The regeneration of Stroud’s Subscription Rooms has taken a major leap forward as new trustees have been announced.
The eight trustees together have more than 160 years of experience in the entertainment, marketing and arts fields.
The newly-formed Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust will make decisions about the running of the business and its ‘creative’ direction as a cultural hub for the people who live in, work in and visit Stroud town.
Beth Alden has been appointed interim chair of the Trust. She is CEO at New Brewery Arts in Cirencester, a charity and a social enterprise which welcomes some 120,000 visitors each year.
The new trustees also include: Hugh Phillimore, Matt Connors-Jones, Alex Cowan, Andy Woods, Julie Wickham, Abi Wood and Kate Kay.
Hugh Phillimore has produced his own Cornbury Festival in Oxfordshire for the past 15 years. He has worked in the entertainment world for over 30 years producing shows across the world. He’s served on the Advisory Group of the Cheltenham Jazz Festival for over 12 years.
During his 20-plus year career Matt Connors-Jones has helped build some of the world’s biggest brands and hopes he can use some of this experience to put the Subscription Rooms back on the map and get people flocking through its doors.
Alex Cowan has more than 30 years’ experience in television, film production, museum and art exhibitions and the educational sector. He is currently working on an accessible physical and digital archive of disability arts.
Andy Woods launched Gloucester’s Guildhall arts centre for the City Council in 1988 and was its chief executive until 2004. He is currently a freelance programmer at Birmingham’s MAC arts centre, and secretary of Gloucester’s Strike a Light festival trust.
Julie Wickham has worked in community engagement since 2005 when she worked on Agenda 21 and Sustainability at Reading Borough Council. For the past four years she has worked with staff and trustees at Stroud Valleys Project to triple the charity’s unrestricted income.
Abi Wood spent 10 years working as a technician and stage manager. Before she moved to Stroud Abi worked 14 years an Arts Event Manager for the Barbican Centre.
“The new trust is unique as it is made up of festival founders and organisers, well connected event professionals, entertainment industry experts, board directors, a solicitor, and a creative director all brimming with ideas, energy and determination,” said Beth Alden.
“Most importantly, all the trustees have a connection with Stroud and an understanding of its magical and unexplainable spirit. We are committed to making your Sub Rooms the beating heart of Stroud, creating a place that’s filled with spirit, artistry, entertainment and community for everyone.”
The Stroud Subscription Rooms Trust will form a Charitable Incorporated Organisation responsible for running the Sub Rooms while Stroud Town Council maintains ownership of the venue.
Details of the venue’s transfer of ownership from Stroud District Council to the Town Council are still being finalised.