Central School of Ballet announces appointment of new Executive Director to lead the organisation in its new Southwark home

Central School of Ballet, the world-leading professional dance training organisation and part of the renowned Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, today announces the appointment of its new Executive Director Mark Osterfield. Mark will join Central mid-March to lead the organisation in its much-anticipated new home in the South Bank arts community in the London Borough of Southwark.

Mark’s distinguished career includes managing leading arts organisations and facilitating change for the public benefit with social, cultural and economic impact. He is notable for his work on the refurbishment of Camden’s Swiss Cottage Central Library and Tate St Ives where he led the team which delivered its iconic new building. Tate St Ives went on to win Museum of the year 2018 as a result of Mark’s leadership.

Mark joins Central when undergraduate admissions for its core BA (Hons) programme in Professional Dance & Performance are at an all-time high and its graduate performing company Ballet Central delights growing audiences in towns and cities across the UK.

Ralph Bernard, Chair of Governors for Central said: “This is an extremely important appointment for Central School of Ballet and Mark was the outstanding candidate. His appointment coincides with the biggest event in our history – the move to a spectacular new home in Southwark. Mark’s distinguished track record in managing arts and his extensive business, management and fundraising experience will be vital to our continued success.”

Ralph continued: “Mark’s role will be to lead the school through its next phase of development which will significantly increase our size. Mark will work closely with our Artistic Director, Christopher Marney and together they will continue to support Central’s position as a world-leading dance training institution.”

Mark Osterfield said: “This role at Central gives me a great opportunity to continue to support the great cultural offer we have in the UK, helping young people to become great dancers, and engaging with audiences and communities in Southwark and beyond. On a personal level it is my chance to reconnect with my childhood passion for ballet, and the training that set me up for a lifelong engagement with the arts.”

Central’s new premises are the result of years of planning and a highly successful capital campaign that has raised just under £9.5million for the project involving the full relocation of the school and the fit-out of the building. The new building will be opened by Central’s patron HRH The Countess of Wessex at the end of February. There will then be a phased move of all parts of the school from its current premises in Clerkenwell to Southwark over subsequent months.

Central’s new Southwark premises will feature amenities to rival dance training facilities anywhere in the UK; seven studios, a fully equipped studio theatre, study and resource centres. The fit-out will include a state-of-the-art health suite providing psychology, nutrition, physiotherapy, Pilates and recovery from injury programme. The aim is to become a hub for a dynamic dance community combining excellence in dance training for those aiming for a professional career and a programme of opportunities for the local Southwark community.

Mark takes over from Director Heidi Hall who will join the Board of Governors in April 2020.