Our leadership team

As an independent charity, Woolwich Works is governed by a board of Trustees to which the Chief Executive is accountable for its success, along with the Royal Borough of Greenwich as its founder. Our leadership team – James, Ali and Annika – runs the organisation on a day-to-day basis.

James Heaton, Chief Executive & Creative Director

James was born in the south and raised in the north, before coming back to London to study music at Goldsmiths.

He spent seven years at the Roundhouse where he was responsible for its general operations, managed the iTunes Festival, and designed and delivered London’s first pop-up beach. He has worked for The Guardian, and as Operations Director for the Nimax group of theatres where he helped to open shows including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and supported Nica Burns in delivering her vision for the West End’s forthcoming new theatre at Soho Place.

James is a Trustee / non-executive Director of High House Production Park, Battersea Arts Centre Enterprises, Wilton’s Music Hall and Visit Greenwich.

As our Chief Executive, he has overall responsibility for running Woolwich Works and developing and driving its creative vision and strategic plan.

Annika Brown, Operations Director

Annika studied Performing Arts and has worked in the sector since 2007. At Brixton House (previously Ovalhouse) she completed a PRINCE 2 project management qualification where she was Buildings, Project Manager. Prior to joining the Woolwich Works team, Annika was General Manager at Theatre Royal Stratford East where she brought the bar operation back in house and implemented a series of operational changes.

Annika is part of the movement Black Womxn in Theatre, which gathered over 250 black womxn on 25 July 2019 for an historic photoshoot in the Globe Theatre London. Annika was also part of the team that started the #AllOfUs Redundancy Care initiative that raised funds to support Black, Asian, ethnically diverse and migrate colleagues in the cultural sector who lost there jobs due to COVID-19.

As our Operations Director, Annika leads on running our buildings – overseeing venue management and visitor services, technical, bars and catering and IT. She is also responsible for HR and safety management, and currently works closely with James on the capital project to fit out, set up and open the site once the renovation works are complete.

Ali Gannagé-Stewart, Executive Director

Ali is passionate about making the arts accessible to all and she has a decade's experience of running events and commercial operations within arts organisations. After managing the country wide events programme for the Arts Marketing Association, in 2013 she moved to London to take an Events Manager role at Whitechapel Gallery, before going on to join Southbank Centre as a Commercial Events Manager and latterly becoming Head of Commercial Events. She is also a Non-Executive Director for Battersea Arts Centre Enterprises and a Trustee at Lighthouse, Poole's Centre for the Arts.

As our Executive Director, she leads on commercial hires and artistic rentals, marketing, fundraising, PR, event management and ticketing, and works closely with James on many other things including programming, planning and partnerships.