Miriam Randall (Executive Director) and Clare Reddington (CEO & Creative Director) standing outside Watershed

Miriam Randall (Executive Director) and Clare Reddington (CEO & Creative Director) Photo by: Jon Aitken

Leadership changes at Watershed

Posted on Mon 30 July 2018

Today Watershed announces a change in its leadership as it looks forward to the next part of its ongoing Bristol story.

“Watershed displays a passion for high quality, diverse and challenging art and culture, combined with a hunger for the new and an agitation for the next” Tom Fleming

Following a period of reflection, imagination and future planning, today Watershed announces a change in its leadership as it looks forward to the next part of its ongoing Bristol story. From 1 August 2018, Clare Reddington will take over the role of CEO, leading the organisation alongside Executive Director Miriam Randall.

Over the last ten years, Watershed has achieved substantial and sustained growth, including growing cinema audiences, the creation of the Pervasive Media Studio and Rife, and an increasing international profile. Bristol’s high growth cluster is highlighted in the Creative Sector Deal and we are shortlisted for both a Channel 4 Creative Hub and AHRC Creative Clusters.

To capitalise on this unprecedented moment of both stability and growth, Watershed’s current CEO Dick Penny will take on leadership of Watershed Ventures, a new subsidiary with a focus on managing Watershed’s plans to increase capacity and developing new ways of contributing to creative growth in the Bristol City Region.

Clare, who joined Watershed in 2004 and established the organisation’s Creative Technology and international programmes, will continue as Creative Director alongside her new position of CEO. Miriam, who joined Watershed a year ago as Executive Director, with a focus on resource development, will ensure that Watershed continues to strike the appropriate balance between cultural and financial resilience.

Clare Reddington says:

“It has been a great joy to work alongside Dick Penny in this uniquely collaborative organisation for the last ten years.  I am equally excited and humbled to be taking on a new challenge within an organisation I love, but have every confidence that Miriam and I are more than ready to work with our excellent team on the next stage of Watershed’s journey.”

Miriam Randall says:

“Watershed is open, fearless and inclusive; a world leader and a local icon. This is thanks to the exceptional vision and passion of Dick, Clare and the team and the rich partnerships they have forged in Bristol and beyond. I’m thrilled to be working with them to take this special organisation into the future.”

Dick Penny says:

“This is a great moment to refresh our leadership team and to create focus on the future. It’s a personal joy to see colleagues emerge as respected cultural leaders and it gives me the opportunity to indulge my passion for our city by putting more time into extending Watershed’s role in the City Region”.

James Touzel, Chair of Watershed Board says:

In the 15 years I have been associated with Watershed, I have seen the organisation grow significantly in its confidence, stability and reach. This growth creates many opportunities for the future, to continue Watershed's role in developing talent and audiences across the arts and technology, locally, nationally and internationally. The Watershed Board is delighted that Clare and Miriam will be leading the shaping of Watershed's future and that Dick, who has given so much to the organisation and the sector, will stay within the Watershed family to build new partnerships.”

This year marks the 20th year of Dick Penny’s leadership of Watershed, over that period he has made a unique contribution to its success and the wider city. In September we will be hosting a celebration of all his achievements and taking the moment to thank him for his leadership and vision.

Watershed Highlights from 17/18:

  • 1.5 million people visited us on the web
  • 174,000 people bought tickets for our venue screenings and events
  • 36,000 young people engaged with our programme
  • 104,000 people engaged with projects beyond the venue
  • 153 artists and creatives are resident in the Pervasive Media Studio
  • 101 full time equivalent jobs at Watershed
  • 6 continents hosted Watershed events or collaborations
  • Watershed Group turnover in 2017/18 is £5.8 million
  • Watershed’s economic impact in 2017/18 is £16.2 million
  • Pervasive Media Studio residents reported turnover in excess of £5.4 million
  • Pervasive Media Studio residents reported in excess of £5 million in secured research funding  

Watershed is funded by Arts Council England, British Film Institute and Bristol City Council.

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