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Board of Trustees

The Board of Non-Executive Directors is made up of industry professionals from a range of backgrounds. They provide knowledge and guidance in the areas of governance, human resources, law and finance. 

The Board meets every two months where they receive business reports from the Executive Director and Senior Management Team and take an active role in strategic and business planning. The Finance sub-committee meets monthly and discusses issues including financial planning, capital investment and levels of authority.

Carol Prowse (Chairman)

Carol Prowse was born and educated in the High Peak. She subsequently gained a degree in Economics from London University. She worked in the City of London in banking, before returning to the High Peak, where she was employed by the local authority.

She is a Director and Chairman of the High Peak Theatre Trust and thoroughly enjoys the opportunity to work, on a voluntary basis, with such a successful arts venue at the heart of the High Peak community. Her association with the Buxton Opera House is a long one. Carol was instrumental in organising several very successful Opera Galas to raise funds for the Theatre. One was in the presence of HRH The Prince of Wales.

Carol Prowse also enjoys working with young people and has been closely associated with the internationally renowned Kinder Children’s Choirs of the High Peak for nearly 20 years. Over 100 High Peak young people are members of the organisation.

For 6 years Carol was a Non -Executive Director of the High Peak Dales NHS Primary Care Trust and was their Appointed Governor when Stepping Hill gained foundation status. She was subsequently appointed as a Non – Executive Director at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust in 2007 and is currently Deputy Chairman and Senior Independent Director, as well as Chairman of the Workforce & Organisational Development Committee.

Carol is married and has a son. They live in New Mills.

Emily Thrane (High Peak Borough Council Representative)

Emily Thrane was nominated by High Peak Borough Council to serve on the HIgh Peak Theatre Trust in June 2015. She is the authority’s Executive Councillor for Finance and Corporate Services. She has represented Temple ward in Buxton since May 2007. She was also a Theatre Trust director 2007- 2011 and represented the Derbyshire district councils on the East Midlands Arts Council 2008 - 2011.

Now retired, her previous career was in educational administration, first with local authorities and then with the Further Education Funding and Learning and Skills Councils. She is a vice-chair of governors of Reaseheath College, a land-based specialist college in Cheshire and a member of the University of Chester Governing Council

Dr Beverley Carter

Dr Beverley Carter is a lively and warm person, creative and outgoing, who works well to support, encourage and facilitate colleagues in developing their own capabilities. Beverley is passionate about developing high quality education in the creative industries and has substantial experience as a creative arts and media quality reviewer and at a strategic level as a consultant, including the government Standards Unit.

Beverley has held a number of senior positions in further and higher education and has developed a wide range of national resources for creative industries education and teacher education.

Beverley has very broad consultancy experience with the national agencies, LSDA and LSN, as she is expert in quality enhancement and assurance, as evidenced not only by her external work but also in her former central role as Quality Manager for further education. She has published extensively and holds a Doctor of Education. Her doctoral thesis focused on the quality of training and mentoring for new teachers.

Lady Jasmine Cavendish

Lady Jasmine Cavendish has been a Non-Executive Director and the Patron of Buxton Opera House for 10 years. Her parents, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, live at Chatsworth, not far from Buxton. The Cavendish family have had strong connections with the town that reach back over three hundred years. The 11th Duke of Devonshire was the first Patron of Buxton Opera House.

Lady Jasmine gained a degree from East Anglia University and has worked in the Arts Sector. She continues to have a strong interest in the performing arts. She is also President of the charity Contact the Elderly and Patron of the Buxton Poetry Competition.

Her home is in London with her husband Nicholas Dunne and their 3 young sons.

Colin Sykes

Colin Sykes is a professional journalist best known for his appearances on BBC North West Tonight where he was the programme’s Environment Correspondent for 15 years. Colin began his career as a newspaper journalist before switching to broadcasting and the BBC where he worked for more than 30 years in both radio and television. He was Deputy Manager of BBC Radio Manchester, a regular producer of BBC North West Tonight and ran the pilot programmes for the BBC’s move into its new state of the art news studio at MediaCity in Salford. He now teaches broadcast journalism at the University of Sheffield.

