On Tuesday 29 September, Heart of London Business Alliance hosted an online symposium, celebrating the launch of our cultural strategy, the Cultural Heart of London.

In a discussion led by Jan Dalley, Arts Editor of the Financial Times, panellists Stuart Murphy, CEO the English National Opera, Axel Rüger, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, Kenny Wax, President of the Society of London Theatre and Sherry Dobbin, Partner at Futurecity,  explored how to protect and promote London’s extraordinary creative potential. The event was livestreamed from the ODEON Luxe, Leicester Square.

Download the Cultural Heart of London Cultural Strategy below.



Ros Morgan


Chief Executive, Heart of London Business Alliance

Ros has almost 20 years’ experience in delivering successful destinations and is a leading figure in London and the Business Improvement District (BID) Industry, leading Heart of London Business Alliance (HOLBA) since 2016.

As the global economy faces a new set of challenges, Ros is dedicated to securing the future of London’s West End as a vibrant and economically sustainable world-class destination of culture and commerce. In support of this, Ros is a Director of the Central London Alliance, formed in 2020, in response to the Covid-19 crisis, to support the immediate support & long-term recovery of Central London businesses.

Jan Dalley


Arts Editor, Financial Times

Jan Dalley is the arts editor of the Financial Times, responsible for the FT’s coverage of all the art forms, from opera to hip-hop, sculpture to pop, film, theatre and more in the weekday pages as well as in Life & Arts in FT Weekend.

She was appointed in 2005 after joining the newspaper in 1999 as the literary editor. Previously, she was literary editor of the Independent on Sunday for eight years; before becoming a journalist, she worked in publishing.

Jan has judged literary prizes including the Booker Prize, the Whitbread, the Hawthornden prize and the Encore Prize. She appears as a commentator on arts programmes on television and radio. Her publications include “Black Hole: Money, Myth and Empire” (2006) and “Diana Mosley: A Life” (1999).

Axel Rüger


Secretary and Chief Executive, Royal Academy of Arts

Axel Rüger is Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts. From 2006 – 2019, Rüger was the Director of the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam and The Mesdag Collection in The Hague. In 1999 he was appointed Curator of Dutch Paintings, 1600-1800, at the National Gallery in London.

Stuart Murphy


Chief Executive Officer, English National Opera

Stuart Murphy, ENO’s CEO, began his career in TV, starting as a teaboy at the BBC and going on to run TV channels – UK Play, BBC Choice and BBC 3, which he devised and launched in 2003, commissioning shows such as Gavin and Stacey, Little Britain and Torchwood. From 2009 he ran Sky1, then all Sky Entertainment channels and devised and launched Sky Atlantic . He joined ENO in 2018, immediately offered free tickets for all Under 18 year olds in the country, hired its first female Artistic Director, and proactively addressed what he described as a shameful lack of diversity in the industry, ensuring 20% of principal performers are now people of colour.

Kenny Wax


President, Society of London Theatre

Kenny Wax is currently in his third year as President of the Society of London Theatre. He has produced SIX (nominated for five Olivier Awards and playing in London, UK tour and Broadway), Top Hat and Once on this Island. Productions with Mischief Theatre include: The Play That Goes Wrong (Off Broadway and US Tour), Peter Pan Goes Wrong, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery and Magic Goes Wrong. Family productions include Hetty Feather, The Gruffalo, The Worst Witch and Mr. Popper’s Penguins.

Sherry Dobin


Partner, Futurecity

Sherry Dobbin is the Managing and Cultural Director at Futurecity, the leading placemaking agency appointed by Heart of London Business Alliance to develop our ambitious Arts & Culture Strategy. Sherry is an experienced cultural strategist and producer, with significant experience within the public realm and non-traditional spaces. Her 30 years of delivery across the US and UK and past 13 years leading programmes and organisations gives her significant context for establishing policy, strategy and implementation plans.