Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre has announced that local business man Stewart Fergusson will be joining the team as Chairman of the Board of Directors.
Stewart Fergusson is Managing Director of Orbit Heart of England Housing Association, which is part of the nationwide housing association Orbit Group, which has over 30,000 homes in management.
Stewart’s background is as a research historian specialising in urban history. He became involved in housing when he joined Coventry Churches Housing Association (CCHA) in 1977 when it had just over 100 homes and six members of staff. Over 30 years he held a variety of senior positions in CCHA, Touchstone, Keynote and Midland Heart before joining the Orbit Group in 2007.
On his new role as Chairman of the Belgrade Theatre, Stewart said: “I’m extremely pleased to be joining the team at the Belgrade Theatre. Culture is a key contributor to the prosperity of any city, and as the cultural heart of Coventry, the Belgrade plays a pivotal role in the ongoing development of the city. I’m looking forward to working with Artistic Director Hamish Glen, Executive Director Joanna Reid and the rest of the trustees, as they continue to provide a varied and life enhancing programme of artistic work, whilst offering more than 9,000 learning opportunities to young people in the city every year.
“The theatre’s commercial enterprises, including Belgrade Production Services and Events & Conferencing, have proved extremely successful in recent years and I’m particularly keen to help them build on this success, which is all the more important in the wake of recent funding cuts.”
Stewart is a founder member of the Housing Quality Network, a national network of social housing agencies seeking to continually improve the quality of housing services. He is also a member of the REX group and TRECO, two European networks of social housing agencies which share best practice on a variety of subjects including community investment and sustainable building. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
In Coventry, he is a founder member of Common Purpose Coventry, a past governor of Coventry University and a member of Coventry’s Local Strategic Partnership and the Coventry Champions, in which local government, the private sector and the not for profit sector work together to help shape the city of Coventry’s future growth and development.
Stewart will be replacing René Olivieri as the Belgrade’s Chairman of the Board of Directors, who stepped down at the Annual General Meeting earlier this year.