Kate Chadwick appointed new CEO of Phoenix

Phoenix is delighted to announce the appointment of Kate Chadwick as CEO, assuming the role from John Rance who retires in April after over 13 years at the charity.

Phoenix is delighted to announce the appointment of Kate Chadwick as CEO, assuming the role from John Rance who retires in April after over 13 years at the charity.

Kate has worked in the cultural and charity sector for over 20 years, and brings to the role her strategic leadership knowledge gained at diverse organisations, coupled with experience in community engagement and developing new audiences.

As Deputy Director of MK Gallery in Milton Keynes she was responsible for managing their £12M capital development, which launched successfully in March 2019. Then in 2022 she took on the role of Executive Director at Stanwick Lakes, Northamptonshire – a unique 750 acre countryside attraction and protected nature reserve which attracts over 300,000 visitors a year – where she led the development of new hospitality and visitor services, and established a new exhibition programme.

Kate is delighted to have been appointed as Phoenix’s new CEO. “I’m thrilled to be joining Phoenix at this exciting time in the charity’s history, following its multi-million pound expansion. Phoenix is at the cultural heart of Leicester and I look forward to working with its dedicated and talented team to continue to grow the organisation and bring new cultural, creative and business opportunities and experiences to the city’s diverse communities.”

Ali Sinclair, Phoenix’s Chair said: “After an extensive recruitment process which attracted a lot of interest, I am delighted we are making this announcement to welcome Kate Chadwick as our new CEO. Kate has a background which is both art and venue based, and she understands the challenges and opportunities of the role. Kate starts at the beginning of April; we know that she is very excited about joining Phoenix and I very much look forward to working with her.”

“The board is indebted to retiring CEO John Rance for his commitment to Phoenix, his resilient leadership and wide ranging expertise that have been invaluable in steering Phoenix through some very complex and challenging times. He has worked tirelessly with the board, stakeholders and the senior management team to deliver the recent capital expansion and he leaves us with a tremendous legacy of a bigger and even more vibrant Phoenix as a platform to realise our artistic, community and business ambitions. We wish John every happiness in his retirement from Phoenix, this will be a period of change and adjustment for all of us who have worked closely with him for many years.”

Peter Knott, Midlands Area Director, Arts Council England said: “We’re delighted to welcome Kate Chadwick as Phoenix’s new Chief Executive, who brings a wealth of sector experience across galleries and other visitor attractions to the role. I’d also like to pay tribute to John Rance, who has led the organisation for 13 years which included overseeing the major redevelopment of the building which saw an additional two screens and new kitchen and café bar added to the site last year. I’d like to wish him good luck for his retirement.”

Under John Rance’s leadership as CEO, Phoenix has become one of the region’s foremost independent cinema and art centres, drawing many thousands of visitors each year. In January 2023, Phoenix opened its new extension, the culmination of a multi-million pound expansion project which attracted investment from Arts Council England, Leicester City Council, Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, European Regional Development Fund, Garfield Weston Foundation and The Foyle Foundation, as well as donations from over 300 small businesses and individuals. The expansion saw Phoenix double in size, and the venue now boasts four screen cinemas, a superb new gallery, and a stylish, much larger café bar, plus a stunning roof terrace and dedicated spaces for making and learning.