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Northern Ballet board seeks new chair

Posted on August 28, 2012


buildingphotobyjonathantaylorNorthern Ballet has launched a search for a new chair to lead the company. David Forbes, who chaired the company’s board for the last two years, is stepping down to commit more time to his other business interests.

The new chair will be Northern Ballet’s senior ambassador, developing relationships with its royal patron, current funders and sponsors, as well as potential new funders. He or she will have expertise in business, a passion for the arts and solid knowledge of the Yorkshire region and the national arts agenda.

The company’s leadership stresses robust business practices and a clear artistic vision. Artistic director David Nixon received an OBE in the 2009 New Year’s Honours list, while chief executive Mark Skipper was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of West Yorkshire in 2010. The company has a strong board with non-executives drawn from business, the arts, local government and education.

Northern Ballet is one of Arts Council England’s National Portfolio Organisations, receiving regular funding. With recent cuts in public funding for the arts, the company launched Sponsor A Dancer, an innovative fundraising campaign to secure the future of its dancers, which has generated £150,000 since October 2011. Through this and other initiatives, the company has increased its fundraising income levels by more than 75 per cent in the past year.

David Forbes, who has spent eight years with Northern Ballet, the last two as chair, said: “I am proud to have been a part of Northern Ballet’s extraordinary success and remain a fan and supporter. My successor will join a company in good shape with exciting prospects.”

Mark Skipper, chief executive, said: “Northern Ballet continues to go from strength to strength. We have fulfilled the dream of moving to purpose-built facilities in the heart of Leeds; we have risen to the challenge of finding new income streams following funding cuts; we have made profitable acquisitions to diversity; we have attracted prestigious new corporate sponsors and been recognised nationally with numerous awards.”

For more information, interested parties should contact Mark Skipper on 0113 220 8000.


Picture: Northern Ballet’s purpose-built home in Leeds. Photograph: Jonathan Taylor

Zoë was born in Edinburgh, and saw her first dance performances at the Festival there. She is the dance critic of The Independent, and has also written for The Independent on Sunday, The Scotsman and Dancing Times. In 2002, she received her doctorate from the University of York for a thesis on “Nationhood and epic romance: Ariosto, Sidney, Spenser”. She is the author of The Royal Ballet: 75 Years and The Ballet Lover’s Companion.

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