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Some of the team behind The Lowry



Julia Fawcett OBE – Chief Executive

Rachel Miller – Director of Audiences, Sales and Marketing

Gwen Oakden – Deputy Chief Executive & Director of Development

Michelle Pendergast – Group Finance Director

Jenny Riding – Director of Learning & Engagement 

Michael Simpson – Director of Visual Arts

Tony Smith – Commercial Director

Creative Team


Antonia Beck – Senior Producer: Artist Development

Steve Cowton – Head of Theatre Operations

Matthew Eames –Head of Theatres (Contemporary and Commissioning)

Julia Fawcett OBE – Chief Executive

Jenny Riding – Director of Learning & Engagement 

Michael Simpson – Director of Visual Arts

Eckhard Thiemann – Programming Associate: Dance

Heads of Departments


Steve Cowton – Head of Theatre Operations

Matt Eames – Head of Theatres (Contemporary & Commissioning)

Zara Foxcroft – Head of CRM & Digital

Elizabeth Holbrey – Head of Galleries

Lyndsey Tickle – Head of Commercial Operations

Sally Anderson – Head of Conference & Event Sales

Keith Kelly – Head of Ticketing

Helen Wilkinson – Head of Finance

Tim Manley – Head of Marketing & Communications

Phil Maxim – Head of Technical Theatre

Darren Mullin – Head of IT

Shirley Lundstram – Development Manager

Kate Rice – House Manager

John Toomer – Facilities Manager

Rachel Woods – Head of HR


Sir Rod Portrait

Sir Rod Aldridge OBE (Chair)

Sir Rod Aldridge OBE is one of the UK’s leading social and business entrepreneurs with a career that has spanned senior roles in the public sector, business and the voluntary sector. His career started in the public sector where he qualified as a Chartered Public Accountant before going on to be the founder of the Capita Group, which he built from a start-up in 1984 to it becoming a FTSE 100 company. The Group shaped the outsourcing market in the UK and today employs over 70,000 people. Following his retirement in 2006, Rod founded the Aldridge Foundation, a charity focusing on creating positive, sustainable, social and economic impact, by putting enterprise skills and an entrepreneurial mind-set at the heart of young people’s education through a family of 12 academies in the NW, London and SE. He was also the Founder Chair of Ada the National College of Digital skills which continues to be associated with Aldridge Education.

Rod is a Patron of the Prince’s Trust and served on its Council as a Trustee from 2001 to 2007.

In 2006 Rod was appointed by Prime Minister to be the Founder Chair of Vinspired, the youth volunteering charity established to be responsible for revolutionising volunteering in 16 to 24 year olds, inspiring and engaging one million new young volunteers. A position he held for 7 years.

In 2009, he was invited by the Secretary of State for Health to Chair a Dance Champions Working Group to report on initiatives aimed at encouraging 100,000 adults to engage in more activity as part of lead up to the London Olympics.

As well as being Chair of The Lowry, Rod is President of Sussex Cricket, a Founder Freeman of the Guild of Entrepreneurs and is Patron of the Aldridge Education MAT.

In 2012, he received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Business Administration from Manchester Metropolitan University and in the same year was selected by the London Olympic Organising Team to become an Olympic Torchbearer for his charitable work.

Sir Rod was awarded an OBE in 1994, given the Freedom of the City of London in 1996, Elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2006 and received a Knighthood for services to young people in the 2012 New Year Honours List. Sir Rod’s autobiography ‘You’re Better Than They Think You Are’ was published in 2018.

Felicity Goodey OBE

Felicity Goodey led the team which funded, built and operated the country’s most successful arts-based millennium projects, The Lowry theatre and gallery complex. She is a former senior BBC journalist and presenter who discovered a passion for regeneration! After ten years of leading The Lowry she was asked by Salford City Council to help set up a much bigger regeneration project, Central Salford, the largest Urban Regeneration Company in the country which was charged with helping to redevelop what was the old City of Salford. In 2006/7 she led the consortium which won the highly contested bid to relocate a major part of the BBC to the North and in the process devised the concept of MediaCityUK, a globally significant new media hub which was built alongside The Lowry.

She gave up broadcasting to become one of the first directors of the Northwest Development Agency and develop her business interests. She chaired the regional organisation responsible for developing Tourism across the Northwest now worth more than £ 14 billion a year.

Her career began with the BBC. Experience as a senior correspondent specialising in industry and politics, together with a business career in media and education services, provided the foundations for developing and leading major public/private projects. A graduate of St Hugh’s College, Oxford, she has a number of honorary fellowships and degrees including Hon. fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architecture. She was awarded the CBE for services to regeneration and the Arts.

