Executive Director Joanna Reid boosts Belgrade during ten year tenure


Joanna Reid celebrates 10 years as Executive Director of Coventry’s Belgrade Theatre, where she has helped re-establish the theatre, not only as one of the leading cultural venues in the city, but also as one of the most dynamic producing houses in the country and a key contributor to the local economy.

Since joining the Belgrade a decade ago, Joanna has worked in partnership with Artistic Director Hamish Glen to oversee the £14million refurbishment of the theatre and the creation of the B2 auditorium, increase audiences and rejuvenate the fortunes of the once ailing venue, which now generates around £4.5million for the local economy every year.

In 2007 she led the expansion of the theatre’s income streams with the introduction of an events and conferencing service, commercial theatre workshop programmes and the creation of Belgrade Production Services, which makes costumes and sets for theatres around the country. These services have earned an extra £499,000 for the theatre in the last year and £1.49million since 2007.

In recent years she has steered the theatre through adversity as, like many other theatres around the country, the Belgrade has received significant cuts to its funding. Despite this, the theatre has managed to safeguard its cultural and educational offering, increase audiences figures and the number of productions it stages, and in the last year earn 56% of its own income, up from 30% five years ago.

Joanna is a keen advocate of protecting the environment and she has used this passion to implement a robust environmental policy for the Belgrade. This has resulted in a significant reduction in the theatre’s energy consumption and a commendation from the Carbon Trust.

Joanna said, “It is a great privilege and pleasure to lead the cracking team at the Belgrade. Everyone is working very hard to ensure that we can continue to produce and present an exciting mix of entertaining and engaging live experiences all under one roof, and safeguard our ground-breaking Community & Education programme. We are really proud of the part that we play in helping to improve people’s quality of life and the positive contribution we make to the city’s growing economy. There remain great challenges ahead, but we are in good shape to respond to them.”

Joanna made the move to the Belgrade from Dundee Rep Theatre where she played a key role in its transformation to an organisation unique in the UK and highly respected throughout Scotland.

During her time in Dundee she was lead manager on the £3.2 million refurbishment of the theatre, implemented the New Ways of Working project, which resulted in the establishment of Scotland’s only ensemble company of actors and helped establish the theatre’s contemporary dance company, Scottish Dance Theatre. She also oversaw the doubling of annual turnover, leaving the theatre with no deficits.

Prior to this she was General Manager of Actors Touring Company in London. She has served as Chair of the Independent Theatre Council and as a Board Member of the Theatre Managers Association.