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Jessica Hepburn to step down as executive director of Lyric Hammersmith

Jessica Hepburn is stepping down from her position as executive director of the Lyric Theatre... But not before she swims the channel to raise money for the facility!

Jessica Hepburn with Boris Johnson at the Lyric Theatre

Executive director of the Lyric Theatre, Jessica Hepburn, will be leaving the organisation later this year after taking on one final challenge - swimming the English Channel to raise money for the theatre's work for disadvantaged children and young people.

Ms Hepburn, who first joined the organisation as head of development 14 years ago, was appointed as executive director and joint chief executive in January 2006.

Hepburn led the theatre's recent £20m redevelopment from inception to completion; seeing artworks installed, a wing built, state-of-the-art facilities and more.

Currently, the theatre is enjoying a run of cult classic Bugsy Malone to celebrate the relaunch.

She said: "I am very grateful to the Lyric's board for giving me the opportunity to run the theatre when I was relatively young and inexperienced. I hope that over the last decade I have returned their belief in me.

"In many ways it is a very difficult decision to leave because the Lyric is at such an exciting moment in its history but I believe that chief executives of our major cultural buildings shouldn't stay too long and it's the right time to find someone new to lead the next phase of the Lyric's life.

"I am immensely proud of what I have achieved, especially leading our capital project to a triumphant conclusion, and I leave knowing that my love for the theatre will always be within these walls."

Looking to the future, Ms Hepburn intends to focus on her writing career, having already written an Amazon-bestselling book, The Pursuit of Motherhood, which was published last year.

Her next endeavour, however, will be taking on one final challenge for the Lyric;attempting to swim the English Channel to raise money for the theatre's work with disadvantaged children and young people.

An event will be held at the theatre on Monday (June 29) to launch the fundraising campaign. Details of how to sponsor Hepburn for this effort can be found here.

Chair of the Lyric Theatre, Kevin McGrath, said: "Jessica has been an exceptional Executive Director of the Lyric and has been instrumental in building the theatre’s artistic and financial success.

"She leaves a legacy in the capital redevelopment that has transformed Hammersmith and will be enjoyed by the West London community for decades. It is a remarkable achievement."

Lyric Theatre, Kings Mall Shopping Centre, King Street, Lyric Square, Hammersmith, W6 0QL - 020 8741 6850

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