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Professor Sue Rigby announced as new Chair of St George's

We’re delighted to announce Professor Sue Rigby will be our new Chair from June 2024.

Professor Sue Rigby announced as new Chair of St George's

Professor Sue Rigby will take over as St George’s new Chair, when outgoing Chair Ben Heald steps down in June 2024.

Professor Sue Rigby has been Vice Chancellor of Bath Spa University since 2018, and previously held senior roles at the Universities of Lincoln and Edinburgh. Sue is passionate about the arts. Her academic background lies in palaeontology, having held roles at Cambridge, Leicester and Edinburgh Universities. Sue is an Executive Member of the MillionPlus group, a Trustee Board member at Student Minds, and is also acting Chair of the QAA Credit Framework Group.

Ben Heald has been Chair of St George’s since April 2018, and a Trustee since 2013. Ben is founder of Bristol-based digital media company Sift, and previously chaired Bristol Pound. Ben is also a keen amateur pianist and violinist.

Samir Savant, Chief Executive of St George’s Bristol, said,

“I want to pay personal tribute to Ben and his amazing leadership as Chair. Since joining St George’s in late 2021, I have valued Ben’s vital guidance and insights, and the expert support he gave the organisation through the challenges of the pandemic. We have a reinvigorated Board of Trustees and look to the future with confidence. I am excited that Sue Rigby will be our new Chair, bringing experience from many different roles, particularly in the field of Higher Education, where we are keen to develop our work with existing and new partners in the region.”

Professor Sue Rigby, Vice Chancellor of Bath Spa University and incoming Chair of St George’s Bristol, said:

“St George’s is a unique music and performance venue that could only exist and thrive in Bristol and the West of England. I am so honoured to be taking over as Chair of Trustees and look forward to supporting Samir with his vision for this wonderful organisation and its inspiring spaces.”

Ben Heald, outgoing Chair of St George’s Bristol, said,

“As Chair of St George’s the last six years, it’s been thrilling to be involved with such an inspiring venue, and it lifts the spirit every time I attend something there. Suzanne Rolt and Samir Savant have both been wonderful Chief Executives to work with; then there’s the Trustees, the leadership team, the staff and volunteers, all of whom I’ve had the privilege of supporting. Sue will bring her own energy and freshness to the role. I wish her, the new St George’s board, the wider staff team and indeed the whole organisation the very best for the future.”

This change in Board leadership follows St George’s Bristol’s 200th anniversary celebrations in 2023, and coincides with other exciting initiatives including the ground-breaking Sing for Happiness project.