Coventry City of Culture Trust appoints chief executive to steer towards 2021 - The Coventry Observer

8th Aug, 2022

Coventry City of Culture Trust appoints chief executive to steer towards 2021

THE trust that will deliver UK City of Culture 2021 in Coventry has appointed a chief executive.

Martin Sutherland has joined the Coventry City of Culture Trust as the chief executive and executive director.

The appointment follows the announcement of Chenine Bhathena as creative director.

Mr Sutherland is the chief executive of Northamptonshire Arts Management Trust – which manages the award-winning Royal & Derngate Theatres, Errol Flynn Filmhouse and The Core at Corby Cube.

He was also Chair of the South East Midlands Enterprise Partnership’s Cultural and Creative Industries group.

He will start in his new role in Coventry in the autumn.

Born in Paisley, he grew up in central Scotland and saw the massive benefits that being European Capital of Culture brought to Glasgow.

He said: “Coventry has done an amazing job during the bidding process, and since winning, and is already inspiring other towns and cities to consider how young people and diversity can be a catalyst for positive, lasting change.

“Working in neighbouring Northampton, while leading a dedicated team and developing close partnerships with artists, audiences, funders, local authorities and the university, I never lost sight of our mission to make sure that our arts venues were part of the wider regeneration of the area.

“The role here in Coventry allows me to make that the key focus of my work while supporting the team to deliver the incredible vision the city showed as it was bidding.”

He said: “Hull delivered a fantastic year in 2017 and we’ve seen what being European Capital of Culture has helped to achieve in places such as Liverpool and Glasgow.

“We have the opportunity to do something very special in Coventry and I can’t wait to get started.”

Laura McMillan continues in her role as director of operations and legacy while David Burbidge remains chairman of the Coventry City of Culture Trust.

David said: “Martin’s appointment is another huge step for us. We have been working hard over the past few months to assemble a senior team that will help us to deliver our ambitious vision for the build-up to 2021, the year itself and the legacy it will leave.

“The shortlist for the Executive Director post was very strong but Martin’s experience and enthusiasm for what we want to achieve made him shine through.”

Peter Knott, Area Director, Arts Council England, said: “Martin brings with him a great track record of delivering top quality arts and culture to diverse audiences and as the eyes of the UK turn to Coventry, we look forward to seeing his ambitious and innovative work continue to shine as he teams up with Creative Director, Chenine Bhathena.”

Cllr George Duggins, Leader of Coventry City Council, said: “The City of Culture Team has done a wonderful job so far and now these new appointments are bringing in the expertise and leadership to help our city deliver the best programme possible.”

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