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NEWS: Newcastle Theatre Royal has appointed Nick Swales as its new Chairman


Newcastle Theatre Royal has appointed Rathbones’ dynamic Regional Director Nick Swales as its new Chairman.  An illustrious neighbour on Grey Street overlooking the historic Theatre, Nick is excited to be cast in a leading role for the arts Trust for which he has long held a strong affection.   

Nick Swales
“My office overlooks the Theatre Royal and I have often regarded with interest the wonderful hustle and bustle of theatrical life.  To be invited to be the Chairman of this iconic organisation right on my doorstep is an honour and I can’t wait to get started.” Said Nick.

Rathbones Wealth Manager Nick’s distinguished career to date includes other wealth industry senior roles in Newcastle and Chairman of the Percy Hedley Foundation, as well as being trustee of both the Newcastle University Retirement Benefit Fund and the University’s Development Trust.

After attending Newcastle University Nick decided to stay in the region and follow his boyhood ambition of becoming a stockbroker. He achieved membership of the Stock Exchange and progressed so far as to join the Board of the Industry’s Institute, the CISI.  For Rathbones he uses his vast experience to advise private clients, pension funds and charities.

Nick replaces outgoing Chair of twenty years-service Bill Midgley OBE, a well-known face from North-East business circles and former president of the British Chambers of Commerce.

Theatre Royal's Philip Bernays (centre left)
and new Chair Nick Swales (centre r)
with two Kinky Boots Angels
Philip Bernays, Chief Executive of Newcastle Theatre Royal Trust Ltd, an independent charity that runs Newcastle Theatre Royal and since April 2016, Newcastle City Hall, said: “Although we are sorry to say good-bye to a magnificent Chair in Bill, we are extremely excited to welcome Nick to our Theatre family.  Nick caught our eye as an astute business mind with considerable experience in managing charity boards and we look forward to him playing a role in our continued growth and development.” 

Nick is the immediate past Chairman of the Percy Hedley Foundation, a large charity in the North East of England providing educational, vocational and residential care opportunities for disabled people.  During his time there he led the Board and together with the executive team transformed the organisation’s governance and finances following the severe austerity cuts in funding for charities providing special needs education.

Nick said: “This is an exciting role offering up an iconic organisation and a very enthusiastic and committed board of Trustees.  The Theatre Royal Trust is at the top of its game in terms of entertainment provision but also at a key stage in its life cycle with a flourishing Learning programme and a landscape of ‘zero’ funding.  I’m looking forward to the challenge, the possibilities and the adventure.”

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