Cheltenham Festivals has announced a new leadership structure for 2022 and beyond, with Ali Mawle and Ian George becoming its joint chief executive officers.
The pair will be joined on the senior management team by Helena Bibby as director of people and Suzanne Ross as director of finance.
Cheltenham Festivals said the changes ‘reflect the roll-out of a new three-year strategy to co-create experiences which bring joy, spark curiosity, connect communities and inspire change’.
Diane Savory OBE, chairwoman of the charity, said: ‘Cheltenham Festivals’ dispersed leadership model has been in place since May 2017 and was an advantage during the pandemic, with no single person having to steer the ship through such difficult waters.
‘With the need for focus and clarity in delivering our new three-year strategy, now is the time to streamline the leadership model as we sustain the momentum towards being a mission-led organisation.’
In a joint statement, Mawle and George said: ‘Moving forward, there is crucial work to be done in areas such as removing barriers to culture in our local communities, in positioning Cheltenham as it harnesses the potential of culture alongside tech innovation with the Golden Valley Development and sharing culture globally through our extensive international programmes.’
In October 2021, the Festivals’ annual report revealed just how close it had come to financial collapse during the pandemic and the astonishing generosity that saved it.
It is set to stage all four of its flagship festivals once again in 2022, with Cheltenham Jazz Festival taking place from Wednesday 27 April to Monday 2 May 2022; Cheltenham Science Festival from Tuesday 7 to Sunday 12 June 2022; Cheltenham Music Festival from Friday 8 to Saturday 16 July 2022; and The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival from Friday 7 to Sunday 16 October 2022.
By Andrew Merrell
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