Current projects include Chairing the internationally acclaimed Buxton Festival,

‘A happy marriage of Opera, Music and Books’, says the Telegraph; ‘An un-missable small European Opera Festival’, says the Metropolitan Opera House, New York!


Nazir Afzal OBE

Nazir Afzal, was Chief Crown Prosecutor for NW England and formerly Director in London. He was Chief Executive of the country’s Police & Crime Commissioners and most recently, National Adviser to the Welsh Government. During a 30 year career, he has prosecuted the most high profile cases in the country and advised on many others and led nationally on several legal topics including Violence against Women & Girls, child sexual abuse, and honour based violence.

He is the Chancellor of The University of Manchester, Chair of Hopwood Hall FE College, sits on the Independent Press Standards Organisation & the National Police Chiefs Ethics Committee, is Independent member of Oxfam’s Safeguarding & Ethics Committee and Trustee of Association of Safeguarding Partnerships and WOW (World of Women) Foundation

He was appointed the first ever independent Chair of the Catholic Church’s Safeguarding Agency.

His memoirs “The Prosecutor” published in 2020 are currently being adapted for a British multipart drama. His second book “The Race to the Top” was published in Sept 2022. He was interviewed on BBC Radio 4 ‘Desert Island Discs’.


Jatin Aythora

Jatin Aythora serves as the Director of BBC Research & Development, where he plays a crucial role in driving the organisation’s technical vision and fostering innovation within the BBC and the wider news and media industry. In this capacity, he supports and shapes the BBC’s mission ambition and charter obligations.

Before joining the BBC, Jatin served as the Head of Enterprise Architecture at Centrica. During his tenure, he played a key role in developing ideas for home automation products, leading to the successful establishment of Hive Home and Local Heroes. These ventures offer a diverse range of connected home products and energy services.

Throughout his career, Jatin has held various leadership positions in the finance, banking, mining, retail, and oil and gas industries. In these roles, he spearheaded innovation, technology-led change, and digital transformation initiatives within medium to large-scale businesses. His primary focus was on inventing industry defining approaches and technologies, gaining a competitive edge, and driving revenue growth.

Additionally, Jatin acts as an advisor to several health-tech start-ups in the UK. He also serves as a member of the board for Partnership on AI, supporting development of research, insight and guidelines to address societal challenges stemming from machine learning and artificial intelligence advancements.

Apart from delivering ground-breaking and industry defining technologies that contribute to social good and in the benefit of humankind, Jatin is interested in design, art and philosophy and is often found with canvas painting abstract art.


Roli Barker

Roli Barker has worked for non-profit organisations for over 13 years delivering projects for social impact charities and arts organisations such as Shelter, London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, National Youth Theatre and Hull 2017 City of Culture. Prior to joining the non-profit sector, she worked in the events industry as a project manager delivering national and international corporate events. Roli is currently a Director at Big Life Group and is a non-executive director at Jigsaw Homes. Her interest in ensuring equity and belonging in the workplace, has led her to developing anti-racism strategies and leading EDI groups.

Mike Blackburn OBE

Mike Blackburn was Vice President Strategy & Planning for BT’s Public sector division as well as BT’s North West Regional Chair. His career in BT spanned 25 years with most of his focus being within the public sector of the UK. Much of his achievements were around supporting BT’s customers to transform their organisations to be more agile, customer focused and improve their business performance. Within the North West Mike centred his attention on supporting communities to access technology, and to help improve their individual potential through the development of skills and access to opportunities.

Mike was one of the leaders who designed and developed the building and running of the Manchester Communication Academy in Manchester. The MCA started as a secondary school and quickly developed further by the addition of a primary school and an Initial Teacher Training Academy.  MCA was, and still is, an enormous success in Harpurhey, and has ensured that the children of the area have access to outstanding teaching and support. Through the MCA, Mike was able to direct the efforts of BT and partners into supporting people and businesses of the local community. Mike chaired the MCA multi academy trust board of governors from opening in 2010 until 2018.

Mike started his non-executive and trustee roles in 2007 when he joined the board of Midas, the inward investment agency for Manchester.  At the same time, he also joined the NW advisory board for Business in the Community, a Prince of Wales charity. Such was Mike’s contribution that he was appointed as the Prince’s Ambassador for business in the NW for 2010 and 2011.

In 2008 Mike was appointed as Chair of the New Economy, a private-public board which took the lead on the development of the economic strategy for Greater Manchester. In 2011 Mike was chosen to lead the newly formed Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for Greater Manchester (GM).  This private public board became the lead organisation on the development of the GM growth strategy. Mike led the board until 2020 when he left after 9 years of his leadership.

