New Director appointed for Town Hall Arts, Trowbridge

on Friday, 22 February 2019. Posted in Events

Town Hall Arts has appointed David Lockwood as its new Director, confident it has found a replacement for founder Director Tracy Sullivan who understands and shares the charity’s passion and vision to reimagine the historic building’s place in the town’s future.

Colin Kay, chair of the Trowbridge Town Hall Trust, said: “We were overwhelmed by the number and calibre of applications we had and are delighted to appoint David Lockwood. We are confident that with his experience and vision he will work well with the Board, staff, volunteers and community to ensure a sustainable future for this vital venue for Trowbridge.

“As we look to the future, we also want to acknowledge how grateful we are to Tracy Sullivan and all she has done to create Town Hall Arts.”

David Lockwood, who will lead THA from April 1, added: “I’m delighted to take on the huge challenge of making Trowbridge Town Hall a creative and civic organisation for the 21st century. Buildings like this have the potential to help us reimagine our towns and cities in the digital age. I look forward to meeting and hearing ideas from the residents of Trowbridge as we develop plans for the future life of this incredible, beautiful, quirky building.

David was the co-founder of The Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter which he led from 2010 to 2018, during which time he developed a pioneering business model and acclaimed artist development programme, whilst also initiating and participating in citywide partnerships including the Ignite Festival of Theatre. His other experience includes a Clore Leadership Fellowship, which included a secondment at the Royal Opera House, and he is currently working as a producer for Emma Rice’s theatre company Wise Children.

The 35-year-old moved to Exeter, via Stratford upon Avon, to train as an actor and theatre director. He said: “I actually performed in Trowbridge in my first show out of drama school, in a touring production of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, but I didn’t take the opportunity to explore the town. My grandparents lived in Holt for a short while and I’ve fond memories of visiting them there.

“My first recent visit to Trowbridge was on January 2, when it felt a bit post-festive. But the people I’ve met, In local cafes, the staff and trustees of the Town Hall, the Town Clerk and local artists, have shown me the appetite that exists for change. There’s a latent energy which can enable Trowbridge to be a pioneer in how we create our towns and cities in the digital age.

“What interests me about theatre is its ever-changing nature - its ephemerality. Increasingly, I’ve been interested in the civic role of cultural organisations, especially after the divisions exposed during the Brexit referendum.”

The Trowbridge Town Hall Trust was formed after the community came together in 2011, after a series of public meetings, to restore and re-open the Town Hall, the county town’s most iconic building.
The aim has always been to turn it back into a valuable part of the town’s life for the 21st century and beyond. Town Hall Arts was formed in 2017, after the Trustees recognised that bringing together arts, culture and heritage was the best way forward to guarantee the hall’s future.
Following a major fundraising campaign in 2018, the charity has formed new partnerships and obtained increased backing and funding from Trowbridge Town Council, alongside continued support from Wiltshire Council, Arts Council England and other donors.

Tracy Sullivan, who will work alongside David Lockwood for the next six weeks as he familiarises himself with the project, said: “It was a really tough decision to make to leave such a brilliant venue and team of staff and volunteers but with a more secure future, and lots more opportunities to explore, it feels like the right to time to hand over the reins to someone with a fresh pair of eyes and renewed energy.”