Inward investment expert to raise funds for Opera North

OPERA North has named an inward investment expert as its new corporate fundraiser.

Jacqui Nuttall started work as the company's head of corporate giving yesterday. The appointment of New Zealand-born Miss Nuttall, who previously worked for Financial Leeds, comes as the arts world is faced with shrinking state support because of the coalition's austerity drive.

Leeds-based Opera North, which last month was told it would have its public funding cut by 49,577, plans to strengthen its financial position by boosting its website activity, bringing in-house the design and editorial of publications and looking at the commercial use of the Howard Assembly Room. The company, which tours the UK, has more than 20 corporate partners.

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Miss Nuttall, 36, said: "I think the community has supported the arts very much and the response I have had so far is excellent."

Chris Denton, commercial director at Opera North, said: "We are thrilled by Jacqui's arrival and her positive outlook on the current tough economic climate. It is vital that we look to the support of UK businesses to help protect the valuable work that the company produces and the new head of corporate giving is a significant step towards helping us achieve this.

"Jacqui is joining at a great time, when we are refocusing and repositioning the company as a vibrant and vital arts organisation, with a new logo and strengthening of marketing and brand activity."

Miss Nuttall previously worked at the Royal Opera House for four years, where she brought new business to Covent Garden.