New Executive Director for The Dukes

3 July 2014

A new Executive Director has been appointed by The Dukes, Lancashire’s largest arts organisation.

Ivan Wadeson, currently joint Executive Director with The Audience Agency, will take up his new role in September and work alongside Artistic Director, Joe Sumsion.

Among Ivan’s key tasks will be to manage the extension plans and associated funding strategy for the Lancaster theatre, cinema and creative learning centre as part of the city’s proposed Canal Corridor development.

He will also have responsibility for the financial management of the registered charity which has significantly increased its audiences and income since 2007 and benefits from core investment by Arts Council England, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council.

Welcoming the new appointment, The Dukes Board chair Siân Johnson said: “We are really pleased that someone of Ivan’s calibre and experience is joining The Dukes as it enters a new, exciting era.”

Artistic Director, Joe Sumsion added that he was looking forward to concentrating on developing The Dukes reputation for artistic excellence and innovation while working alongside the new Executive Director and seeing through its exciting plans for the future.

Ivan joins The Dukes with vast experience in the arts sector spanning business growth, strategic marketing and capital development. Ivan was previously Chief Executive of Arts About Manchester and All About Audiences overseeing a three-fold increase in turnover. He then became one of two Executive Directors who led the creation and growth of a new national charity, The Audience Agency. 

His previous roles include Head of Marketing at Sadler’s Wells in London during the £36 million redevelopment of the London dance house and Marketing Director at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre. He is also on the Board of the Liverpool and Everyman Theatres which recently oversaw the £24 million redevelopment of the new Everyman Theatre.

He is also a member of the North West Committee of the Heritage Lottery Fund and was chair of the Arts Marketing Association from 2001-2005.

Ivan said: “I am delighted to be joining The Dukes and welcome the opportunity to play a major role in its future plans for further improving support and facilities for artists and audiences across Lancashire and beyond.”



For further information please contact Louise Bryning on 01524 598509 or email [email protected]

 Editor’s Notes

 The Dukes is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. The Dukes receives regular funding from Arts Council England, Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council.

 The Dukes is the winner of the Lancashire Tourism Cultural Venue/Organisation Award 2013.

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