Dartington appoints Rhodri Samuel as its new CEO

Trust opts for a regeneration leader with a strong belief in local collaboration


The Dartington Hall Trust has announced it has appointed Bath visionary Rhodri Samuel to the role of CEO.

Rhodri Samuel
Rhodri Samuel

The eagerly anticipated news comes as the Trust reaches the mid-point of its 90th Anniversary year in which it has celebrated new thinking and action to improve sustainable practice across three key areas: food and farming, jobs and homes, and enriching lives.

Says Rhodri:

“I’ve been advising the Trust for the past six months and already feel a strong sense of connection to Dartington. I’ve fallen in love with the beauty of the place and am inspired by its experimental and pioneering past. I’m also excited about its future potential, not least the remarkable people, organisations, networks and enterprises already active within the Trust and the surrounding area.

“Initially, I see my role as working with the Dartington trustees, staff and members, the local community, partners and wider communities of interest to lead the delivery of a clear vision, purpose and long-term plan for Dartington – a plan that rekindles the spirit of the place while securing a viable and sustainable future for the Trust.

“I’m also keen to develop a culture that is open, inclusive, innovative and genuinely creative, and for Dartington to be known and respected for its values and holistic approach.”

Comments Liz Firth, Interim Chair of The Dartington Hall Trust:

“The Trust was looking for a very special individual with the experience, expertise and passion to forge an exciting new era for Dartington. In Rhodri Samuel we believe we have found that person.

“Rhodri has become a familiar and well-respected figure at Dartington, providing sound advice on how we plan the future of our estate and buildings. He is already recognised for his commitment to creating strong connections with the local community and statutory organisations.

“And I know he is looking forward to developing Dartington’s key relationships and addressing the opportunities and challenges across all our activities. Rhodri’s role will be highly focused on making a sustainable vision for this unique place a reality.

“Rhodri’s start date will be announced soon. In the meantime, the Trustees are very grateful to Dartington’s Chief Operating Officer, Karen Williams, for continuing to cover as Interim CEO.”

Biography on Rhodri Samuel

Rhodri began his career working in arts management and production, including a stint at the Bath International Music Festival. This led to a long-term association with Bath and a desire to play an active role in helping the city to imagine and move towards a future as inventive and entrepreneurial as its past.

He has worked with a wide range of partners across the cultural, business, environmental, education, health and community sectors to initiate and deliver a series of pioneering projects. His achievements include leading the long-term vision for Bath, the Bath City Identity Project (bringing the community together to create a new story for Bath) and a major long-term strategy and delivery programme to transform streets and public spaces across the city. He has also led and overseen the delivery of a series of major master plan, design and regeneration projects within the challenging World Heritage Site environment of Bath, several of which have won national and international awards. Working closely and collaboratively with local people has always been central to his approach.

Most recently he has led the Craneworks project, a social enterprise to create a new centre for invention and making in Bath. He is particularly interested in bringing together creative, talented and entrepreneurial people from different backgrounds and disciplines to make interesting things happen and he set up the Creative Bath and Bath Bridge leadership networks. He is a director of two Community Interest Companies, a Steering Group Member of Creative Bath and the Bristol Urban Design Forum and a Fellow of the RSA. He lives with his long-term partner Johanna. They have two sons who should have left home by now.


For further information, contact the media centre on 01803 847026 or info@dartington.org