Manchester International Festival (MIF) has appointed three new board members as the organisation prepares to take on the operation of The Factory – a new 7,000-capacity cultural space opening in the city next year.

Joining the board are Lamia Dabboussy (pictured left), a freelance arts and media consultant who was previously director of arts at the BBC; Laura Jordan-Bambach (centre), president and chief creative officer of advertising agency Grey; and Faz Barber (right), an architectural designer and Young People’s Forum representative, who has sat on MIF’s Young People’s Forum since 2019.

Their arrival follows the recent appointments of Tom Cunningham as head of commercial operations and partnerships, and Low Kee Hong as creative director. MIF said the trio will work alongside John McGrath, artistic director and chief executive and the rest of the curatorial team on developing the artistic programme for The Factory.

MIF chair Tom Bloxham MBE said, “It is a huge privilege to lead the MIF board and I am immensely grateful to our board members, all of whom are leaders from the worlds of arts, business, sport, media and civic leadership with international reputations, who choose to give their time and skills freely to help realise our massive ambitions for MIF and The Factory. It is a joy to welcome Laura, Faz and Lamia to the board at this really exciting moment.”

Designed by Ellen van Loon of architectural practice OMA, The Factory will commission, present and produce a year-round creative programme, featuring new work from artists. Its development is being led by Manchester City Council, with backing from HM Government and Arts Council England. MIF will operate The Factory, as well as delivering the citywide Festival every other year.

Barber, Dabboussy and Jordan-Bambach join a board that includes:

  • Tom Bloxham MBE, (chair) founder of Urban Splash, trustee of Manchester United Foundation
  • Dr Maria Balshaw CBE, director, Tate
  • Pat Bartoli, head of city centre growth and regeneration, Manchester City Council
  • Richard Bell, North West senior partner, Deloitte
  • Sir Howard Bernstein, former CEO, Manchester City Council 1998 – 2017
  • Alan Bishop, former CEO, Southbank 2009 – 2017
  • Jamil Khalil, CEO and founder, Wakelet
  • Grace Ladoja MBE, entrepreneur and co-founder, Metallic Inc and Homecoming
  • Ibrahim Mahama, visual artist
  • Shaminder Nahal, commissioning editor, Channel 4
  • Gary Neville, footballer, pundit and businessman
  • Richard Paver, former treasurer, GM Combined Authority
  • Cllr Luthfur Rahman OBE, deputy leader, Manchester City Council
  • Ngozi (Goz) Ugochukwu, artist and journalist, People’s Forum Representative
  • Jo Whitfield CBE, chief executive of Food, The Co-op
  • Cathryn Wright, director of Sedulo (London Office)