Derby Theatre Board

Chris Hughes (Chair)

Chris has a long career history in the media, joining the BBC in 1971 and  retired as a Business Development Director with GCap Media in 2008. At the time, GCap Media was the country’s largest Commercial Radio Company, owner of Classic FM and over 50 local radio companies nationwide.  He is a passionate Theatre attender and great supporter of the theatre.

Jane Claire

Jane Claire has spent nearly forty years working in the theatre. After a long and varied career in stage management working in regional, fringe and West End theatres she moved into producing. Following nine years with the highly regarded touring company Shared Experience, where she was responsible for numerous national and international tours, she became Executive Producer of English Touring Theatre. She has been with the award winning company for the last nine years producing more than thirty productions touring throughout the UK.

Huw Davies

Professor Huw Davies is Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Design & Technology (ADT) and Professor in Lens Media at the University of Derby. Over the last twenty-five years he has worked in a variety of senior management and academic positions at Universities in the UK and the USA.  Prior to his appointment at Derby in November 2007, he was Head of the School of Arts and Creative Industries at Edinburgh Napier University for thirteen years, which included the Skillset funded, Screen Academy Scotland. He has worked as a external examiner / advisor to a number of UK Universities, and various higher education institutions in China, India, Malaysia, Thailand and Russia. 

Huw’s professional background is as a filmmaker and photographer and he has exhibited, published and broadcast extensively over a thirty-year career. His work has included commissions for Arts Council England, Scottish Screen, BBC, Discovery Channel, Arte and Canal +.  He is currently a trustee of QUAD, UK Young Artists and Chair of FORMAT international photography festival. In 2004 he co-founded the Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival and is currently Chair of its Board of Trustees and Curator of its Artists’ Trail.

Graham Devlin

Graham Devlin C.B.E. is a creative artist, senior arts manager and cultural strategist. He was Deputy Secretary General and Acting Chief Executive of the Arts Council of England until 1999. As a stage director and writer, he ran the successful new writing and music-theatre company, Major Road, for over 20 years whilst also directing and writing freelance for, amongst others, the National Theatre, Scottish Opera, Glyndebourne, Sydney Opera House and the Aldeburgh Festival. He has also been Director of the Wakefield Festival and Visiting Professor of Cultural Strategy in Edinburgh. He was appointed CBE in the 2010 New Year’s honours list 

He has served on numerous Arts Boards and Government committees and is currently Chair of Tipping Point and of DTAP (the Dance Training & Accreditation Partnership), and also Vice Chairman of the Royal Court Theatre. As a cultural strategist, he has worked for a number of public agencies and Government departments in the UK and internationally (including India, Hong Kong, Ireland, France, Canada and the USA). In addition to grant-making Trusts and Higher Education institutions, his arts and heritage clients include the National Theatre, the RSC, Edinburgh Festivals, Royal Opera House and The National Museum of Science and Industry. His publications include A Place To Think, a study of arts research in the Higher Education sector, a suite of papers on governance in the cultural sector and he co-authored the DCMS “Green Paper”, Culture and Creativity: the next ten years.  

Dawn Foote

 Dawn Foote is Co-Founder and Director Katapult - a Creative England Top 50 Creative Company focussing on results-driven creativity. The Top 50 highlights “inventive, innovative and brave” businesses in the creative economy that consistently turn creative ideas into commercial successes.

 Katapult works with clients throughout the UK and internationally capitalising on new and emerging technologies for business growth. They specialise in UX & UI design, experiential marketing, video & animation, digital design & build, inbound marketing campaigns and graphic design. Their culture is rooted in their values of authenticity, simplicity, curiosity and client delight.

 Dawn established Katapult in 2001 and is now in the role of Visionary for the business. Katapult employs 24 people in a Grade II listed Georgian Townhouse close to the centre of Derby and they are a part of the growing technology & creative industry in the city.  Dawn’s other roles include: Adviser to Mainframe, Developing Derby Creative and Tech Community; and adviser to QUAD Enterprises, growing commercial income and revenue from new products and services.

Melissa Martin

Melissa Martin represents the young people affiliated with the Theatre, be that students, members of youth theatre, or other young people participating within the theatre's Learning programme. Melissa was born in Belfast in 1994 and moved to Derby in 2013 to study Theatre Arts at University of Derby.  She graduated in 2016 and was appointed as a young board member, along with taking up the the role of Youth Theatre assistant. 

Kath Mitchell

Professor Kath Mitchell is Vice-Chancellor of the University of Derby.  Previously she spent three years as Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of West London (UWL), with special responsibility for academic provision and quality across the University.  She has also held the senior positions of Pro Vice-Chancellor Academic and Student Support Services and Dean of Students.  Professor Mitchell has studied at the universities of York and London, and worked at the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Institute, New York and the Fridrich Miescher Institute in Basel.  She is a chartered Psychologist.

Hari Punchihewa

Hari Punchihewa is Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director, University of Derby.  As one of four members of the University Core Executive team, he has a team of five in Director of Estates, Director of Information Technology Services, Commercial Director, Financial Controller and Head of Procurement.  He is also responsible for legal, commercial and business development activities including chairing the Executive Board of the Theatre and other subsidiaries.

Prior to joining the University in June 2001, he worked for Daimler (Benz) Chrysler Group for nine years holding various senior finance positions.  Most of his career he has worked in the merchant banking and financial services sector with particular interest in Corporate Finance and Business Restructures.  Hari holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants a member of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and a Chartered Director.  He was appointed as a Magistrate and a Justice of Peace by Her Majesty’s Court Service in 2006.

Ian Willgoose

Joseph Ian Willgoose is the University of Derby’s Director of Estates and has worked in various roles for the organisation since 1987. After completing his studies at Nottingham Trent Polytechnic, by graduating in 1992 with a BSc (Hons) in Building, Ian worked at Nottingham City Council, then as a Senior Building Surveyor with Derbyshire County Council, before moving on to, the then, Derbyshire College of Higher Education in 1987, as Deputy Estates Manger. 

As the Director of Estates, Ian has responsibility for Property Development, Maintenance Services, Campus Services, Estates Administration, Energy & Environmental, Security, Travel & Transportation, Print & Post and Grounds for the academic, residential and business areas of the University of Derby Group.  Ian has taken responsibility for a number of significant building development projects acting as the University’s Project Director on developments totalling over £150m during the last 10 years.  He will provide specialist support and access to networks for Derby Theatre’s development of the Green Lane site.