In that same period Mike was also a board member of the Lancashire LEP where he led on the formation and implementation of Boost, the business growth hub for Lancashire which supported businesses in their challenge to access finance, skills, and funding.

Mike continues with a variety of non-exec and trustee roles including Chair of Dixons Academy Trust and Chair of the Growth Company.

One of Mike’s proudest moments was when he was selected to be a Paralympic Flame bearer for the 2012 Paralympics in London.

For his outstanding contribution to business and the economy of the NW, Mike was awarded an OBE in 2015.

In 2016 Mike received an honorary degree of Doctor of Business Administration from Manchester Metropolitan University. He also received the awards of IOD NW Non-Exec and Director of the year 2016, as well as IOD UK Non-Exec Director of the year 2016.

Jane Bonham-Carter photo

Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter

Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter became the Liberal Democrat’s Director of Communications in 1996, a role she held through the 1997 election returning to a career in television as an independent producer at Brook Lapping Productions where she produced a number of documentaries for Channel 4, the BBC and ITV, including the award winning series ‘Maggie: the First Lady’.

In 2004, she was made a Liberal Democrat Life Peer, and became spokesperson on Broadcasting and the Arts. She has sat on various House of Lords Select Committee including the one set up in 2005 to look into the BBC Charter Review, and then the Communications Committee.

After the 2010 election, she was elected Deputy Convenor of the Liberal Democrat Peers, and she was appointed Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Party Committee on Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport, this includes being lead Lib Dem spokesperson on DCMS matters in the House of Lords. She has been on the Advisory Committee of the think tank Centre Forum since 2005, and RAPt (Rehabilitation for Addicted Prisoners Trust) since 1999. Earlier this year she was appointed to the board of the National Campaign for the Arts.

Jaiden Corfield Portrait

Jaiden Corfield

Jaiden Corfield is an activist turned social entrepreneur with over a decade of experience within the social impact sector. Most importantly, he’s a proud Salford lad.

As the founder of a consultancy network supporting organisations to realise greater social purpose, Jaiden has worked alongside some of the world’s largest organisations to create and sustain positive change across education, philanthropy and policy. From co-designing the UK’s first youth-led supplementary school to championing some of the UK’s boldest and most disruptive funds, Jaiden brings a depth of professional and lived-experience.

Jaiden was first introduced to The Lowry as a young person on one of the Arts for Social Change programmes in 2014. In 2019, Jaiden founded The Outliers Project to support more young Salfordians to recognise and achieve their potential. He has since advocated tirelessly to see more young Salfordian’s grow alongside the city and access everything that Salford has to offer.

Ian Currie Portrait

Ian Currie

Ian Currie is a graduate of Manchester University and a chartered accountant. Ian has worked in corporate finance in the region for over 30 years, including co-founding Zeus Capital in Manchester and in 2010, he co-founded the Seneca Group in the northwest. Ian is married with 4 children and 6 grandchildren, and lives in Brindle near Chorley. He supports a number of charities in the North West.

City Mayor Paul Dennett

City Mayor Paul Dennett

Paul Dennett was brought up in Great Sankey, Warrington and worked in a call-center for BT before moving to Northern Ireland as a mature student to study a BA (Hons) in International Business at the University of Ulster.  Following his undergraduate education, he went on to study for an MSc in Human Resource Management and Industrial Relations at the University of Manchester followed by further MRes and PhD study, and lecturing at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Business School.

Paul was elected Councillor for the Langworthy ward of Salford in 2012 and held the Strategic Assistant Mayor position in Salford City Council’s cabinet until 2016 focusing on equalities, cohesion, technology, change, transformation, innovation, prosperity, industrial relations and workforce.

He has a long history of campaigning on social issues and since becoming City Mayor has campaigned for equality, financial inclusion, the living wage, social value, anti-poverty and critically providing genuinely affordable solutions to tackle the housing and homelessness crisis facing the UK.

In July 2016, Paul was appointed Greater Manchester Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Low Carbon, Waste and Environment. In May 2017 was appointed Greater Manchester Combined Authority Portfolio Lead for Housing, Homelessness and Infrastructure.  He has recently overseen the Greater Manchester Housing Strategy, and is currently overseeing the Infrastructure Strategy and Plan for Homes, Jobs & the Environment for the city-region.

Phil East Portrait.

Phil East

Phil East became the Chief Executive of Salford Foundation in 2018, having served as Deputy CEO since 2009.

