BBC England’s head of north Rozina Breen has today been announced as the new chair of the board at Leeds Playhouse. She will be accompanied by current board member Neil Adleman as vice chair, and succeeds Sir Rodney Brooke CBE, who steps down after ten years as chair.

As head of north for BBC England and previously head of news for BBC 5 Live, Rozina is a driving force within the media industry with an award-winning portfolio. An ambassador for the north, she thrives on telling untold stories in new and creative ways to amplify the narrative and potential from the region, creating partnerships and collaborations that bring together different minds and empowering staff who truly reflect the diversity of the UK.

Neil Adleman is a partner at market leading law firm Harbottle & Lewis where he heads the firm’s theatre group. Neil was previously a trustee and then chair of Sheffield Theatres Trust until 2015, before becoming a trustee at Leeds Playhouse in 2016.

Rozina said: “I’m thrilled to be joining Leeds Playhouse as Chair. Sir Rodney Brooke will be a hard act to follow, but I’m looking forward to working alongside Neil and the Board with Robin Hawkes, James Brining and the whole Playhouse team as they continue in their typically brilliant vein of collaboration and innovation whilst also leading the way through what are undoubtedly challenging times for the sector.

The Playhouse’s connection with Leeds, a city so rich in creativity and diversity, is inspiring. Its ethos of inclusivity and community means it is home to such incredible and vibrant storytelling, proudly based in the north of England. I’m very much looking forward to joining Leeds Playhouse in this next, vital chapter of its history.”

Neil Adleman said: “Having participated on the board alongside Sir Rodney Brooke through the redevelopment and reopening of Leeds Playhouse I am delighted to be able to work with and support Rozina Breen as the Playhouse navigates the exceptional challenges brought by COVID-19, so that it can continue and further develop the essential role it plays in the lives of people throughout Leeds and the wider region.”

Sir Rodney Brooke CBE said: “Leeds Playhouse is one of the leading theatres in the country. It has been a privilege for me to be involved, especially in the creation of its brilliant new building.

The importance of the Playhouse lies not just in what happens on its stages, but the part which the theatre plays in the life of our great city and its region. The Playhouse will be a beacon of inspiration as we emerge from the shadow of COVID-19.

I am delighted to be able to hand over to such able successors as Rozina and Neil.”

Joint chief executives James Brining and Robin Hawkes said: “Rodney has been pivotal in the journey that has seen the Playhouse become one of the UK’s most respected and valued regional theatres. His contribution has been critical and will be remembered in his generous funding of the Brooke Room and the capital programme of which it is a part.

Rozina is a passionate advocate for storytelling that represents the diversity of our region, and a great long-term fan of Leeds Playhouse. Her passion and insight will make a superb addition to the excellent range of skills and experience of the existing Board.

As the city now begins to build and regrow from COVID-19, and the creative industries respond and take new shape, we are delighted that Rozina and Neil will be leading the Playhouse Board into our exciting next chapter.”