Catching up with Richard Loftus, the sales and marketing director of Town Hall Symphony Hall and discovering what he loves moist about Birmingham
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I’m Richard Loftus and I recently joined Town Hall Symphony Hall (THSH) as director of sales and marketing. The two halls present an exciting and varied programme of around 800 concerts and events a year, with more than 500,000 visitors. Nearly 12,000 young people and 6,000 adults participate in the thriving education and community programme.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
During the snow, I was able to walk from my home in Harborne. I’m ashamed to say that for ease and a little longer in bed, I jump in the car and drive along the Hagley Road.
HOW’S THE COMMUTE?
I used to live in a quiet village in the Cotswolds, having commutes that varied from two hours to 50 minutes. Since taking up post at THSH and moving to the city, it’s 10 minutes.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
For working in live music and entertainment, it’s fantastic because there is so much on offer. One lunchtime for example, I ventured to Royal Birmingham Conservatoire for a performance from Radio 3 new generation artists Höfele and Magdalena Müllerperth. I’ve got tickets booked for performances at New Alexandra Theatre and Glee Club, having enjoyed Christmas productions at Birmingham Hippodrome and the Rep.
Yorks Cafe at Ikon is perfect. White hot chocolate and home-made cakes – delicious!!
When I make time for lunch – rather than snacking at my desk – my preference would be Marmalade at Birmingham Rep.
I always walk between the two venues. Google Maps says it should take seven minutes. You can do it much quicker with the right music in your ears and a bounce in your step. Every three weeks our HR manager, Rachel, leads a 30-minute walk as part of THSH’s wellbeing initiative.
WHERE’S YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
Digbeth – I love the vintage shopping, colourful street art and, of course, I’ve got to name check Digbeth Dining Club. It’s the most Instagrammable quarter of the city.
If I’m staying in the city for a concert from City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra or an international orchestra’s performance as part of the Birmingham Classical Season, then it’s the Distillery. If I’m heading back home, it’s the Paper Duck.
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
Culture and tourism is essential to the growth of Birmingham. There are some international opportunities on the horizon, including nearby Coventry’s 2021 City of Culture win and, closer to home, hosting the 2022 Commonwealth Games. On the doorstep of Symphony Hall, there’s the £12million foyer development, opening the building onto a regenerated Centenary Square.