the home of science, arts and inspiration

Exhibition Road Cultural Group announces the appointment of a new Director

The Board of the Exhibition Road Cultural Group (ERCG) are pleased to announce that our new Director will be Sally Noonan. Sally will be taking over from Emily Candler, who is stepping down after leading ERCG for 9 years. During this time the partnership has grown to 22 organisations, working together to address shared challenges and ensuring that London’s original culture and education district thrives as a great place to visit, work, study and live.

Sally has over 20 years' experience in leadership roles in the cultural sector, in the UK and Australia. Most recently she worked with the State Government of New South Wales and Australia’s leading performing arts companies on the delivery and establishment of Sydney’s award-winning new harbourside home for the arts, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct.  She has also held senior positions in several of the most creative theatres in the world, including as Chief Operating Officer at the Donmar Warehouse and at the Almeida Theatre in London, and at Sydney Theatre Company.  She will be joining ERCG at the beginning of January 2023.

Tim Reeve, Co-Chair Exhibition Road Cultural Group said:

 “Collaboration between the leading science and arts institutions in South Kensington has gone from strength to strength under Emily’s leadership. She leaves us with a clear vision to work ever closer together to meet the great challenges of our time, whilst ensuring that London’s original and pioneering cultural district continues to thrive as a great place to visit, study, work and live. Ambitious public events such as the Great Exhibition Road Festival, and the development of our Discover South Kensington channels have raised awareness of the extraordinary things that happen in our neighbourhood, strengthening our relationship with our local communities. Behind the scenes collaboration is also flourishing on everything from sustainability to business resilience, galvanised by a real sense of shared purpose, curiosity and trust.

 Sally joins us at an exciting time as we begin a three-year programme to accelerate our response to climate change, utilising the skills and expertise we have here to become an exemplar zero emissions, nature positive neighbourhood.  With her passion for placemaking and skills in stakeholder engagement, she will build on Emily’s excellent work, leading our vital cultural district into its next phase. “

 Sally Noonan said:

 “I’m so looking forward to returning to London to work alongside this inspiring group of organisations. Their collective ambition to set the standard for districts and neighbourhoods around the world as we grapple with the greatest challenge of our time is energising and reaffirms the area's original vision. I can’t wait to begin work to take forward this important programme, and the other significant aims of the ERCG, from the strong foundation that Emily has delivered." 

 Emily Candler said

“It has been a great privilege and so much fun to work with this extraordinary group of institutions and their brilliant staff over the past 9 years.  We’ve come a long way as a partnership and it has been so inspiring and exciting to discover what we can achieve when we work together. I’m really grateful to members of the Board and my colleagues for their tremendous support and encouragement over the years, and particularly in the past few years while I’ve been coping with cancer treatment.  I’m delighted to be handing over to Sally to lead this amazing group of organisations as it continues to grow and flourish and looking forward to my next chapter.”

 About us

The Exhibition Road Cultural Group is a partnership of 22 leading science and arts institutions in and around Exhibition Road, South Kensington. Discover South Kensington is our public-facing profile. We work together to ensure the world’s original cultural district is thriving, welcoming and enjoyable for all who visit, work, live and study.  This cultural district is a crucible for change, that uses its combined creativity and expertise in science and arts to inspire, innovate and create change.  Addressing the most pressing issue of our day, our top focus is working together to become a global exemplar of carbon zero, nature positive neighbourhood. 

Exhibition Road Cultural Group's New Director - Sally Noonan