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The Courtyard welcome a new Chair of the Board

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The Courtyard is pleased to announce that Bruce Freeman has taken over as Chair of the Board.

Bruce has been a member of The Courtyard Board for four years, and replaces previous Chair Joanna Cobb, who held the position for three years before retiring in November 2022. 

L-R Chief Executive of The Courtyard Ian Archer, newly appointed Chair of the Board Bruce Freeman, Courtyard Operations Manager Phil Pearcy.

Image credit: More Creative Studio


Joanna Cobb sat on the board for six years and chaired through Covid closure, post-pandemic recovery and the Transform The Yard development. Joanna will continue to be a Trustee of The Courtyard.

Bruce, who was elected as Chair in December, spent 30 years as a science teacher. Including 25 years as Head of Year at Aylestone School, where he left as a Deputy Headteacher in 2007. His affiliation with the arts grew when he was Stage Manager for 13 shows and the Producer for 4 musicals during his stint as a teacher.

“It is a huge honour to have been elected as Chair of the Board at the Courtyard Centre for the Arts, and I’d like to thank my fellow Directors for placing their trust in me.” Said Bruce, “I very much look forward to working alongside a fantastic group of people who work at The Courtyard, and to help steer The Courtyard towards a brighter and more secure future.”

As well as teaching, Bruce has spent 27 years in school governance, including the last 7 years as Chair of Governors at The Hereford Academy. After teaching, Bruce set up his own Project Management Company and helped to convert 13 schools around the country to academies.

Between 2000 and 2011, Bruce led two major appeals and project managed the total refurbishment of the interior of St. Martin’s Church, and the replacement of its roof. When Bruce joined the Board at The Courtyard it was his project management skills that were quickly utilized, as he was asked to Chair the Development Committee, which was responsible for delivering the recent transformation of the building. He played a pivotal role in completing the £1.6 million project on time and on budget.

The Courtyard Board is made up of passionate members of Herefordshire’s community, businesses and creative arts industry. For more information about The Courtyard Board or to apply to be a Board Member visit courtyard.org.uk/the-board.

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