After more than a decade in post as The Forum’s Chief Executive, Tim Bishop is retiring. Tim will be succeeded by Chris Gribble, formerly the Chief Executive of National Centre for Writing.
Tim Bishop is a former Editor of the Evening News, BBC Radio Norfolk and BBC Look East. As only the second Chief Executive of The Forum Trust since the building opened in 2001, Tim has established the charity as a flagship organisation, a key city centre partner, and a vibrant hub for activities of all kinds.
"Tim has been an outstanding leader of and champion for The Forum across the entire 11 years of his tenure. He has capitalised on his strong city and county roots, transforming the way The Forum works with the wider community to grow and deepen our partnerships, ensuring that we remain a thriving centre of cultural exploration and learning. His passion for partnership working and a drive and commitment to ‘making things happen’ have ensured that The Forum’s profile and reputation have never been higher as we move towards our 25th anniversary in 2026. The Forum Trust’s Board and Stakeholders offer their deep thanks and appreciation to Tim for all he has achieved and wish him the very best for his retirement."
In his time at The Forum, Tim championed the development of our flagship festivals, including Norwich Science Festival, Norfolk Makers Festival and Norwich Games Festival, as well as the coordination of Norfolk Heritage Open Days. Our festivals bring together communities from across Norwich and Norfolk, offering inspiring events where people can learn, share and collaborate.
“It has been a pleasure to work with Tim over the past ten years that I have been in post at the Library Service. He has always been incredibly supportive and a real champion of everything we do”
Tim also backed major city events in Norwich, playing a key role in the creation of Run Norwich and the growth of Norwich Pride, cementing The Forum’s role at the centre of the city as an inclusive and dynamic space.
He has been responsible for evolving The Forum’s Venue Hire offer, making The Forum a top choice for city centre venue hire, from film screenings, markets, local art exhibitions, corporate conferences, and much more. This has seen the building be transformed: into an interactive gallery playing host to Luke Jerram’s Moon as part of Norfolk & Norwich Festival, to an abseiling wall for many charitable fundraiser, to a vertical farm, with much more in between!
"Running the Forum, one of Norwich's most iconic and popular buildings, is a big responsibility. Tim's stewardship has been assured and impressive, making The Forum an exciting and welcoming venue for everyone. Tim's commitment to Norwich is reflected in his important and influential contribution to the direction of the city. Including the Norwich 2040 Vision Group; the Business Improvement District and guiding the work of the Norwich Cultural Compact. "
Tim shepherded The Forum through many challenging times, including 2020 & 2021, where Covid-19 forced organisations to fight for their survival. As a public building and event space, the pandemic presented a huge threat to the organisation – but also provided a valuable reminder that the people who use the building make it into what it is. With innovation and resilience, Tim was able to lead the team through a very difficult time, while still finding ways to thrive.
Chris Gribble, new Chief Executive of The Forum said;
"I'm delighted to be taking over leadership from Tim of this fantastic organisation that means so much to Norwich and Norfolk and the wider region. Tim has done a remarkable job in steering The Forum Trust over recent years: through capital updates to the stunning Forum building, large scale events that have become part of the city's way of life and not least across the Covid pandemic. He has led with integrity, tenacity and an unwavering commitment to the people and communities who live in, work in and visit our city and county. I hope I am able to live up to his legacy!"
Tim's retirement marks the end of an era at The Forum. He leaves behind a profound impact on the Norwich community, and his contributions to The Forum, and city events will be celebrated for years to come.
Everybody at The Forum wishes Tim Bishop a fulfilling and well-deserved retirement, and would like to thank him for his leadership, trust and support.