The Bluecoat Welcomes Sue Harrison as New Chair

The Bluecoat welcomes Sue Harrison as new Chair

This week the Board of Trustees at the Bluecoat is delighted to announce that it has appointed international arts consultant, Sue Harrison as Chair. Today, Sue presides over her first Board meeting as Chair at the Bluecoat.

Sue has considerable experience in the arts, having worked as Director of Arts at the British Council, Chief Executive of North West Arts and Deputy Director of Yorkshire and Humberside Arts. Now working as an international consultant, she brings with her valuable skills in governance, personnel, arts policy and programme development, strategic planning, and the management of change.

Sue Harrison said, “I’m very excited to be taking over as Chair of the Bluecoat at this exciting stage in its development. It is one of Liverpool’s great buildings and institutions that matters so much to the City.”

Sue replaces the outgoing Chair, Simon Ryder, who has served on the Bluecoat Board as Chair since 1995. During this time, Simon led the transformation of the organisation, creating a new Board and direction for the Bluecoat. As a major part of this, Simon played a key role in leading the Bluecoat through the redevelopment of its 291 year old, Grade 1 listed building. During the project he led the Board as they took brave decisions, such as appointing Dutch architects BIQ Architecten to design the new arts wing as their first public building project. Such bravery has paid off; the building has received widespread critical acclaim and has been shortlisted for a RIBA North West award.

On stepping down as Chair, Simon Ryder said “I have always been passionate about the Bluecoat since I first started to visit it in the early 1980’s. I am proud that I have been able to make a significant contribution to its continuing success. It was always my intention to step down as Chair once we had completed the redevelopment. Re-opening the Bluecoat during the year in which Liverpool is European Capital of Culture is perfect timing. I am delighted that Sue is taking over from me, and know she has a terrific team of Board and staff to work with in taking the Bluecoat on to further success.”

Simon Ryder is a regeneration consultant specialising in the creative sector, organisational development and business planning, having worked for many years in both the private and public sectors in strategy, policy and business development.

Alastair Upton, Chief Executive at the Bluecoat, comments, “The Board and I are grateful to Simon Ryder for all his work as Chair. We are delighted to welcome Sue Harrison as the new Chair at the Bluecoat and look forward to working with her to develop the next stage in this historic arts space’s story. With over 100,000 people already enjoying our new galleries, performances and restaurant and artists and creative industries once again inhabiting the Bluecoat, we relish working with Sue to make the Bluecoat the Northwest’s premier creative hub.”


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