Norwich Theatre appoints Tom Sleigh as new Chair

Norwich Theatre has announced Tom Sleigh, current Chair of the Barbican Arts Centre, will be appointed as Chair of Norwich Theatre.  

He will work closely in partnership with the Chief Executive and Creative Director of Norwich Theatre, Stephen Crocker to see the organisation’s Creative Experiences strategy fulfilled, and further its vision and ambitions well into the future. 

Tom will also lead and support the Board of Trustees to fulfil their roles as custodians of the theatre’s charitable mission in line with its core purpose. With a wide range of experience in the private and public sector, in corporate affairs and strategy, the Board were unanimous in appointing Tom not only for his experience but also his leadership style and the alignment of his national and international experience with Norwich Theatre’s exciting ambitions in this area. 

Tom is currently Director of Corporate Affairs at the Bank of London and Non-Executive Chair of the Barbican Arts Centre. He took on chairing the Barbican, the largest multi-arts centre in Europe, in 2020 and will complete the maximum permitted term of four years in March 2024. His tenure has seen a major programme of organisational and governance change and kick-started a period of cultural change within the institution. From 2024 he will also be Chair of the Council of Goldsmiths, University of London. 

This appointment follows a national and international open search process to find the perfect candidate with the right values alignment, passion, enthusiasm and commitment to Norwich Theatre’s vision of providing Creative Experiences for all.  

Tom succeeds Michael Newey who will complete his 9-year-tenure in March 2024. 

Tom Sleigh, Chair-designate, Norwich Theatre said, 

“I am honoured to assume the role as Chair of Norwich Theatre and look forward to working with Stephen Crocker, my fellow Trustees and the whole team, building on a period of successful organisational transformation and with so many exciting opportunities that lie ahead.   

I have followed Norwich Theatre’s growing presence and position as a cultural change maker within the arts sector nationally and internationally whilst maximising impact on its people, place and communities in Norwich and Norfolk. I’m delighted to be joining the team for the next chapter and hope I can contribute to the ongoing development and prosperity of the organisation locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”  

Stephen Crocker, Chief Executive and Creative Director, Norwich Theatre said, 

“I am truly delighted that Tom Sleigh will soon become the next Chair of Norwich Theatre. My team and I are so excited about partnering with him to lead Norwich Theatre into its next chapter and how, through his leadership and along with all of our passionate and dedicated Trustees, we will together imagine all the impact we might generate through our work well into the future. 

“I both thank and congratulate our Board of Trustees for having appointed a new Chair who will bring fundamental continuity to our being a values-led organisation, a major achievement of Michael Newey’s tenure as Chair, but also important new ambition and different experience aligned with our new and ambitious vision and strategy and reflecting the different organisation we have become over recent years.”

Nick Lloyd, Vice-Chair, Norwich Theatre said, 

“Following a local, regional and national open recruitment process, it was with pleasure, pride and excitement that my fellow Trustees and I unanimously agreed to invite Tom Sleigh to join us as our next Chair. His passion for theatre and the arts, particularly their value to people and impact on places, is absolutely aligned with our vision and Creative Experiences strategy and his experience as a non-Executive arts leader was unparalleled. 

 As a Board of Trustees we owe an enormous debt of gratitude to Michael Newey for the huge amount of time, energy and commitment he has given to Norwich Theatre over the past nine years and his selfless and values-led leadership. We have acknowledged and rewarded this in the best way we can for Michael and Norwich Theatre in Tom’s appointment as an outstanding successor to lead the Board in opening our next chapter and as the ideal counterpoint for our Chief Executive & Creative Director, Stephen Crocker.”  


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