Culture Southampton

The Trustees

The Trustees who represent and support Southampton Cultural Development Trust are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and interests. The one passion they all share is their commitment to creating a more vibrant and engaging city centre for Southampton.

Find out more about them individually below and watch the short film where you can hear more of why they have chosen to take part in the redevelopment of Southampton's burgeoning Cultural Quarter.

Founding Patron:

Maldwin Drummond OBE DL Hon DSc FSA


The Trustees:

From January 2015, Mr Denham hopes to use his chairmanship of CultureSouthampton to give a strategic overview to the city’s cultural development.

He said: “No modern city can be truly successful without a strong and distinctive cultural life. It’s equally important for the quality of life and opportunities for local people and for those who come to study, work and invest here. Southampton has great success stories already and even bigger opportunities in the future. I was delighted to be asked to take on this role and look forward to working with all parts of the cultural community to make a real contribution to the cultural life of this great city.”


Jason is the BBC's Head of Regional and Local Programmes in Southern England. He is responsible for 250 staff working across BBC South Today, BBC Radio Solent, BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Oxford as well as the weekly current affairs programmes Inside Out South & Sunday Politics South and the four BBC Local websites serving Hampshire, Dorset, Berkshire and Oxford. Jason has spent his career in local and regional broadcasting, joining the BBC in the East of England as a trainee in 1999.'

Simon is Senior Partner and Head of the Employment Team at Trethowans solicitors. Simon has been an employment lawyer for 20 years this year. Simon has been actively involved in the City over the last few years, including sitting on several bodies such as Future Southampton. Simon is passionate about the need to give Southampton’s residents, workers and visitors a great cultural offering.

Charlie set up Southampton Festivals as a not-for profit organisation in 2012 to help the city make more of itself - regeneration through events.

Mike is responsible for student recruitment, marketing and international matters at the University and is currently working extensively with Chinese institutions. Prior to his University career, Mike worked for Imperial Chemical Industries for 22 years in leadership roles in Research and Development, Marketing, Export & Licensing, Strategic Planning, Logistics and Business Management.

Sam is a theatre director and producer. Shortly after leaving university, he founded the HighTide Festival in Suffolk, now one of the country’s leading new writing companies. He was Artistic Director for five years and under his leadership, over 25 new plays were produced, in collaboration with the likes of the National Theatre, the Old Vic Theatre, and the Bush Theatre and in 2011, the company joined the Arts Council’s National Portfolio.

Alex is the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Southampton, where he also studied as an undergraduate. His responsibilities relate to all activities within the Education portfolio – in particular, leading on the enhancement of the student experience and the development and delivery of the education strategy. Before joining Southampton in 1999, Alex taught at the Pennsylvania State University, Trinity University, San Antonio and the University of St Andrews.

Michael Ockwell began his theatre career as an actor before moving into theatre management with Stoll Moss Theatres. Michael was House Manager at the London Palladium and then Theatre Manager of the Gielgud Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Michael became Managing Director of HQ Theatres and looked after HQT’s portfolio of seven regional theatres before joining the Grand Opera House, Belfast in March 2010.

Born in Southampton Jan has been an active member of the business community in the City and has been a Director of the Southampton Chamber of Commerce for over 20 years and is a Past President. Jan is CEO and founder of Corrotherm International Ltd which supplies equipment the oil gas industry.  Jan is a Non Executive Director of a number of companies in sectors covering marine equipment manufacturing and waste to energy process development and is a mentor to small businesses.

Ray Hallett was born, bred and educated in Southampton and has spent the majority of his life living and working in Hampshire.  He is a Chartered Accountant, working in the profession, and his current role is with RSM Tenon as a Director of Accounts,Taxation and Advisory. He is also a Board Member of Southampton City College and Treasurer for the SCA Group (Social Care in Action).

Cllr Derek Burke was born in Shirley and has lived in Southampton all his life.  Educated at Merryoak School in the city, he has been a stevedore in the city docks throughout his working life and currently works for Solent Stevedores. He was first elected to Southampton City Council in 1990 and in May 1999 was elected Mayor of Southampton and during his mayoral year represented the city on over 1,000 occasions.

Lena works in the field of media, PR and communications for a range of businesses and charities including the BBC. Alongside this, she became vice chair of Hampshire Police Authority. Lena is currently a non-executive director of University Hospital Southampton where she has portfolio responsibility for patient safety, international health and equality and diversity. Previously she was chair of Southampton City College.

Stephen Foster began his career as an artist, teacher and lecturer, and began his curatorial career as the Director of Axiom, an artist-run Gallery space in Cheltenham from 1982 to 1987. Since 1987 he has been the Director of the John Hansard Gallery at the University of Southampton, during which time the Gallery has won a substantial reputation for seminal work with artists and curators. The Gallery was designated ‘world leading’ for its curatorial research in the last Universities’ Research Assessment Exercise and has also pioneered groundbreaking access and audience development work.

Julian Thould has been the Head Master of King Edward VI School, Southampton since April 2002. He read history at Oxford and was Deputy Head, King's Worcester, 1997-2002, Director of Studies at Cranleigh School, 1989-97 and a history teacher at Westminster School, 1984-8. He has been an ISI school inspector since 1995. Before moving into education he worked in industry, most recently for HP Bulmer PLC.  


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Cultural Partners

The Cultural Quarter builds on already strong arts and heritage activity in and around Southampton.  The Trust is working with a wide range of partner organisations and venues including: