Royal Borough of Greenwich's Danny Thorpe Announces James Heaton as CEO of the Woolwich Creative District Trust | The Fan Carpet Ltd • The Fan Carpet: The RED Carpet for FANS • The Fan Carpet: Fansites Network • The Fan Carpet: Slate • The Fan Carpet: Theatre Spotlight • The Fan Carpet: Arena • The Fan Carpet: International

Royal Borough of Greenwich’s Danny Thorpe Announces James Heaton as CEO of the Woolwich Creative District Trust

27 February 2019

Following the recent announcement of Punchdrunk’s move to the Woolwich Creative District in 2020, the Royal Borough of Greenwich is delighted to announce the appointment of James Heaton as the operating Trust’s Chief Executive Officer.

Council Leader Danny Thorpe said “I’m delighted that James is joining this incredible enterprise. He has the drive and experience to make our plans a reality and deliver the vision for the site as a place that is open and welcoming, brimming with opportunities and creativity and a cultural destination that will put Woolwich on the map.’

James Heaton will take up the role in August 2019, having over 10 years’ experience in Director and Executive-level arts and entertainment venue positions. Currently Operations Director for the Nimax group of West End theatres, he spent seven years at Camden’s Roundhouse where his achievements included delivering the iTunes Festival and starting London’s trend for man-made urban beaches with his Camden Beach concept. He will lead the development and growth of the complex and, together with the Board, establish the Woolwich Creative District as a world class public and private event space with community engagement and opportunities at its core.



James Heaton said “The Council’s incredible vision for the transformation of the Royal Arsenal site presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not only for me, but more importantly for the communities of Woolwich and Greenwich, and the cultural life of London. I’m honoured to have the task of bringing people together within the walls of these beautiful buildings to create something amazing, the impact of which will be felt far beyond them. It’s my dream job.”

Newly appointed Chair of the Trust, Dr. Valerie Vaughan-Dick said “I’m thrilled James will be joining me to spearhead the Woolwich Creative District Trust. His experience will be invaluable as we set about establishing a cultural hub akin to London’s most established arts centres.”

Along with Punchdrunk, previously announced resident companies include Europe’s first majority Black and Minority Ethnic orchestra Chineke! Orchestra, Woolwich-based Protein Dance and the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, with further residents to be revealed.

The Woolwich Creative District will be a creative hub in the heart of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This influx of cultural events, companies, activities and spaces to newly renovated heritage buildings will restore the area’s creative profile and drive audiences to experience internationally acclaimed music, dance, theatre and art against a historically significant backdrop. In addition to providing a cultural resource for the local community, the site will attract visitors from across London, the UK and beyond and with the introduction of Crossrail (which has a station on the Creative District site), Woolwich will be easier to get to than ever.

James Heaton is responsible for the running of six of London’s West End venues – the Palace, Garrick, Lyric, Apollo, Vaudeville and Duchess Theatres, as Operations Director for Nimax Theatres. He was previously Deputy Director of Operations for Camden’s Roundhouse, Venue Director for The Guardian, and Director of his own business which developed and operated pubs in south-east London.

James sits on the board of trustees for Wilton’s Music Hall (where he has previously also acted as a consultant) and High House Production Park, he is also a Director of the commercial subsidiary of Battersea Arts Centre. He holds a Bachelor of Music (BMus) degree from Goldsmiths, University of London, and is currently enrolled on Edinburgh Business School’s MBA programme.

About the Woolwich Creative District
Phase 1 work has commenced to transform the five Grade II listed buildings with three of the buildings set aside for Punchdrunk’s use. This phase will also see the creation of:

• A versatile venue in Building 41, seating 800 – 1200 or with a 1800 standing capacity, linking directly to an open air courtyard capable of holding formal events for 500+ people;

• Three professional studios in Building 41 (two of which can be joined to make one very large studio);

• Two community studios in Building 41;

• Three professional / education studios in Building 40;

• Two reception spaces specifically set aside for commercial use (overlooking the River Thames and the internal courtyard); and

• Generous public spaces and a café / bar. Phase 1 work will be completed during 2020.

Phase 1 work will be completed by mid-2020.

About the Royal Borough of Greenwich
Royal Greenwich is proud to be a borough synonymous with first class modern services alongside its maritime history, Greenwich Mean Time and royal status. A world heritage site, its communities are vibrant and diverse and its elected members are ambitious to realise the potential of the borough whilst responding to financial challenges and a growing population. Securing the very best outcomes for the borough’s children and young people and providing high quality housing remain its top priorities.

The borough has a rich historical and cultural heritage, including outstanding visitor attractions which ensure it continues to be London’s most visited tourism and culture destination outside the city centre. Its ambition now is to use the heritage military buildings on the Arsenal to transform the economy of the east of the borough just as the heritage of the Navy has transformed Greenwich town centre and the west of the borough.

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