Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Creative CEO Takes New Role to Generate Cultural Future of City Council

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Creative CEO Takes New Role to Generate Cultural Future of City Council

Article excerpt

Byline: COREENA FORD Business writer coreena.ford@reachplc.com @Scoopford

AMAN who has spent more than 20 years putting the North East's creative industries on the map has announced he is stepping down.

Jim Mawdsley has been at the Newcastle-based development agency Generator for 21 years, with 10 as chief executive, helping to transform the landscape for music, digital and creative companies.

But keen for a new challenge, he is now set to take up a new job at Newcastle City Council, where he will play a pivotal role in the development of the city's cultural future. Mr Mawdsley will step down from Generator at the end of February to take up the role of principal adviser events, culture, arts and heritage at the authority at the start of March.

The move has triggered the search for a new CEO at Generator and Mr Mawdsley has already been stepped down from his role as chair of Digital Union, the body that represents the creative and digital companies in the region.

Digital Union has appointed Orange Bus founder and digital agency entrepreneur Julian Leighton as its new member chair.

Mr Mawdsley's move to the council comes amid Government moves to increase culture involvement across the UK, a year on from the Cutural Cities Enquiry, led by former Virgin Money CEO Dame Jayne-Anne Gadhia.

The plans involve bringing cities together to create and deliver plans to drive social and economic benefits from a thriving cultural ecosystem.

Mr Mawdsley said: "I love Generator and I'm madly passionate about what we've done. Building it up has been amazing. But I've got to an age where I'm thinking: 'Is this it? Is this what I'll do for the rest of my career?' "I've not been actively looking for other jobs but thought that if a role came along where I can make a real difference, I'd love to have a go. And when this role came along, I thought: 'That really excites me, that's going to be a challenge'.

"I love this city. The DCMS [Department for Culture, Media and Sport] has asked Newcastle to be an early adopter of Cultural Compacts, in which organisations come together to make sure a cultural strategy is embedded in the city. …

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