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Annie Warburton appointed as new Cockpit Arts CEO

By Mark Hayhurst 04 Sep 2018

Cockpit Arts has appointed Annie Warburton as its new CEO.

After five years as Creative Director of the Crafts Council, Annie will join Cockpit in November.

Annie Warburton said: “Home to some of the foremost makers and designers in the country, Cockpit Arts is a beacon for making at the heart of the capital. I am thrilled to be joining this award-winning social enterprise with its admirable track record of social impact and business success.

“With craft in the ascendant but pressures on creative businesses intensifying, its mission has never been more vital. I look forward to working with the team to shape an exciting future for Cockpit as London’s major hub for craft.”

Annie brings substantial knowledge of craft and experience of supporting creative talent. During her tenure at the Crafts Council, alongside redeveloping talent and learning programmes, she led the education manifesto Our Future is in the Making, launched at the House of Commons.

She initiated the Crafts Council’s innovation programme, including international conference, Make:Shift, directed national and international exhibitions, and co-launched craft film festival Real to Reel. Previous roles include CEO of ArtsMatrix, and Head of Partnerships at Creative Skillset, where she pioneered apprenticeships in media, fashion and textiles with the BBC, Channel 4 and Mulberry, among others.

Annie succeeds Vanessa Swann MBE who led the organisation for fifteen years.

Cornelius Medvei, Chairman, Cockpit Arts’ Board of Trustees, said: “Cockpit Arts plays a critical role in supporting and promoting craft in London. The Trustees and I are delighted that Annie Warburton, Creative Director of the Crafts Council and a leading advocate for craft, will lead Cockpit Arts into the next decade as Chief Executive.

“Her powerful vision for the future, at a time when craft is flourishing despite difficult economic times, is exciting. I am confident that under her leadership Cockpit Arts will play a leading role, along with our many friends in the sector, in supporting makers both in London and across the UK.”

Rosy Greenlees OBE, Executive Director, Crafts Council, added: “Annie’s appointment as CEO of Cockpit Arts is brilliant news for the craft sector. Supporting makers has been integral to what the Crafts Council does since 1971.

“And so, we are delighted that Annie will take her considerable expertise and creativity to lead an organisation renowned for its invaluable support for craft businesses. We look forward to working with Annie and Cockpit in the future.”

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