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Gloucester City Council adopted its culture strategy earlier this year and one of the first key milestones was to appoint a new board of trustees to help put culture at the heart of the city.

The newly appointed board will implement the ambitious strategy which aims to make Gloucester known for its distinctive culture: innovative and excellent, quirky and edgy, diverse and community–based with a strong focus on young people. The board’s purpose is to make the city a better place to live, work and play by engaging and empowering local communities and leaders to help transform the City.

Before creating the strategy and recruiting these positions, the council spoke with a broad range of partner organisations that have a strong stake in Gloucester’s cultural future and share the same vision.

With the support and commitment of the Arts Council England, the finalised strategy outlines key priorities which are designed to put Gloucester in pole position to be UK City of Culture in 2025.

The board will be responsible for taking the 10 year strategy forward, building on the strengths of diverse communities and pointing to opportunities for development of culture in the city.

The interview panel, which included Dame Janet Trotter DBE, HM’s Lord Lieutenant for Gloucestershire, Clare Titley, director of Philanthropy at Arts Council England, Kate Danielson, a member of the board and city councillor Lise Noakes, interim board chair, had to ensure that the successful candidates had a broad range of skills and represented the rich cultural and social diversity of Gloucester.

All appointed members had to bring experience of fundraising, cultural development, heritage management, events, performance, production, strategic planning, project delivery, budget management and community and charity development, to the board.

The successful candidates are:

Donna Renney – company director, founder of GUST and co-ordinator of the Gloucester History Festival, former chief executive of the Cheltenham Festivals

Neil Hopwood – social entrepreneur and community activist, projects manager with GFirst

Deborah Potts – chief executive of Active Gloucestershire and The Music Works

Nickie Miles-Wildin – artistic director of TwoCan Theatre Company, associate artist at GDance, Chair of Theatre Gloucestershire

Stephen Marston – vice chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire and board member of GFirst LEP

Anne Cranston – community trustee, project manager for Gloucester Cathedral’s Project Pilgrim, founder member of Gloucester Heritage Forum.

Tyler Attwood – student of contemporary dance, director of Multi Styles Battle Community Interest Company, trustee of Theatre Gloucestershire

Julie Reynolds – fundraising specialist and Gloucestershire Museum development officer

Cllr Lise Noakes, cabinet member for culture and leisure at Gloucester City Council and chair of the culture board, said: “I was so impressed by the great applications that we received for these posts. It was so encouraging to see the amount of people in Gloucester that are passionate about the city’s culture.

“Though the board isn’t full and we will be appointing more members, this is an incredibly strong start. I’m looking forward to getting stuck into the culture strategy and making the city known for its distinctive culture.”

The culture strategy can be found here:,Plans%20and%20Policies/Cultural%20Strategy.pdf

Gloucester News Centre –

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