Exterior shot of Watershed featuring bright illustrations.

Photo taken by Jon Aitken: Exterior of Watershed featuring the 'Heart of Lightness' Illustrations by Lucy Turner

Stephen Gatfield appointed as Chair of Watershed

Posted on Thu 28 March

Thank you to James Touzel who is stepping down after 11 years as Chair and hello to Stephen Gatfield who has been appointed as our new Chair.

We are delighted to announce the appointment of Stephen Gatfield as the new Chair of Watershed.

Stephen is a highly experienced leader in the creative industries and has led global companies in marketing, media and design across the world. Stephen is Global Chairman of Elmwood Design, one of the UK’s most awarded brand design studios and is founding director of Oscar® and Emmy winning Believe Entertainment.

Stephen is a graduate of Bristol University and was a part of the core team that established the University’s Centre for Innovation. He has been a member of Watershed’s Board since 2014, leading our artful Innovation programme and mentoring start ups in Pervasive Media Studio.

Stephen says; 

“It is a privilege to be appointed to become the new Chair of the Trustees at Watershed. It is a truly exceptional organisation that makes a vital contribution to engaging communities in the arts across Bristol, the South West and beyond. It has never been more important to build the strength and resilience of Watershed and its vibrant arts heartbeat at a time when expanding horizons, building connection and finding expression that touches us all is so important”.

Stephen takes on the position of Chair from James Touzel who joined Watershed’s board in 2003 and has been Chair since 2013. James is a partner at TLT where he is Head of the Digital sector team and leads the FutureLaw innovation programme. Ranked as a leader in field of IT and telecoms in the leading independent guides to the legal profession, James’s support has included a hugely beneficial partnership between Watershed and TLT, advising our community on legal and IP matters.

James says;

“I’m really delighted that Steve has been appointed the new Chair of Watershed. Having worked with Steve for 10 years I know he has a passion for creativity, innovation and inclusivity. To his role as Chair he will bring extensive knowledge of Watershed and the cultural landscape and an ambition for the organisation’s continued growth as a regional, national and international cultural leader. Every interaction with Watershed as Chair has inspired me in some way. It’s been a personal privilege to work with the outstanding CEO Clare Reddington, and a truly engaged group of trustees and executives. I know Steve will feel the same.”

James will continue as a trustee of Watershed for 2024 to support the transition.

Clare Reddington, Watershed CEO said

“Watershed’s Board plays a hugely important role in our strategy and governance and the role of Chair is central to that. I feel incredible lucky to have worked closely with James for the last 10 years, particularly around developing our creative technology programmes. James is a wise and kind chair – who understands the importance of taking risks and centering the care of people in tricky times. I am extremely excited to be working with Stephen – whose global brand experience has already been hugely beneficial to us in refining our business model and increasing profitability. We know the next few years will be full of opportunity and challenge and Stephen is the perfect leader to help us navigate that”

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