THE Tyneside Cinema has announced the appointment of three new members to the leadership team.

Duncan Kerr is the new head of operations and is joined by Dan Lauder as operations manager, while Lori Casson is taking up the new role of people manager. All three will be instrumental in the reopening of the much-loved venue as it prepares to welcome back audiences this summer.

Plans to reopen after lockdown restrictions were eased were delayed following a significant flood at the Cinema in January.

As work to repair the widespread damage nears completion, management and staff have used this period to continue implementing the recommendations from the recent independent review, including the review of all processes and procedures and the provision of essential training across the organisation.

A detailed update from Interim CEO, Simon Drysdale regarding progress made against the recommendations has recently been published on the Tyneside Cinema website.

After a career of more than 20 years in various management positions at Odeon and UCI Cinemas across the UK and Ireland, new Head of Operations, Duncan Kerr brings a wealth of experience and industry expertise to Tyneside Cinema.

He said: “Having worked in the cinema industry for the last 25 years, I jumped at the chance of joining the team at the Tyneside and playing a part in restoring it to its former glory.

“Cinema will bounce back in 2021 and the Tyneside will play a key role in this recovery.”

As Operations Manager, Dan Lauder also comes to Tyneside Cinema from a long career at Odeon, including a six-year tenure as Deputy Manager at the Metrocentre branch and two years as manager at the Darlington Odeon.

Dan said: “The Tyneside Cinema is a crown jewel in the North East’s arts industry, and after working within cinema for over a decade I’m incredibly excited to be able to join the wonderful team here.

“It’s a venue close to my heart, and I’ll be giving my all to our guests and staff to ensure this cinema can be the wonderful and safe space that the North East deserves.”

As People Manager, Lori Casson will be responsible for establishing a stronger HR function at Tyneside Cinema, which will include the development and implementation of all HR policies within the organisation, working towards its strategic objectives through positive change management.

Lori comes to Tyneside Cinema as an HR professional from a long career in retail management, including more than a decade at Arcadia Group where she spent the last five years as General Manager at Topshop/Topman in the Metrocentre.

She said: “As a member and Friend of Tyneside Cinema for many years, I feel privileged to have the opportunity to be part of the organisation’s future success.

“In such a short space of time it has been rewarding to positively influence change and I’m super excited to welcome everyone back and support the team achieve their aspirations.”

The independent cinema was hit by scandal last year when a review was commissioned into the handling of sexual abuse and bullying claims. Two bosses resigned and the cinema accepted the findings of the review which made 74 recommendations.

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