1813 Club and Premier Members

Chris to develop Aboretum’s rules of engagement

Chris Ansell has been appointed as the new head of ‘participation and learning’ at the National Memorial Arboretum, in Staffordshire. The Arboretum in Staffordshire is

the UK’s Centre for Remembrance and honours the fallen and recognises service and sacrifice. In his new role, Mr Allen will have

responsibility for planning, developing and implementing the Arboretum’s participation and learning engagement strategies. This will include the delivery of a

wide range of activities to encourage lifelong learning and to ensure their appeal to a diverse audience. Mr Ansell first joined the

Arboretum two years ago as exhibitions and interpretation officer and has played a crucial role overseeing the artistic component of the ‘Arboretum’s Tea for II’ programme, which commemorated the 75th anniversaries of VE Day and VJ Day. Mr Ansell previously led Birmingham City University’s cultural engagement activity and

managed the university’s Parkside Gallery. In 2017, he earned a master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Oxford. He said: “I’m thrilled to be taking

on this role at the Arboretum. The stories that we tell on site are incredibly important and it’s vital that we ensure these histories are relevant and accessible to new and existing audiences. “Our programme of exhibitions,

family activities and learning events offers something for everyone, and I’m looking forward to working with the team to engage more people in participation and learning.” Philippa Rawlinson, managing

director of the National Memorial Arboretum, said: “Chris has been a fantastic asset to our team since he joined the Arboretum in 2018, delivering a series of engaging and informative exhibitions and we look forward to him building on this solid track record of success in his new role.” From this month, the Arboretum

is hosting a new exhibition featuring artwork by students from UAL

Chris Ansell: Retelling the past

Central St Martins, interpreting the experiences of the World War II generation and how tea has evolved to become symbolic of home. In addition, the Arboretum has

been awarded the prestigious Visit England Gold Accolade, in recognition of the ‘exceptional visitor experience’ it offers. This follows a series of award

wins for the Arboretum in recent years, including being named ‘Large Visitor Attraction of the Year’ by Visit England in 2018.

City to host a summer of dance The Arboretum received its latest

award due to the high score it gained during a recent ‘Visitor Attraction Quality Scheme’ assessment, which was conducted by an independent assessor. The assessment evaluated all

aspects of the visitor experience, including the 150-acre woodland and garden site’s exhibition programme, guided tours, restaurant, coffee shop and the customer service provided by staff and volunteers.

Freeths helps firm make clean break

A cleaning products business based in Leeds has moved to new premises with help from Midlands solicitor Freeths. Star Brands, which has a

manufacturing plant in Redditch, has moved its head office to Thorpe Park, Leeds. The £40 million turnover

firm, which employs around 180, moved in to its new base last month. Star Brands was recently

The Royal Ballet performing Don Quixote (picture by Bill Cooper)

DanceXchange, Birmingham Hippodrome and Birmingham Royal Ballet are joining forces to stage a summer of dancing in the city. B-Side Hip-Hop Festival, Birmingham International Dance Festival 2020 (BIDF 2020) and Curated by Carlos will take over streets, squares and theatres in the city during June. B-Side Hip-Hop Festival, now in its

fifth year, has grown to become the UK’s biggest free hip-hop festival, and one of the largest in Europe. BIDF 2020 returns from 5–21 June

andwill deliver a diverse programme across city streets and squares and in theatres and other sites, plus events for dance industry professionals. Curated by Carlos, from 19–27

June, will see Carlos Acosta bring together dancers, visual artists, writers and thinkers for performances including the Birmingham premiere of ‘Don Quixote’. Fiona Allan, Birmingham

Hippodrome artistic director and chief executive and chair for the new West Midlands Regional Board for Tourism said: “This year there’s

a lot more cross-over planned between these festivals which demonstrates the partnership between ourselves, DanceXchange and Birmingham Royal Ballet. “There are more than 100

festivals taking place in Birmingham each year and it is a fact that cultural tourism is really going to drive tourism in coming years. As we continue to grow arts and dance festivals, both for and through the Commonwealth Games period, they can become part of the legacy place-making for the region.”

the subject of a ‘Buy In Management Buy Out (BIMBO)’ and joint managing director Tim North said: “As the business continues to grow, we have been looking for modern and convenient office space and Thorpe Park suits our requirements perfectly. “It has been a busy period

since the buy out in July last year and this new space marks a fresh start in the journey of Star Brands.” John Flathers of Freeths

acted for Star Brands in the move to Thorpe Park.

April 2020 CHAMBERLINK 41

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