Gulbenkian’s pioneering young people group.

Neil Webster, who also sat on the previous advisory board, explains: "The next few years are of huge importance for the Gulbenkian. The recent recruitment drive for board members generated a phenomenal response and this is reflective of the brilliant successes so far. The new advisory board team will hopefully play a crucial role in helping Oliver and his team achieve even greater success."

Gulbenkian theatre director Oliver Carruthers
Gulbenkian theatre director Oliver Carruthers

The full line-up is:

Oliver Carruthers (director, Gulbenkian)

Neil Webster (KM Group)

Liz Moran (director of arts and culture at the University of Kent)

Audain Thompson (enterpreneur)

Johnny Fewings (former managing director of Virgin Megastores)

Kim Plowright (freelance digital producer)

Lizzie Hodgson (ThinkNation)

Polly Wann (digital manager at Shepherd Neame)

KM Media Group's Neil Webster is chairman of the Gulbenkian's new advisory board
KM Media Group's Neil Webster is chairman of the Gulbenkian's new advisory board

Sebastian Fogg (management consultant, focusing on the hotel industry)

William Galinsky (theatre/arts director)

Val Hennessy (former journalist, previously taught at Goldsmiths)

Zoe Carassik-Lord (Pie Factory Music)

Sheree Palmer (secondary teacher, previously in PR and publishing)

Jane Garrett (Former CEO at Brogdale Horticultural Trust)

Lesley Townsend (corporate government specialist)

Maeve Mena (Art31 representative)

Sasha Langeveldt (vice president of activities at the University of Kent)

Claire Toogood (Arts Council England)


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