During this time he has had senior management responsibility for the development and delivery of a wide range of projects, with a particular interest in helping those facing multiple disadvantage and in social mobility. In particular, he has developed projects tackling serious youth violence; new approaches to learning and progression into work; domestic abuse; and preventative interventions with young people. He sits on a wide range of multi-agency boards in Salford and Greater Manchester.

As CEO, Phil has also led significant changes in terms of business strategy and planning; workforce engagement and wellbeing; and infrastructure improvements.

Prior to 2009, he worked for Local Authority Youth Services in the north west and south west of England and in the voluntary and community sector in Cheshire.

ane Frost Heasdshot

Jane Frost CBE

Jane Frost holds over 150 awards for creativity and brand marketing, including a double platinum disc for the BBCs Perfect Day which also raised over £2.5m for Children in Need. She is currently the CEO of MRS (the UK regulator for market and social research and a global trainer and publisher for the sector).

Jane is a classically trained marketer, graduating from Unilever after 7 years to become marketing Director of Shell Middle East based in Dubai before returning to Shell International to create the Brand function.

Tempted by one of the most difficult challenges for a marketer, Jane moved to the BBC to set up their branding function, engaging with a sceptical government as part of the charter and licence fee renewal teams. Apart from Perfect Day and other highly awarded advertising campaigns, she also oversaw the wholesale re-branding of the BBC to its current logo: a job so difficult all subsequent attempts have failed.

After being part of the team that established a new private company, BBC Technology, out of the support assets of the BBC and its successful sale, she joined the government as Strategy Director to the Lord Chancellor before becoming HMRCs first Customer Director. It was for this work in revolutionising HMRCs strategic approach, that she was appointed CBE.

Jane has held many NED positions and trusteeships and is currently co-chair of the Tiffany Circle of the Red Cross, vice chair of the Fairtrade Foundation and a trustee of the Lowry Centre. In the past, she has held roles in the international publisher and services company Wolters Kluwer NV, at Children in Need Ltd and has chaired an educational trust.

She is kept sane by her two border terriers and her garden.

Fiona Gibson

Fiona Gibson is the Chief Executive of Capital Theatres in Edinburgh and a trustee of the Lowry Theatre and multi-arts complex in Salford Quays, Greater Manchester.

Her role spans the leadership of three busy Edinburgh city centre venues – the Festival Theatre, The King’s Theatre and the Studio.  Together, the trust is Scotland’s largest theatres charity and its mission is to inspire a lifelong love of theatre, presenting world-class shows to entertain and inspire audiences of all ages. It provides an award-winning creative engagement programme supporting people living with dementia, care experienced children, diverse communities and arts talent development.

Prior to this, Fiona was CEO of the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Theatres, a multi-theatre trust spanning two landmark theatres, one producing and one receiving, both placed at the heart of culture, arts, business & community regeneration in a highly culturally vibrant city.  She was also the Business Director of the Octagon Theatre, Bolton, managing the scoping, funding and budgeting of a £12m capital redevelopment programme.

Outside of her theatre day job in the North West of England, Fiona was also the Board member for culture on the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership, a member of the Greater Manchester Culture Steering Group and chair of the Greater Manchester Visitor Economy Board.

Previous to the arts, Fiona’s career spanned 22 years with Accenture, the global strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations business, undertaking a range of both international and regional client and business leadership roles.  A trustee of the Accenture Foundation Board, she managed a range of community investment projects, culminating in her appointment as the HRH Prince of Wales Ambassador for Responsible Business in the North West of England.

Fiona is passionate about making a difference through the broader ‘life benefits’ she knows the arts brings.  A vibrant theatre with relevant and quality work on stage not only builds joy and aspiration, it also makes a significant difference to health and wellbeing, employability, community cohesion and the regeneration of place.

Jeremy Glover headshot

Jeremy Glover MBE

Jeremy Glover transformed Bolton Lads and Girls Club from a standard run down youth club to its current status where it is seen as one of the best examples in the UK of a modern 21st Century Youth Zone. The Club was quoted extensively by the Government in its White Paper “Aiming High for Young People” and is the model for the new myplace centres.

Along with Bill Holroyd, Jeremy has established a new charity OnSide North West, with the aim of replicating the successful Bolton Lads and Girls Club and the plan is to build many more across the North West. His personal achievements include:

  • Awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship in 1998.
  • Awarded MBE for Services to Young People in 1999.
  • Became an Honorary Fellow of Bolton University in 2001.
  • Awarded an Honorary Doctorate at Bolton University in 2010.

