Professor Judy Simons, who has an extensive background in university senior management, has been appointed to chair the board of the High Peak Theatre Trust. The Trust runs both Buxton Opera House and Buxton Cinema.
Professor Simons is a highly experienced Trustee and Board member, having chaired a number of national bodies and most recently held the role of Deputy Chair & Governor at Sheffield Hallam University. She was Pro Vice-Chancellor at De Montfort University and is a respected author and editor.
Judy’s first trip to the theatre at the age of five captivated her and cemented her passion for the theatre. Judy’s belief in the transformative power of the creative arts and its central role in the community are infectious. It is this passion and her love of Buxton Opera House that has brought her to the board. She said “This is an opportunity for me to come and help a theatre which I’ve loved for a very long time.”
Judy, who lives in Bakewell, has been a long-standing supporter of Buxton Opera House and believes the theatre is at an exciting point in its development. With the respected Paul Kerryson in the post of Chief Executive, and the investment in the town as a whole, she sees this as a perfect time to develop the future of the Opera House. “I believe the theatre is the jewel in the crown of Buxton,” she says. “There is a big regeneration programme in Buxton now and the theatre is right at the heart of that.”
With the multi-million pound Crescent Hotel & Spa due to open next year she is keen that the Opera House should play a part in an expected resurge of interest in the town’s arts and tourism potential. She’s very keen to make the most of the new opportunities and forge new partnerships to help Buxton Opera House reach its full potential as an artistic centre and architectural treasure.
Judy has taken over the position of Chair from Carol Prowse. Carol has been involved with Buxton Opera House for over 30 years and is also closely associated with the renowned Kinder Choirs.
After such an impressive tenure, Carol who was involved in the appointment of Judy, clearly feels she has passed her role into safe hands.
“My Involvement with Buxton Opera House for over 30 years has been both an interesting journey and a privilege. Through the collective efforts of a strong team, the theatre is firmly established at the centre of the High Peak community and beyond. I am sure that with the teams’ continuing support, the leadership of Professor Judy Simons and the Chief Executive Paul Kerryson, Buxton Opera House & Pavilion Arts Centre will continue to thrive. The Opera House has been an important part of my life and one which I will continue to support in the years to come”.
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