The NECP Board consists of members from the public sector, the cultural and historic environment, universities and colleges, business and the voluntary sector. It brings together arts and heritage partners from across the North East of England.


ANEC Chief Executives with lead responsibility for Culture:

Organisation Name Job Title Email
Durham County Council John Hewitt Interim Chief Executive

Local authority members on the NECP Board:

Organisation Name Job Title Email
Darlington Councillor Heather Scott Portfolio holder for Leisure and Local Environment


Durham TBC


Gateshead Councillor Angela Douglas Cabinet Member, Culture, Sport and Leisure


Hartlepool Councillor Christopher Akers-Belcher Councillor – Elected representative


Middlesbrough Councillor Mieka Smiles Executive Member for Culture and Communities at Middlesbrough Council
Newcastle Cllr. John Paul-Stephenson
Cabinet Member for Public Health and Culture


North Tyneside Councillor Sarah Day Cabinet Member responsible for Leisure, Culture and Tourism


Northumberland Jeffrey Watson Cabinet Member for Healthy Lives
Redcar and Cleveland Cllr. Louise Westbury Head of Culture & Tourism
South Tyneside Councillor Joan Atkinson Lead Member for Area Management and Community Safety
Stockton on Tees Councillor Jim Beall Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Leisure and Culture
Sunderland Councillor Linda Williams Executive Cabinet Member for Vibrant City



Stakeholder members on the NECP Board:

Organisation Name Job Title Email
Dance City Anand Bhatt Chief Executive
Dig Adventures Lisa Westcott Wilkins Co-Founder & Managing Director
Freelance Arts Consultant Keith Bartlett Freelance Arts Consultant
Ladies of Midnight Blue Hannabiell Sanders Director
NARC Magazine Claire Dupree Editor
NECP Co-Chair Jane Robinson Dean of Engagement and Place, Newcastle University


New Writing North Claire Malcolm Chief Executive
North East Tourism Alliance Michelle Gorman Chair
Northern Heartlands Jill Cole Director
Sunderland University Graeme Thompson Pro Vice-Chancellor
Teesside University Sharon Paterson Associate Director for Culture and Engagement at MIMA and Teesside University


TFI Events Kam Chera Business Development Executive
Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums Keith Merrin Director
Woodhorn Charitable Trust Rowan Brown Chief Executive


Observers of the NECP Board:

Organisation Name Job Title Email
Arts Council England Jane Tarr Director, Organisational Resilience, Environmental Sustainability and Newcastle Arts Council England


Heritage Lottery Fund Ivor Crowther Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North East


Historic England Trevor Mitchell Regional Director North East and Yorkshire

Partnership Managers:

The management of the North East Culture Partnership is shared between Peter Bromley, Matthew Jarratt and Teresa Kirby.

Peter Bromley |
After graduating in Environmental Sciences and being awarded a Masters in Environmental Management, Peter worked in the environmental sector for public and voluntary organisations for several years.

This included time with Tyne and Wear County Council and as Chief Executive for an environmental charity based in the Midlands. He then moved to English Heritage, where he was the Regional Director for the North based in Newcastle. At English Heritage, he initially covered the North East, Yorkshire and the North West; but ultimately was the Director of Regional Operations. A role which covered the work of the nine English regions including the management of their grant programme and over 400 properties, such as Hadrian’s Wall, Lindisfarne Priory, Stonehenge, Osborne House and Dover Castle. Peter then moved to work for Historic Scotland, where he was appointed as Director of Properties, responsible for 345 of Scotland’s most iconic sites, including Scara Brae, Edinburgh Castle and the Border Abbeys.

Peter moved back to work in the North East in 2015 when he joined the NECP, bringing with him this experience in the cultural and historic environment sectors. He is also a trustee on several organisations, including Arts and Heritage and the North of England Civic Trust.

Matthew Jarratt |
After studying in the region and working as an artist for some ten years Matthew joined Northern Arts, Arts Council England in 1998.  He fulfilled various roles, such as Visual Arts Officer, Senior Manager and director of in-house public art agency Commissions North.

In 2010, Matthew took on an International Partnerships Manager role at the North East England Office, Brussels.  After leaving Art Council England in 2013 Matthew established his own cultural consultancy, developing public art commissions with private sector clients around the UK and curating a number contemporary art exhibitions in China. In 2013 Matthew started managing the North East Culture Partnership within the Association of North East Councils.

In 2014, Matthew established a new north east visual arts venue, Cheeseburn Sculpture with Joanna Riddell. Matthew is a board member with Theatre Hullabaloo, Land of Oak and Iron and the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

Teresa Kirby | 

After graduating in Cell Biology and Biochemistry at the University of York, Teresa spent two years as a PhD immunology student of University College London. On moving to the North East in 1988, she took her career in a different direction, helping organisations in Newcastle to secure over £100m of European funding. She first joined a consultancy for 2 years, advising 20 UK universities on European funding. Teresa then spent the first 7 years of the 1990s working for Newcastle City Council as a European Liaison Officer, advising the Council, Newcastle College, local businesses and 100 voluntary sector organisations on European funding. Teresa then joined Northumbria University and, during the 15 years undertook various roles, such as Deputy Director of the Regional and European Office.

After leaving Northumbria University in 2012, Teresa decided to combine her personal interests in culture by seeking a further career change, into the arts. She spent 9 months as the Development Co-ordinator at Tyne and Wear Archives Museums. Teresa then joined Newcastle City Council in a variety of roles such as: European funding, Economic Adviser and now as a Programme Manager for the Sustainable Urban Development European Regional Development Fund programme. As of 2015 Teresa now works a Partnership Manager for the North East Culture Partnership, where she manages the international and funding portfolios. In 2015, Teresa led a delegation from the North East to the Ruhr valley in Germany and, in 2016, conducted a major international survey which showed that the NE’s arts and heritage sector works with one-third of the world.