Sheffield Leadmill founding director awarded CBE in Queen's New Year Honours

The founding director and co-ordinator of Sheffield’s Leadmill has been awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list for services to theatre.

Friday, 31st December 2021, 10:30 pm

Adrian Vinken led the development of the music venue in the late 1970s and was its CEO for the first 10 years until he left it in 1990 to run the Theatre Royal Plymouth.

He was previously awarded an OBE in 2006 for his leadership of the cultural sector in the South West and his pioneering work on The Leadmill which led to the growth of Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter.

In 2018 he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Devon.

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Adrian Vinken, founding director of the Leadmill in Sheffield before he moved to the Theatre Royal in Plymouth, has been awarded a CBE for services to theatre

Adrian said: “The Leadmill was the launchpad for the brilliant career I've enjoyed and I'm chuffed that it's still going strong.

“I loved hearing last year in the national news about how it managed to survive the pandemic and keep going.

“I hope it's still entertaining the good music lovers of Sheffield in another 40 years!”

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Adrian left the Plymouth theatre earlier this year after 30 years in charge.

He was also the chair of the Mayflower 400 Compact, an international organisation set up to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the ship The Mayflower’s voyage to the USA from Plymouth, carrying the Pilgrim Fathers who settled in the States. It examined many aspects of that voyage, including the “ruthless consequences of colonisation” of the land.

The Leadmill is Sheffield’s longest-running live music venue and nightclub having opened in 1980.

It has hosted gigs by some of the world’s most popular music acts including Sheffield’s own Pulp, plus Coldplay, Oasis and The Killers to name a few.

The venue was set up in a converted flour mill as a response to a lack of cultural facilities when the effects of Thatcherism were being felt in the city.