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Influential Hippodrome boss steps down after 12 years

Influential Hippodrome boss steps down after 12 years

🕔16.Jan 2015

Stuart Griffiths OBE, Chief Executive of Birmingham Hippodrome, is leaving to become Programming Director for Ambassador Theatre Group (ATG), reports Paul Dale. 

Griffiths is one of most prominent and influential arts leaders in the region, having led the Hurst Street theatre following its multi-million pound refurbishment, positioning it as the most popular single theatre in the UK with record-breaking paid admissions last year exceeding 625,000.  He has also firmly established the theatre as a centre for dance, co-producing the award-winning International Dance Festival Birmingham since 2008 with Hippodrome resident partners, DanceXchange.

Stuart takes up his new role in July 2015, based in London, to deliver top quality productions to the group’s 39 venues.  The search for a suitable successor for Birmingham Hippodrome is already underway led by Hippodrome chair, John Crabtree.

Griffiths’ distinguished career in regional theatre management also included ten years as Chief Executive of the Swan Theatre, High Wycombe. He is Chair of UK touring producer Music & Lyrics and Co-Chair of international dance promoter The Dance Consortium. He is a Council member of Arts Council England (Midlands), chairs the Southside Business Improvement District and is a Vice President of Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. He has been a leading player in the Birmingham Arts Partnership, representing all the city’s major cultural players, which is now spearheading efforts to develop a new model for arts leadership in the city. 

Stuart said: “I feel hugely privileged to have had the opportunity to work with a fantastic team at Birmingham Hippodrome for over twelve years which have been the most exciting and rewarding of my career. I have been very lucky to have been generously supported throughout that time by wonderful colleagues and Trustees.

“I am also grateful for the opportunity to have been involved with a number of city projects and organisations all of whom are working to ensure Birmingham is a vibrant, dynamic and prosperous city with a thriving cultural sector. I will be very sorry to leave Birmingham and the Hippodrome, especially as it is so well positioned with ambitious plans in the pipeline. However, I am delighted to be joining ATG at an exciting time in its development.”

Griffiths will be a hard act to follow in Birmingham, highly respected in his own field as well as among politicians and the business community. Last year, he won the Ambassador of the Year category at the Business Desk West Midlands Business Masters Award for his success in bringing thousands of visitors into the city and efforts in linking the worlds of culture and business. 

Chair of Birmingham Hippodrome Theatre Trust John Crabtree added: “I know I join many Hippodrome supporters in my praise and admiration for Stuart who has grown the theatre beyond all our expectations.  His knowledge and expertise in the sector, along with his inspirational leadership and ambition, has been of unparalleled benefit to artists, audiences and participants, and for the city’s wider cultural reputation.”

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