Sunday, March 26, 2023

New chief executive appointed for High House Production Park

ANDREA Stark has been appointed the first Chief Executive of the new charity to manage the High House Production Park (HHPP) in Purfleet and to develop it further as an international centre of excellence for culture, creative skills and regeneration.

In her role as Arts Council Executive Director, East and South East, Andrea was instrumental in the establishment of the High House Production Park working with the Royal Opera House, Thurrock Council, Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation, Creative & Cultural Skills and East of England Development Agency.

Tony Hall, Chair of the High House Production Park and Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House said “I’m delighted that Andrea is taking up this new role. She is perfect for it. She has exceptional credentials, but is also passionate about Thurrock, passionate about cultural regeneration and a real visionary. Her zeal is infectious and her leadership will be invaluable as the various partners and stakeholders in the High House Production Park work together to establish Purfleet as an internationally recognised centre of excellence for the creative industries.”

Alan Davey, Chief Executive Arts Council England “Andrea, in her role as Executive Director for the East and South East with the Arts Council, has long history with High House Production Park and is ideally placed to take this important and unique complex of dedicated arts production and training space to the next level. Her acumen in contributing to the cultural sector’s sustainable economic growth and brokering collective ambition will undoubtedly establish High House Production Park as an international centre of excellence for culture, creative skills and regeneration in the South East.”

Graham Farrant, Chief Executive of Thurrock Council added “Andrea has provided much of the inspiration behind the team that has created the High House Production Park so to have her knowledge, wisdom and enthusiasm for the project going forward is superb. The work of the Royal Opera House, and now the arrival of the National Skills Academy, is contributing to the Thurrock area in so many ways and at many different levels – education, training opportunities, jobs and community activities. It’s already done so much for the people in this area.”

The £60 million High House Production Park opened in late 2010 with the Royal Opera House relocating its set and scenery construction to the new purpose-built, state-of-the-art Bob and Tamar Manoukian Production Workshop. The ROH education team for Thurrock also moved onto the site. The 16th century farm buildings and gardens have been renovated and restored to provide meeting and exhibition spaces, larger function rooms and a café. A children’s playground and community gardens are also on site.

The flagship building for the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural has just opened its doors and will provide unique training opportunities in backstage and off-stage skills. The inclusion of a purpose-built ‘practice theatre’ with sound, lighting rigs and fly tower, will give ‘as live’ experiences for trainees and those seeking professional development.

The next phase in the development of the 14 acre site includes the building of artists’ studios, dedicated space for independent artists and creative businesses.

Andrea takes up her role full time in mid December.

The new board of Trustees includes Andrea Stark, Chief Executive, John Mortlock, Treasurer, Graham Farrant, John Kent, Tunde Ojetola, Niall Lindsay, William McKee, Rosalind Johnson, Neville Baldwin, Clare Ruby, Paul Shadarevian, Sue MacPherson and James Heaton.


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