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Welcome our new board members

We are pleased to announce four new appointments to the North East Culture Partnership (NECP) board.

The new members bring a wealth of experience, which broadens the diversity of the NECP board into areas including entrepreneurship, freelancing and start-ups in industries including dance, music, publishing and archaeology.

We extend a warm welcome to Anand Bhatt, Kem Chera, Claire Dupree and Lisa Westcott Wilkins.

Anand Bhatt, Artistic Director & CEO at Dance City (in image: top left)

“I’m really delighted to be joining NECP. With a huge maritime history and significant port infrastructure, moving to the North East made me think of the saying – ‘A ship is safest in port, but that’s not what ships are built for.’ Culture in the North East is not to be harboured. I have been fortunate to meet some of the best creatives here. Our collective role at NECP is to ensure local people have access and opportunities to participate in world-class culture and that we create conditions for what we make here to be enjoyed; globally.”

Kam Chera, Business Development Executive at TFI Events (in image: bottom right)

“It’s an honour to join the NECP board with such a great team of individuals making a difference to the regions cultural partnership. I’m looking forward to bringing my private & public sector experience to the partnership.”

Claire Dupree, Founder & Editor, NARC Magazine (in image: top right)

“I’m thrilled to be joining the NECP board of directors and helping to deliver the North East Case For Culture. As a champion of grassroots organisations and independent cultural practitioners, I hope to amplify their voices and support them to put their best foot forward in the North East and beyond by influencing policy, encouraging investment and providing the framework needed for growth and sustainability. I can’t wait to get started!”

Lisa Westcott Wilkins, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Dig Ventures (in image: bottom left)

“I’m so thrilled to join the NECP board and hope to put my experience in cultural heritage and public participation to good use! Arts, heritage and culture are cornerstones of the North East’s identity, landscape and economy; I’m looking forward to contributing to its growth and development.”

The board chair, Professor Jane Robinson, said, “The North East Cultural Partnership must include voices representing the diversity of the sector and the region, and I am delighted the new board members joining us bring a wealth of experience and perspectives. Their skills and insight will be invaluable as we work together to support the sector and the benefits it brings to all the North East’s communities.”

A huge debt of thanks goes to our outgoing board members, Iain Watson, Ros Rigby, Annabel Turpin and Reuben Kench, who have been invaluable in guiding the NECP over many years. And to Cllr. Simon Henig of Durham County Council who has brought vital experience as our Co-Chair over the years.

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