NEXT year will herald a new era for Southampton’s Nuffield Theatre.

Patrick Sandford and Kate Anderson will step down as joint CEOs on June 1 after a combined total of 37 years at the helm.

Producer and director Sam Hodges will then take over as The Nuffield adopts a producer-led model.

Patrick, artistic director of 25 years, and executive director/producer for the last 12 years Kate, have seen the Nuffield grow from an in-house producer of acclaimed new plays, and neglected classics, to a broader remit incorporating a series of exciting collaborations across spaces and venues.

They have taken a lead role in expanding Southampton’s arts scene and the development of the city’s New Arts Complex.

Sam Hodges is currently the producer of the Criterion Theatre in the West End, where, most recently, he directed Serge Cartwright’s After the Party as part of a season of work he commissioned to celebrate London 2012.