The Case for Culture North East

Board Members

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.

Co-Chairs

NECP Co-Chair

Jane Robinson
Pro-Vice Chancellor, Engagement and Place, Newcastle University
email

ANEC Chief Executives with lead responsibility for Culture:

Sunderland City Council

Patrick Melia
Chief Executive Sunderland City Council
email

Local authority members on the NECP Board:

Durham

Cllr. Amanda Hopgood
Leader of Durham County Council
email

Gateshead

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

Newcastle

Cllr. Abdul Samad
Cabinet member for Culture
email

North Tyneside

Cllr. Carl Johnson
Deputy Mayor
email

Northumberland

Jeffrey Watson
Cabinet Member for Healthy Lives
email

South Tyneside

Cllr. Judith Taylor
Lead Member for Culture, Leisure and the Visitor Economy
email

Sunderland

Cllr Beth Jones
Portfolio of Communities, Culture & Tourism
email

Stakeholder members on the NECP Board:

The Cultural Spring

Graeme Thompson
Chair of The Cultural Spring and board member North East Screen
email

Dance City

Anand Bhatt
Chief Executive
email

Dig Adventures

Lisa Westcott Wilkins
Co-Founder & Managing Director
email

Freelance Arts Consultant

Keith Bartlett
Freelance Arts Consultant
email

Ladies of Midnight Blue

Hannabiell Sanders
Director
email

NECP Co-Chair

Jane Robinson
Pro-Vice Chancellor, Engagement and Place, Newcastle University
email

New Writing North

Claire Malcolm
Chief Executive
email

Northern Heartlands

Jill Cole
Director
email

TFI Events

Kam Chera
Business Development Executive
email

Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums

Keith Merrin
Director
email

Woodhorn Charitable Trust

Rowan Brown
Chief Executive
email

Observers of the NECP Board:

Arts Council England

Jane Tarr
Director, Organisational Resilience, Environmental Sustainability and Newcastle Arts Council England
email

Heritage Lottery Fund

Ivor Crowther
Head of Heritage Lottery Fund North East
email

Historic England

Tom Frater
Regional Director North East and Yorkshire
email

Partnership Managers:

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.

Between 2014 and 2021 Matthew Curated Cheeseburn Sculpture in Northumberland and is currently Curating the North East Emerging Artists Prize at Seaton Delaval Hall and developing Middlethorpe Sculpture Gardens in York, and has a Visiting Professor role at Newcastle University. Matthew has been a board member with Theatre Hullabaloo, Land of Oak and Iron and the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

email Matthew

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.

email Teresa

Ruth Robson

Originally from Sunderland, Ruth left the region for university. Ruth then worked in London for the BBC, primarily in cultural programming, with a short spell at RAdio Cleveland. She left the BBC and worked on the launch of Classic FM before moving to the United States with her husband, where she worked in the BBC New York Office, mainly providing cultural content for domestic and world service radio programmes. In 2002-2002 Ruth studied Arts Management, taking up a position at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts, New York State, an historic house museum and outdoor performance venue.

Ruth returned to the UK in 2002, working at Sage Gateshead, and then The Bowes Museum. More recently worked at Durham Cathedral and has trained as a North East England Blue Badge Tourist Guide – passing written and practical exams on the tourism offer of the North East, which includes the amazing built, natural and people-based heritage and the region’s arts offer. Ruth now has a portfolio career that includes her part-time role as Partnership Manager for the North East Culture Partnership where she takes the heritage lead.

email Ruth

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