Leonora Thomson

Leonora Thomson is Director of Audiences and Development at the Barbican Centre, Europe’s largest multi-arts centre, which is part of the City of London Corporation. She leads on the organisation’s relationship with its audiences through marketing and communications, front of house and box office, development and digital strategy and is currently undertaking a strategic planning process for the Centre. 

In the early 1990s she worked in international press and promotion for EMI Classics, then joined the BBC to run press and publicity for the Proms and Radio 3, and went on to work as a Strategic Communications Adviser to BBC senior management on corporate issues.  From 1998-2006 she also served as a local councillor for the London Borough of Ealing, providing the political leadership for education and children’s social services, ending up as Deputy Leader then Leader of the Council.

She joined the Barbican in 2008 from the Metropolitan Police Service, where from 2007 – 8 she was the manager of Ealing’s Extended Police Family - Community Support Officers, Volunteers, Special Constables and Cadets.

From 2007-2011 she was Chair of Paddington Churches Housing Association and is currently a Board Member of the Mercury Theatre, Colchester and the National Campaign for the Arts.

In December 2015 she will relocate to Cardiff, where she will take up the role of Managing Director of Welsh National Opera.

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"Five debates a day sounds a bit daunting beforehand, but I really loved it. The speakers are so knowledgeable and passionate about their chosen topic, and the amount of time dedicated to questions from the audience was great as it really brought in alternative views."
Exeter University student

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