Press release

10th December 2021


David Lockwood announced as new Chief Executive of the Arts Development Company

David Lockwood, currently Director at Trowbridge Town Hall and previously co-founder of award-winning Bike Shed Theatre in Exeter, has been announced as the Arts Development Company’s new Chief Executive, taking up the post in February 2022.

In Trowbridge, David has repositioned the Victorian Town Hall as a central community hub, reenergising the town centre with art and culture at its heart. He has been instrumental in securing £8.1 million for the building’s capital development from the Future High Streets Fund. The Town Hall has seen daily footfall increase by 900% and the organisation was recently shortlisted for the Bringing Communities Together Award at the Locality Awards.

At Exeter’s pioneering Bike Shed Theatre, David was instrumental in establishing the company’s reputation for developing new work that then toured the country and the world. The theatre became a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) funded by Arts Council England in 2015, creating festivals in spaces across the city and using empty shops as development space.

David was a Trustee and later Vice Chair of Libraries Unlimited, a £7 million turnover spinout from Devon County Council. He has developed cultural projects with the University of Exeter and theatre company Wise Children. In 2015, he undertook a Clore Leadership Fellowship, during which time he spent three months at the Royal Opera House.

David says about his appointment at ADC, “I’m delighted to join the Arts Development Company at this pivotal time. Dorset is a county rich in cultural activity. I’m looking forward to working with artists, makers, organisations, and partners to enable a thriving cultural county. I’m interested in working collaboratively to develop radical creative solutions to increase social justice, using art and culture to enable change across a range of contemporary challenges, from education to environment, housing to health.”

The ADC has recently renewed its ties with Dorset Council (DC) by winning the tender to deliver Dorset’s arts development service on behalf of DC for the next five years, delivering the new Dorset Cultural Strategy.

Hazel Province, Chair of the Board at ADC, said “after a rigorous selection process we are thrilled to have appointed David as our new Chief Executive. David’s belief in the power of culture and creativity to improve the lives of people and communities is exciting and infectious. He brings to Dorset that passion along with his extensive knowledge, experience and networks and an entrepreneurial approach that is just what we need as, working with our partners across the county, we bring to life Dorset’s ambitious cultural strategy.”

To find out more about the work of the ADC visit




Notes to Editors:
For further information please contact Johanna Perkins, /
07511 358245.

  1. Image: David Lockwood. Image by Simon Taylor.
  2. The Arts Development Company (ADC) was formed as a ‘spin out’ from Dorset County Council in 2015, set up to offer an independent arts and culture service which works for the benefit of Dorset communities.
  3. A social enterprise and registered as a Community Interest Company (CIC), ADC works at the junction of social impact, environmental sustainability and economic viability. ADC services combine the provision of advisory, strategy and skills development services to artists and cultural organisations.
  4. The ADC remains the only arts based Public Service Mutual (PSM) in the UK. Its work now extends beyond the Dorset county borders with established partnerships regionally and nationally. The ADC advocates locally and nationally on behalf of the Arts & Culture sector.
  5. ADC’s unique model enables it to deliver public services, primarily through its partnership with Dorset Council, and to offer services on a commercial basis to a range of public sector and commercial business partners.
  6. The ADC developed Dorset Council’s new Dorset Cultural Strategy, which was approved by the Council in May 2021. It was developed during the COVID pandemic and will play a key part in the recovery of this sector, while helping Dorset communities overcome the challenges of the last 20 months.


Press release – ADC announces new CEO (pdf)