DANCE City, the North-East’s development organisation for dance, has appointed Anand Bhatt as its new chief executive and artistic director.

Anand Bhatt, most recently executive producer at Aakash Odedra Company in Leicester, which he jointly founded in 2011 with Aakash Odedra, is looking forward to relocating to the region.

He will take up the post on July 1 to lead Dance City, as it emerges from the challenges of coronavirus, into the next stage of development.

With venues in both Newcastle and Sunderland Dance City also works in communities throughout the region.

During the pandemic, 75 staff have been furloughed after the buildings had to close on March 17.

Online dance training has been available to support current students, virtual auditions have taken place to assist next year’s intake of students, and other online activities and classes will be offered over the summer to adapt to social distancing rules.

Mr Bhatt said: “Dance City is a unique and dynamic dance institution and I am delighted to be taking up the post at one of the leading cultural organisations in the north.

“My journey to Dance City began at the start of this year before any of us could have predicted the impact that the pandemic would have on society and the cultural sector in particular.

“I know that over the coming months Dance City will have to scrutinise all areas of our business.”