Sir Torquil Patrick Alexander Norman
founded the Roundhouse Arts Facility
in Chalk Farm
in 1996, and is current chairman (through 2007) of the Roundhouse Trust
which raises funds for the facility. He had previously received the CBE
and was knighted in 2007 for his "services to the arts and to disadvantaged young people".
The Roundhouse, an old Victorian trainshed in Camden, North London was rescued and transformed by Norman, who raised £27 million from public and private sources, including almost £7 million from his own personal funds. He was prompted to act after reading that the Roundhouse, then a crumbling Victorian former railway repair shed was about to be turned into a museum.
A new wing has been added to the original building with a bar and café. It also houses a separate 150-seated space called "Studio 42".
An Old Etonian and self-made toymaker millionaire, he stands 6' 7". He has five children and ten grandchildren.
In 2007 Sir Torquil won the prestigious Beacon Fellowship Prize for his work with young people through the Roundhouse Trust.
- "The way this country is at the moment for young people is disgraceful. My generation has pretty much betrayed them."
- "I can’t understand the logic of consigning all the people who are no good at exams to the dustheap. What we’ve created is a fantastic problem in society."