* THE Theatre Royal in Newcastle has strengthened its senior management team with the appointment of director of development RICHARD BERG-RUST.

He has returned to the region from London where he was senior gifts fundraiser for leading housing charity Shelter.

His role will see him working with organisations across the region, building the profile of the Theatre Royal and raising funds for the planned £4.2m expansion scheme at 5-7 Market Street.

Other duties will include liaison with the Friends of the Theatre Royal and the continued promotion of the theatre's work with businesses in the North-East.

Mr Berg-Rust studied politics at Durham University before settling in Cambridge. He has worked for Cambridge University, Exeter University and from 1997-2000 he was chairman of the Northumbrian Association.

He also held the post of chairman for the Lindisfarne Gospels Campaign that aimed to bring St Cuthbert's book back to the region.