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New Chair Takes the Helm at Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust
Friday 18th January, 2008

New Chair Takes the Helm at Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust
Andy Wiggans (centre) with former Chair Jacqui Boardman and Chief Executive Rodney Hill.

A new era for leisure and cultural services in Wigan Borough began this week as Andy Wiggans embarked on his role as the new Chair of Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust.

Sport and jazz fan Andy took on his new appointment after Jacqui Boardman stepped down in December following five successful years at the helm. Andy’s key responsibility is to lead the Trust’s Board of voluntary Trustees who have the legal responsibility for ensuring that the Trust is managed appropriately.

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust is the largest charitable trust of its type in England with around 800 staff and an annual turnover of approximately £26m.

Brought up in Preston, 58 year-old Andy is a freelance community engagement consultant who has great experience in the voluntary, education and public sectors. Educated at the London School of Economics, Andy’s career has seen him work as a Community Development Officer, a University Lecturer and as a Project Manager studying the needs of young homeless people. Most recently Andy was an Executive Director at Rochdale Council before he joined the Trust Board in 2005.

Andy’s passion for leisure and culture is evident in his aims for the Trust. Andy said: “I want people to be inspired and to have their aspirations raised by the work we do. Whether it be through art, sport, or even helping to fight for equality, I want people of all ages to have the chance to express themselves. I believe we can have a really positive impact on people’s lives. My role is to provide strong leadership but I will do it with a sense of humour.”

Andy also has very personal reasons for taking on his new role - his mother was born in Wigan; sadly she passed away just before Andy joined the Trust. “I am naturally drawn to this area and believe passionately that we can rise to the challenges ahead. Jacqui Boardman did a wonderful job in laying down the foundations for success.

“Jacqui was a real rock and has helped secure a very good relationship with Wigan Council. By working hard and thinking innovatively we will help make projects such as Leigh Sports Village and Wigan’s new Joint Service Centre a real success.”

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust Chief Executive Rodney Hill underlined the importance of Andy’s role, he said: “The position of Chair is key to the future development of the Trust. The Trust Board has an objective role, they don’t get involved in the day to day operational side of things, but they do ultimately shape and determine all of our major decisions. I am delighted that Andy has agreed to take on the role and I am sure he will stamp his own personality and bring his own ideas to the position. He is passionate about cultural services, he is a great strategic thinker and he understands people and their needs.”

Wigan Leisure and Culture Trust’s vision is to get people across Wigan Borough more physically, mentally and creatively active. The Trust also aims to have a positive impact on people’s lives through the wide range of services it provides. For further information about the Trust and its services call 01942 828508 or visit www.wlct.org.

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