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Press Release: Northern Ballet announces new Chair

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Northern Ballet

Media Release

28 January 2013



Northern Ballet announces new Chair


Northern Ballet is delighted to announce that Sir David Wootton will become its new Chair.


Bradford-born Sir David served as Lord Mayor of the City of London and elected head of the City of London Corporation from November 2011 to November 2012. During his year in office as Lord Mayor, Sir David worked worldwide on behalf of the UK’s financial, professional and business services industry leading visits to 27 countries and spending a total of three working months abroad.  He was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s 2013 New Year’s Honours list for services to legal business, charity and the City of London.


As Chair Sir David will be Northern Ballet’s senior ambassador overseeing policy and strategic direction for the Company and will develop relationships with its Royal Patron, HRH the Earl of Wessex KG GCVO, current funders and sponsors.


Northern Ballet’s Chief Executive, Mark Skipper DL said ‘I am delighted that, at such a critical time for the arts, our search for a Chair has resulted in somebody of Sir David’s exceptional qualities accepting the role. I very much look forward to working with him to ensure that Northern Ballet continues to grow as a powerhouse for inventive dance.’


Sir David's appointment comes at a very exciting and challenging time for Northern Ballet. In 2013 the Company will create two new full-length ballets: The Great Gatsby in March and Cinderella in December; as well as presenting a new mixed programme of short ballets in its centre for dance in Leeds. The Company is looking for a national tour sponsor and continues its Sponsor a Dancer campaign to ensure that it is able to continue its far reaching tour with a full complement ofdancers.


Acting Chair, Alan Harrison said ‘I am delighted that we have secured such a high profile Chairman for this challenging and exciting phase of the Company's development.  David brings with him a wealth of experience and contacts that will be invaluable to Northern Ballet.’


Sir David has been a corporate partner at Allen & Overy LLP since 1979.  The international law firm is headquartered in London and has offices in 28 other countries. Sir David specialises in corporate finance and, in particular, mergers and acquisitions, IPOs, public and private takeovers, joint ventures and corporate governance.


During his time as Lord Mayor, Sir David was given a year’s sabbatical from Allen & Overy to allow him to devote his full commitment to the role in one of the most high profile years in recent times featuring both the Olympics and Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. On returning to work he has been appointed as a Regional Ambassador for the firm including the Yorkshire Region.


Throughout his career Sir David has devoted considerable time to charitable, cultural and community activities. He is Chair of the Trustees of the Charles Dickens Museum, Music Patron of St Paul’s Cathedral and is a Governor of several educational institutions including Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Bradford Grammar School.


Sir David Wootton said ‘I am delighted to become Chair of Northern Ballet. I am impressed with the Company's creativity, its imaginative artistic direction, its range of activities and its very competent and ambitious management. I look forward to meeting everyone involved and contributing to the Company's development, regionally, nationally and internationally.’

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