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Speaker Biography

Iain Varah

Iain Varah, Chief Culture, Sport and Community Learning Officer, London Borough of Redbridge

Iain Varah was appointed to the London Borough of Redbridge in November 2004. The Service he manages is made up of Libraries, Sports Facilities and Development, Parks, Arts, Museums, Play, Community Services, Outdoor Education and Adult and Community Learning.

During Iain’s time with Redbridge, he has had a number of responsibilities and achieved a number of significant outcomes, including:

• The creation of a Leisure Trust to manage the Borough’s sports facilities - he is now currently looking in detail at the feasibility of moving the whole of his service area into a much wider Culture & Leisure Trust
• Successfully creating and implementing a Parks Police Service which has led to a reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour within the parks.
• Successfully securing £6m HLF lottery funding to restore a major historic park and listed mansion.
• Negotiating the buying back of the lease of a country park from the private sector.
• Opening the Capital’s first new major park and open space in 100 years.
• He is currently the Council’s Lead Officer on London 2012 and has successfully led on the relocation of the Eastways Cycling Centre from the Olympic Park to Hog Hill in Redbridge. The Redbridge Cycling Centre, as it is known, is fully operational.

Prior to joining Redbridge, Iain was with Newport City Council for eight years. He was instrumental in accessing external funding to allow the Council to build an international sports village at the cost of some £30 million and a Theatre costing £16 million.


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