Shoreham’s Ropetackle Arts Centre has appointed its first full-time director.
The appointment comes after the venue celebrated its tenth anniversary in April. Until now the centre has operated with a team of volunteers and unpaid trustees in senior management roles.
However, with the venue’s success growing, it was felt necessary to recruit an experienced professional to take the helm – a move supported and funded by Arts Council England and Adur District Council.
The new director, Phil Jackson, brings to Ropetackle a wealth of experience having worked for many years in the music industry in a wide range of management roles. He has also worked extensively in radio, notably as producer and presenter of BBC Introducing South – BBC Sussex and Surrey’s specialist new music programme.
Current director and trustee Anne Hodgson, who has led the development of Ropetackle’s artistic programme, said: “I am delighted with the Phil’s appointment, particularly as we have worked with him over several years, notably his leading role in organising our hugely-successful South Coast Jazz Festival.”
Ropetackle chairman Martin Allen payed tribute to Anne, describing her as the key figure in establishing Ropetackle as a genuine community venue with an exceptional artistic programme: “Her extraordinary commitment and warmth has been central to Ropetackle’s ethos, recognised by audiences and performers as friendly, professional and inviting. She will be a hard act for Phil to follow!”
Phil said: “I’m incredibly excited and honoured to take Ropetackle into its next decade as director. This small but perfectly-formed venue has consistently punched above its weight in delivering high-calibre arts to the region as well as establishing itself as a cultural cornerstone of the community and an exemplary model of social responsibility. Working with the entire Ropetackle family, my aim is to build on these already considerable achievements to ensure that great art – in all its forms – will continue to flow and flourish in Shoreham, Adur and Sussex.”
The venue will continue to operate with its team of 60 volunteers and three employed staff.
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