Outside work, Colin is a keen supporter of the arts and is passionate about Buxton Opera House. He produced an annual charity gala at the theatre for 12 years raising more than £120.000 for cancer research. He is a keen pianist and also performs with a four part harmony group raising money for charities in and around Buxton where he lives. Because of his TV work he has compered and chaired numerous concerts, conferences and award ceremonies throughout the North West.

Louise Potter

Louise Potter owned The Old Hall Hotel, Buxton for 25 years. She did her General Catering Diploma at High Peak College, Buxton and worked with Grand Metropolitan Hotels in London. She was a Governor at High Peak College when it merged with the University of Derby. In 2001 she opened 6 The Square Tearooms Buxton.

Currently she is on the Board of the High Peak Theatre Trust, Board of Buxton Festival and Chairman of Kinder Children’s Choirs Trust. Louise’s Interests include art, opera, archaeology, gardening and travel.

Paul Rooney

Paul studied Politics, Philosophy and Economics at Oxford University before qualifying as a solicitor. After several years working as a corporate lawyer in the City, Paul moved out to the Caribbean. 

Here he gravitated towards property development, ultimately being appointed CEO of one of the region’s leading property companies. Under his management the company’s flagship development, the Royal Westmoreland Golf and Country Club (Barbados), consolidated its reputation as the premier resort development in the Caribbean and was voted one of the top 25 golf courses in the world. Paul negotiated the sale of the company in 2004. He then returned home to the UK. 

Paul remains active in property development in both the Caribbean and north-west England. He continues to practise as a lawyer and is a member of the British Virgin Islands bar.

John Scampion (Interim Deputy Chair)

John took a history degree at Oxford university. He worked as a social worker before joining Price Waterhouse and becoming a Chartered Accountant. He was the Finance Director for a number of NHS hospitals, and was responsible for the £1 billion redevelopment of the hospitals in Central Manchester. 

In recent years he has run his own consultancy business. From 2007 to 2013 he was Chair of Lifeline, a drugs rehabilitation charity, and from 2014 to 2016 Chair of Manchester's Mental Health Care NHS Trust. He is a founder trustee of the charity Improving Chances for Uganda with his wife Patricia, a retired paediatrician. He has two grown up daughters and lives in Buxton.

Rosemary Stafford

Rosemary was born in Birmingham but has spent most of her life in the High Peak. She gained a Law degree from Manchester University and qualified as a solicitor. After a short spell in private practice she moved into the public sector and became a Solicitor for High Peak Borough Council. During her time there she achieved a post-graduate Level 5 Diploma in Coaching and Mentoring from the Institute of Leadership and Management. 

She also became an Officer peer with the Improvement and Development Agency with special emphasis on ethical governance. For the last 7 years of her career she was the Council’s Monitoring Officer and Principal Legal Advisor. She was also the Council’s Returning Officer responsible for running all elections. 

Following early retirement she took the opportunity to re-train as a Mountain Leader and for some years she guided walks in the Peak District, Lake District and Europe and supervised expeditions for the Duke of Edinburgh scheme

She has followed the fortunes of the Theatre on a professional basis during her career with the Council and believes strongly that the arts should be for everyone.

John Silverwood

John is a Chartered Fellow of The Institute of Personnel and Development. John spent most of his career working in the manufacturing sector initially in textiles and latterly in soaps and detergents. He left the role of Group HR Director with PZ Cussons in 2008 and then worked as HR Director for the University Hospital of  South Manchester NHS Foundation Trust until he retired in 2012.

John hails from Nottingham but now lives in Stafford. He has a keen interest in music and is a Member at Nottinghamshire Cricket Club.

Find out more:
To contact the Non-Executive Directors, write c/o the Theatre Secretary:

Buxton Opera House
Water Street
SK17 6XN.