Leeds 2023: Chair of Leeds Culture Trust Ruth Pitt steps down amid workload and health concerns

The chair of the Leeds Culture Trust has stepped down due to the heavy workload and impact on her health and wellbeing.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 11:45 am
Updated Monday, 28th June 2021, 7:16 pm

Ruth Pitt became chair of the Trust, which is responsible for delivering the LEEDS 2023 year of culture, in 2019.

She was responsible for setting up the trust as an independent organisation and also helped recruit the senior team, while laying the foundations for the festival’s scale and ambition.

Ms Pitt announced she was stepping down from the voluntary role on Monday, June 28.

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Ruth Pitt is standing down as the Leeds Culture Trust chair. Picture Tony Johnson
Ruth Pitt is standing down as the Leeds Culture Trust chair. Picture Tony Johnson

She said: “I’m really sad to be moving on but I always said that I could only do the job if it didn’t impact too greatly on my working life and sadly there simply are not enough hours in the day to meet my professional commitments and lead the Leeds Culture Trust at the same time.

"I have lived with Crohn’s Disease for over twenty years so I also need to consider my own health and wellbeing.

"Culture can be transformative, so we need LEEDS 2023 now more than ever for the benefit of our communities, who deserve something really special after such a terrible year.”

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Frank Finlay, vice chair of LEEDS 2023, says: “As a leader in her field with a very impressive track record of professional achievement, Ruth Pitt has been able to draw on her extensive knowledge of the arts and culture sector to play a key role during her time as Chair of Leeds Culture Trust.

"This included a period as Acting CEO when she undertook a broad portfolio of activities and helped to encourage and nurture a number of initiatives which will feature in the eventual artistic programme.

"Everyone involved in LEEDS 2023 is to be thanked and congratulated on the recent successful launch of the “Letting Culture Loose” campaign with its striking visual identity.

"As the project now enters the next phase of its development, Ruth leaves the Trust well positioned for the future and with our sincere thanks for her enthusiastic commitment, sheer hard work, and all she has contributed during her time as Chair. 

"We wish her well for the future and the best of good luck with all her ongoing and exciting new projects.”

Work to begin recruiting a new Chair is now underway.