Birmingham Hippodrome has announced that JOHN CRABTREE will step down as its Chair after serving for 16 years as a Trustee. He will continue in an informal ambassadorial role for the theatre alongside his many other corporate and charitable activities, and in his new capacity as Lord Lieutenant of the West Midlands.
Following an extensive, award-wining refurbishment at the 1,850-seat theatre, John Crabtree oversaw a period of recovery and consolidation. Intense subsequent growth at the unsubsidised not-for-profit venue saw turnover increase by over 250%, and the Hippodrome is today the single most popular theatre in the UK welcoming, on average, annual audiences of over 500,000.
ANDY HOGARTH, a Hippodrome Trustee since February 2015, is announced as the new Chair. Having held senior roles in a wide range of businesses including retail, healthcare, hospitality and construction, he is currently CEO of Staffline Group plc, and a Trustee of an elderly care charity. He also owns two boutique hotels in the West Midlands, is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA), and a certified NLP coach.
Commenting on his appointment, Andy Hogarth said: “When I first came to Birmingham Hippodrome many years ago there was a palpable sense of excitement. It was in the ether. People have been coming to this great theatre for generations, where such amazing performances have been staged. As someone from a non-artistic background, to be part of this is a real privilege.
“Whilst the theatre is not reliant on public funding, we appreciate the value of subsidy for our many artistic partners. As a charity we plough all our surplus back in to the business to bring new and ambitious plans to life, ensuring as many people as possible can access the arts. I am full of admiration for John Crabtree’s exemplary stewardship and ambition over the last few years, and I see our duty now as building on this success to grow the Hippodrome to the next stage.”
Chief Executive and Artistic Director FIONA ALLAN added: “Our charitable status makes it imperative that we continue to serve the widest possible communities, ensuring that everyone is welcome whether attending a ticketed event in our famous auditorium or our Patrick Centre studio, or one of our many free events and festivals. I look forward to working with Andy and our other Trustees, and with our amazing team here, to take fullest advantage of the wonderful opportunities we now have for expansion, opening audiences’ eyes to new artistic experiences.”
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Notes To Editors:
Birmingham Hippodrome is an independent, not-for-profit, registered charity welcoming an average 500,000 visits annually making it the most popular single auditorium in the UK. Birmingham Royal Ballet and DanceXchange are resident partners; the theatre presents all of Welsh National Opera’s repertoire, co-produces the award-winning International Dance Festival and welcomes the best in international dance, major touring dramas, and West End musicals. Home to the world’s biggest Pantomime it also houses the 200-seat Patrick Centre, with extensive events facilities, and its own restaurant.
As a charity with no public revenue funding, Birmingham Hippodrome receives generous support from the business community through sponsorship and other partnerships; from individuals through donations and memberships; and from grant-making Trusts for special programming and infrastructure projects. It is a major employer and plays a leading role in the Southside Business Improvement District.
Through Hippodrome CREATIVE we deliver successful projects in education and the wider community. With numerous supportive partners we have recently co-produced and produced new events including Minimum Monument, The Voyage, Summer in Southside, About Town, Blitz, the 4 Squares Weekender and Birmingham Weekender (celebrating the opening of New Street and Grand Central alongside the Rugby World Cup).
Recent Hippodrome CREATIVE projects Furious Folly in Sutton Park, a co-commission with 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, B-Side Hip-Hop Festival, a three day celebration of all things Hip-Hop produced in partnership with Break Mission, Graffitiartist.com, Juice Aleem and Mickael ‘Marso’ Riviere and X-Ray: The Unknown Quantity – an innovative new digital dance film and sonic soundscape marking the 120th anniversary of the first medical X-Ray.