The former Executive Director of Keswick’s popular Theatre by the Lake has joined the Board of Kirkgate Arts, the charity that runs Cockermouth’s Kirkgate Centre and West Cumbria’s Arts Out West.
Patric Gilchrist, a resident of Embleton who recently retired from the Theatre by the Lake after 18 years at the helm, is one of three new trustees. Mr Gilchrist led the Theatre’s development to being one of the UK’s most successful repertory theatres, as well as its recent expansion with the addition of the Café by the Lake on the site of Derwentwater’s Lakeside Tea Gardens.
Bob Pritchard and Judith Bennington, who both live in Cockermouth, have also been appointed to the charity’s Board. Mr Pritchard was artistic director of the Kirkgate until he retired four years ago. He founded Cockermouth Amateur Dramatic Society (CADS) in 1984 and pioneered the Georgian Fair. A teacher of English and Drama for much of his career, Bob started volunteering for the Kirkgate Centre when it opened in 1995. He is now chair of Cockermouth Festivals Group, which organises the annual Cockermouth Live! weekend.
Judith was a career civil servant with posts as private secretary to two Government Ministers. She moved to Cumbria in 2004 to help establish the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. She was the NDA’s Board secretary until her retirement three years ago.
Marion Bowman, chair of Kirkgate’s Board, said: “We’re very fortunate to have Patric, Bob and Judith on our Board. They bring a very significant range of skills and experience, to say nothing of their energy and commitment to the Kirkgate’s work and longer term plans for the redevelopment of the Kirkgate Centre.”
Patric said: “I’m very pleased to have joined the team. The charity is a very impressive part of West Cumbria’s arts scene and all the more so because of the large number of enthusiastic volunteers who are involved in managing and running the organisation alongside the small group of paid staff.”
Bob said: “I really valued my time developing the Kirkgate and building up Arts Out West, so I’m delighted to be able to carry on supporting Kirkgate Arts by joining the Board. There have been lots of changes in Cumbria’s arts scene since I first got involved but I hope my knowledge of how the Kirkgate and Arts Out West champion both local amateur performers and professional artists will help Kirkgate Arts achieve its vision for the future.”
Judith said: “I started going to the Kirkgate because I love cinema and live music. Then I became more closely involved through events such as the Cockfrock sales and fundraising initiatives which are always such fun. I hope my previous experience will help the Kirkgate with its long term strategic aims.”
Kirkgate Arts has three other vacancies on its Board. “We’re keen to find potential trustees who can strengthen our business links, and communications, marketing and fundraising efforts,” said Ms Bowman. “We also need an honorary treasurer to support our new Business and Finance Manager, Nichola Frazer.” In another change, the Kirkgate’s Gilli Goodfellow, who joined the charity as community engagement officer six years ago, was recently appointed General Manager.
Anyone interested in the vacant roles is asked to contact Marion at [email protected]