Bob Last, a widely known and highly respected creative leader and commercial consultant particularly in the fields of music and film, has been appointed as Chair of the Board of Leith Theatre Trust as of August 2022.
In a career spanning over 40 years, that has spanned public policy, education, intellectual property and cultural service, Last’s expertise is recognised across the creative industries in Scotland and the UK.
His early entrepreneurial spirit in the music industry saw his success as producer, designer and manager, celebrated recently as part of the award-winning documentary ‘Big Gold Dream’ (2015) and also featured in the ‘Rip It Up’ exhibition (2018, National Museum of Scotland). He has founded various creative businesses and brings a provocative, innovative and passionate spirit to the creative sector.
His influence as a member of the Scottish Government Creative Industries Framework Agreement Implementation Group oversaw the laying of the early foundations of Creative Scotland, with his involvement informing public policy at an educational and government level.
Last is co-owner, with business partner Jason Connery, of Leith’s FirstStage Studios, the largest film studio in Scotland. He has been at the forefront of championing Scotland’s burgeoning TV and film industry and is an Oscar nominated and BAFTA award winning film and TV producer with credits including Sylvain Chomet’s beautiful 2010 animation ‘The Illusionist’ and the 2021 film ‘She Will’ from Charlotte Colbert, that won the Golden Leopard for best first feature at last year’s Locarno Film Festival and is due for imminent UK release.
After an early foray into architecture and structural engineering saw several years of study before his being drawn into the creative industries, Last can bring a breadth of building knowledge as well as his extensive cultural and substantial business start-up and capital project experience to Leith Theatre.
Chief Executive of Leith Theatre Lynn Morrison, said “I am absolutely thrilled with the appointment of Bob Last as Chair of Leith Theatre. Bob brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge that is undeniably current to the venue’s journey. He is a powerful ally with incredible commitment to the creative industries both across this city and the wider landscape. With the positive focus that Bob’s support will steer, I feel incredibly optimistic about our future.”
Leith Theatre has had a long journey from its early ‘save the building’ campaign and initial community activist Board involvement. During Covid, Leith Theatre saw transformational change and a huge focus on the development of the board and strategic future planning.
A complete raft of building health surveys, a refreshed Feasibility Study, a capital fundraising strategy and new business plan mean the theatre is investment-ready with exciting plans for its future role in the local community and in the cultural ecology of Edinburgh and Scotland.