Arts Council England appoints Colston Hall boss to its South West Council

Louise Mitchell, CEO of Bristol Music Trust, which runs Colston Hall, has joined the South West Council of Arts Council England (ACE). 

ACE area council members are drawn from different roles across and beyond the arts and culture sector.

They include practitioners, arts administrators and local authority representatives who use their expertise and grassroots knowledge of local issues to help create and implement ACE’s strategy of great art and culture for everyone and play a crucial role in both local and national decision-making.

Louise, pictured, joins a board chaired by Dame Rosemary Squire, co-founder and joint CEO of the Ambassador Theatre Group, which owns nearly 50 venues worldwide including the Bristol Hippodrome, and Trafalgar Entertainment Group, which owns London’s Trafalgar Studios.

ACE champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. It supports activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.

Over the next four years it will invest £1.45bn of public money from government and an estimated £860m from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

Arts Council South West director Phil Gibby said: “Louise will bring not just expertise of running Bristol’s largest performing arts venue, but of leading a major fundraising programme for its transformation into a world class venue. We’re delighted to welcome her to the board.”

Louise, who starts her four-year term formally on September 1, added: “I’m delighted to be taking on this challenge at such an important time for our region. The South West has a long track record of producing world-class artists and cultural organisations, from the traditional through to emerging digital and creative media technologies. 

“I will work hard to make sure we take every opportunity to develop the arts in the South West and to celebrate our success.”

The auditorium and The Lantern at Colston Hall, Bristol Music Trust’s flagship venue, recently closed to undergo a two-year £48.8m transformation.

The Trust also runs the award-winning music education hub, Bristol Plays Music. 

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