Katharine Hammond CBE

Katharine Hammond is a senior civil servant with more than 20 years experience in Whitehall across a variety of departments including the Cabinet Office, Home Office and FCDO.

ouncillor Bill Hinds Portrait

Councillor Bill Hinds

Councillor Bill Hinds was the Leader of Salford City Council from 1988 until 2004 and is a Trustee of The Lowry.  He is now the Lead Member for Finance and Support Services and also currently represents the Council on a range of outside bodies. He is also a school governor at the Dean’s primary school in Swinton. His political background is in the Trade Union movement, where he rose to the status of National Convenor for the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Workers Union.

His interests include politics, the arts (especially opera and ballet), reading, birdwatching and rugby league.

Baroness Beverley Hughes Portrait

Baroness Beverley Hughes

Baroness Beverley Hughes of Stretford began her professional career as a probation officer and also an elected local councillor, before becoming Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Social Policy at the University of Manchester and also Leader of Trafford Metropolitan Borough Council.  In 1997, she was elected Labour Member of Parliament for Stretford and Urmston and held a number of Ministerial positions including Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Local Government and for Prisons, Probation and Youth Justice at the Home Office where she was later Minister of State for Immigration and Counter-Terrorism. From 2005 to 2009, she held the cross-government Cabinet level post as Minister of State for Children and Families, and from 2007 to 2009 was also Minister of State for the North West of England.

She retired as Member of Parliament in 2010 when she was appointed a Life Peer in the House of Lords where she was Shadow Minister for Children and Families.

On the 6th May 2017, Baroness Hughes was appointed as Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire by Greater Manchester Combined Authority Mayor, Andy Burnham.

Daniel Kasmir Portrait

Daniel Kasmir

Daniel Kasmir gained extensive experience of HR in a number of organisations including Shell, Manpower, FNZ, Xchanging and BDO. He has worked in Private Equity as both an adviser and within portfolio companies for General Atlantic, JC Flowers and Bain Capital.

Daniel joined TalkTalk in 2019 where he is responsible for People and Procurement. He is also Chair of the Employment Board at HMP Thorncross.

Tom Stannard Portrait

Tom Stannard

Tom Stannard is a UK local government professional and Chief Executive of Salford City Council. He supports the directly elected City Mayor, delivering local public services and improving the lives of Salford’s fast growing and diverse 260,000 population, leading an organisation of over 3,500 staff, with a net revenue budget of £220M and a capital investment programme of £115M p/a.  Salford is a major driver of the growth of Greater Manchester, a key member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, and partner in the £8BN+ GMCA devolution programme.

Tom leads our City-wide integrated health and social care system as the designated Place Lead for Salford in the Greater Manchester Integrated Care System (ICS). He is nationally recognised specialist in local government, public service reform and delivering inclusive economic growth, and he is the lead CEO in Greater Manchester for the Economy, Business and International portfolio.

Tom’s professional background is in regeneration, economic development and skills.  From 2018-21 he was Wakefield Council’s Corporate Director of Regeneration and Economic Growth, a key member of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority in one of the fastest growing economies within the Leeds City Region, the UK’s biggest economic area outside London.  His previous career roles include Director of Economy and Skills at Oldham Council in Greater Manchester, Deputy Chief Executive of the UK Learning and Work Institute, and senior leadership in high performing Councils across the UK – Blackburn with Darwen (Lancashire), the London Borough of Hounslow, and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.

He has extensive professional experience in political environments, supporting elected Members and politicians of all parties successfully at local, regional and national levels.

Tom is a Chartered Surveyor, a Member and Chair of the UK Institute of Economic Development (MIED), and a Commissioner on the Living Wage Foundation for the UK.  For a number of years, he has been a member, policy lead and spokesperson for SOLACE (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives), currently on Climate Change and Environment.

Andrew Wylie Portrait

Andrew Wylie

Andrew Wylie is a Partner at the international engineering consultancy Buro Happold. He is a UK Executive Director and has responsibility for their portfolio of UK Culture Sector projects and the business response to the climate emergency. He is a Chartered Engineer and has experience of leading multi-disciplinary design teams on a range of complex new build and refurbishment projects including The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, The Factory (Manchester), Manchester Jewish Museum and the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury. Andrew has completed a Master’s degree in Inter-Disciplinary Design for the Built Environment at the University of Cambridge, and is also a member of the Association of British Theatre Technicians.

Sustainable design and construction is a passion of Andrew’s, this has led him to co-author the award winning Theatre Green Book which has now been translated into six languages. Following the success of the Theatre Green Book Andrew co-authored the Arts Green Book and he remains an active member of the Theatre Green Book steering group.