Today, 26 February, Coventry City of Culture Trust
announced the appointment of seven new trustees in a major transformation of its governance.
The new appointments form part of Coventry City of Culture Trusts long-term commitment to unleashing the cultural and creative potential in the city by ensuring diversity amongst its leaders. The appointments form part of a wider policy to embed diverse leadership and opportunities at every level of the organisation, as well as engender change in partner organisations, both in the lead up to and during the City of Culture year (May 2021- May 2022) and beyond. Each trustee is expected to serve at least one term of three years, giving the new trustees accountability and oversight of Coventry City of Cultures core programme as well as its impact and legacy.
Experts from the fields of banking, construction, education, HR, law and media; the new trustees are Coventry University Law Lecturer Olubunmi Adenegan; Director of BD Search Baljit Dhadda; Global Design and Construction Consultant Sunny Dhillon; television producer and Chair of the Royal Television Society Kuljinder Singh Khaila; chartered accountant and CEO of Oncacare Ltd Kumar Muthalaggapan; educator, art therapist, social entrepreneur and founder of Chrysalis Craft Coventry CIC Seyedeh Naseriniaki; and Senior Area Branch Manager at Coventrys State Bank of India, Upinder Pokhriyal.
The addition of the new trustees is a significant step towards creating a board that is more representative of the city it serves. One of the most diverse cities in the UK, 27% of its residents were born outside the UK and 33% identify as non-White British.
Coventry City of Culture Trust worked with cultural governance experts at Clore Leadership, who provided additional expertise to the process. The Trust will continue is relationship with Clore Leadership as the new trustees are inducted, to provide external guidance and advise on best practice.
Coventry City of Culture is leading on several other projects to ensure that diversity and the broadening of cultural leadership approaches in the city. These include the City of Culture Leadership Programme, the City Hosts volunteer programme and the apprenticeship programme, which has a particular focus on engaging individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds.
David Burbidge CBE DL, Chairman of Coventry City of Culture Trust, said: Our citys diversity was at the heart of our winning bid to become UK City of Culture, and making a lasting impact in increasing diverse cultural leadership in the city lay at the heart of this. This is an important step in the right direction. There is much more to be done, but as we approach our opening in May, is a key indicator of the direction of travel we as a city and sector need to move to achieve representative governance and a thriving sector.
Hilary Carty, chief executive of Clore Leadership said: 'Coventry City of Culture Trust had a clear objective to strengthen the diversity of the Board and we were delighted to harness the breadth and profile of the Clore Leadership network and beyond to help realise this vision, not only for the City of Culture year but for the legacy of culture in Coventry. This is a fantastic example of placing Board diversity at the top of the agenda and shows the richness of talented, experienced and skilled professionals who are ready to engage in cultural development and support the leadership of cultural organisations to reflect the communities they serve.'