Published: Tuesday, 26th February 2019

Following the recent announcement of Punchdrunk’s move to the Woolwich Creative District in 2020, the Council is delighted to announce the appointment of James Heaton as CEO of the operating Trust.

'a cultural destination'

Council Leader Danny Thorpe said: "I’m delighted that James is joining this incredible enterprise. He has the drive and experience to make our plans a reality and deliver the vision for the site as a place that is open and welcoming, brimming with opportunities and creativity and a cultural destination that will put Woolwich on the map."

Experience with the Nimax group, Camden's Roundhouse and iTunes Festival

James Heaton will take up the role in August 2019, having over 10 years’ experience in Director and Executive-level arts and entertainment venue positions. Currently Operations Director for the Nimax group of West End theatres, he spent seven years at Camden’s Roundhouse where his achievements included delivering the iTunes Festival and starting London’s trend for man-made urban beaches with his Camden Beach concept. He will lead the development and growth of the complex and, together with the Board, establish the Woolwich Creative District as a world class public and private event space with community engagement and opportunities at its core.

'a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity'

James Heaton said: "The Council’s incredible vision for the transformation of the Royal Arsenal site presents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity not only for me, but more importantly for the communities of Woolwich and Greenwich, and the cultural life of London. I’m honoured to have the task of bringing people together within the walls of these beautiful buildings to create something amazing, the impact of which will be felt far beyond them. It’s my dream job."

Newly appointed Chair of the Trust, Dr. Valerie Vaughan-Dick said: "I’m thrilled James will be joining me to spearhead the Woolwich Creative District Trust. His experience will be invaluable as we set about establishing a cultural hub akin to London’s most established arts centres."

resident companies announced 

Along with Punchdrunk, previously announced resident companies include Europe’s first majority Black and Minority Ethnic orchestra Chineke! Orchestra, Woolwich-based Protein Dance and the Woolwich Contemporary Print Fair, with further residents to be revealed. 

a creative hub 

The Woolwich Creative District will be a creative hub in the heart of the Royal Borough of Greenwich. This influx of cultural events, companies, activities and spaces to newly renovated heritage buildings will restore the area’s creative profile and drive audiences to experience internationally acclaimed music, dance, theatre and art against a historically significant backdrop. In addition to providing a cultural resource for the local community, the site will attract visitors from across London, the UK and beyond and with the introduction of Crossrail (which has a station on the Creative District site), Woolwich will be easier to get to than ever.

Find out more about the Woolwich Creative Trust