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Susan Gilchrist appointed as Southbank Centre chairman

Susan Gilchrist has been named as the next chairman of Southbank Centre, in successions to Rick Haythornthwaite.

Susan Gilchrist

A former journalist, Ms Gilchrist is group chief executive of the international communications firm Brunswick Group.

Ms Gilchrist has a long association with Southbank Centre, having been a regular visitor for many years and serving on the board since 2008. She also sat on the board of trustees of The Old Vic.

"I am delighted to have been invited to become the chairman of Southbank Centre and I look forward to working with the superb management team and my fellow governors to ensure that this dynamic and inspiring arts centre continues to flourish into the future," said Susan Gilchrist.

"We want to build upon the ambition so brilliantly realised under the helm of Rick and further expand upon our award-winning educational programmes, our vibrant festivals and world-class events.

"I share the commitment of everyone who works at Southbank Centre to ensure that as many people as possible can experience the power of the arts as a transformative and integral part of their lives."

Southbank Centre chief executive Alan Bishop said: "Southbank Centre is going from strength to strength and, in Susan Gilchrist, the board has chosen a leader with the enthusiasm, skills and a great reputation as someone who drives positive change.

"I look forward to working with Susan as we seek to take the organisation to even greater heights.

I would also like to thank Rick Haythornthwaite for leading the board with great distinction.

"During his time as chairman, Southbank Centre has flourished as a major international arts centre and Rick's influence has been transformational in developing Southbank Centre as a vibrant thriving festival site.

"Amongst Rick's many personal contributions, perhaps his most sacrificial was his successful 24-hour cycle ride from Durham to Southbank Centre in 2013 to raise the remaining funds for the restoration of the historic Royal Festival Hall organ."

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