Please get in touch if you have any questions about our advisors.
Over the past 6 years, Creative United has established a unique network of exceptionally qualified business advisors whose expertise span the full breadth and depth of the arts and creative industries. From commercial industries such as fashion and music, to charities and cultural institutions including museums and libraries, you can find out more about their individual areas of specialism by clicking on their photos below.
For over three decades, John Stalker has been creating and presenting theatre productions, promoting artistic innovation, developing new talent, new voices and new ways of making theatre. He has managed some of the UK’s most important producing and presenting venues in Lancaster, Liverpool, Birmingham and Edinburgh and produced work for both UK and international audiences. To provide audiences with extraordinary theatrical experiences John Stalker Productions works with some of the best artists in the business to present work in imaginative and inventive ways with an increasing dual focus on creating work for both stage and screen. He is now based in Warwickshire and is married with a daughter and a cockapoo.
Pablo Colella has 12 years’ experience specialising in the engagement and development of audiences within the culture industries. He is a recognised consultant with the Arts Marketing Association, is the UK Ambassador for the Artist Run Alliance and is an accredited arts audience researcher, published journalist, lecturer and public speaker, who has contributed to widespread arts accessibility practice.
As Lead Practitioner and Director of arts audience engagement consultants, Disconnected Bodies Ltd, Pablo collaborates with clients to widen reach, create impact and gain audience recognition. His expertise can support the growth of current and new potential audiences, anticipating their preferences and barriers to participation.
Pablo’s passion lies in working with small, start-up or early-stage projects to develop more relevant audience engagement strategies and in turn enabling more people to choose, create and take part in brilliant cultural experiences.
Taking an entrepreneurial approach I developed in my years managing client accounts for management consultants, I bring an unusual combination of skills and experience to arts, cultural and heritage organisations.
Most recently I have been working with a small, new independent arts and heritage charity raising a £1million National Lottery matched endowment and before that established new development and fundraising teams at university and local authority museums and heritage organisations.
I can help you to improve relationships and outcomes with public funders, trusts and foundations, private philanthropists, major donors, large scale public campaigns, crowdfunding, fundraising events, volunteer fundraisers and emergency projects.
Tracey has extensive understanding of the Public Sector, with over 30 years’ experience in culture, tourism, financial & strategic planning coupled with a keen interest in the arts, creativity, innovation and social investment. She holds a number of Board positions and is a trusted adviser to a range of organisations in the creative, public and voluntary sectors, and also provides support to Chief Executives, Senior Leadership teams, Community Leaders and entrepreneurs.
Louise Emerson works with organisations on growth, change or re-focus; developing successful sustainable strategic and business plans with a focus on increasing income, creating value and developing customers; building teams; establishing partnerships and developing the reach and messaging of organisations. She is pragmatic and focussed whilst taking a creative approach
She coaches managers and entrepreneurs across sectors: creative, culture, F&B, Telecomms, NHS, Pharmaceuticals, Media etc
Louise has over 25 years’ experience of running organisations having led a number of organisations; notably, Head of Business & Commercial Strategy, Natural History Museum and previously CEO of Cheltenham Festivals; before setting up her company Take the Current.
She has led organisational change, brand development, commercial development, worked with Boards, led partnerships and complex negotiations with partners including The Times, Panasonic, British Airways, EDF, SKY, Veolia Environment etc
Louise is an accredited Coach and Mentor and holds an MBA. She is a Mentor for the Arts Marketing Association and the Impact Hub, Kings Cross.
Nathalina Harrison has 15 years experience in the financial services industry, ranging from small accounting firms to international investment banks. As an accredited Coach and NLP Master Practitioner, she is the director of a successful Career Coaching practice and is passionate about helping people to have the fulfilling careers they deserve. Nathalina has a great skill in helping people find innovative ways to overcome career challenges.
Sarah Perks is a freelance curator, consultant and academic, with significant experience across multiple fields of the cultural sector. One of Creative Reviews’ 50 Creative Leaders of 2017, Sarah has conceived and led a number of high-level international cross art form projects including developing the first training programme for visual artists making feature films (Feature Expanded) and large-scale curatorial projects for organisations including Manchester International Festival. She is interested in holistic organisational development at all scales, socially engaged practice and innovative strategies for resilience. Sarah is Chair of Islington Mill Foundation, Salford and Asia Triennial Manchester, and was previously Artistic Director at HOME Manchester. Sarah is now Professor of MIMA School of Art & Design (Middlesbrough, Teesside University) and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Her current freelance clients include BFI London Film Festival and Engage, National Association for Gallery Education, Solent University (Southampton) and she was a British Council Young Creative Entrepreneur in 2009.
Patricia specialises in leadership development, cultural change, organisational development and business planning, enabling people and organisations to explore and access future possibilities for themselves and others.
Patricia’s career has included senior roles with Arts Council England as National Director of Planning and Performance, National Director Stakeholder Partnerships and North East Regional Director, External Relationships and Communications. Prior to that she was Head of Culture at Hammersmith and Fulham Council in London for 10 years. More recently Patricia spent 6 years as Executive Producer at Dance City, the national dance development agency for the North East of England.
As a freelance consultant, Patricia has worked with cultural and voluntary sector organisations across the UK and in Europe to develop policy, strategy, risk, Creative Case and monitoring plans, designed and delivered leadership programmes and collaborative leadership workshops and produced a range of creative projects involving both professional artist and local neighbourhoods. Patricia has delivered training for the Sunderland Cultural Partnership and is working with Newcastle City Council to develop a new Cultural Vision for the City to 2030.
Patricia is a fellow of the prestigious Clore Social Leadership Programme and currently supports the organisations as the National Engagement Manager for Clore’s new Leadership Development Unit, developing collaborative hubs around the country; creating spaces to build communities of collaborative practice.
Sabina Strachan is a consultant and trainer with 20 years' experience working in management consulting, research development and heritage management across multiple sectors in culture and the creative industries and in higher education.
Sabina founded how2glu in 2018 (www.how2glu.com) which develops and supports collaboration between individuals and organisations through consulting, training, facilitation, organisational development and bespoke resources. Sabina is skilled at helping people get to the root of issues and working in partnership to find innovative solutions. She uses how2glu tools and step-by-step processes developed through design thinking and graphic facilitation to help people navigate complexity.
Recent clients include Glasgow Life, the city’s culture and sport trust, Sheffield Culture Collective, Seven Stories: The National Centre for Children’s Books, and Newcastle University. Projects include developing cultural strategies for Glasgow and Sheffield, a partnership business model review and investment strategy, a coaching programme for Creative Economy postdoctoral fellows and how2collaborate programme for researchers throughout the UK. Sabina has begun her own entrepreneurial journey as she develops how2glu digital products and services.
Previously Sabina headed up BOP Consulting’s Scotland office, an international creative economy research and management consultancy. There, her projects included the £13.2 million Glasgow Commonwealth Games Cultural Programme evaluation, Edinburgh’s Festivals 10-year strategy and Stage 1 business plan for the £66 million Burrell Collection redevelopment. She has also worked as a partnership developer for the University of Glasgow and in various heritage management roles at Scottish Canals/British Waterways and Historic Environment Scotland.
Sabina is a trustee of a student engagement charity, a volunteer employer mentor, and an associate at Research Consulting Ltd.
Following a degree in Performing Arts in Leicester, Pamela worked for ten years in a variety of marketing and fundraising roles in the arts and cultural sector and for Arts Council England in Yorkshire.
A move into academia followed as Course Director/Senior Lecturer in Cambridge running a Masters programme in Arts Management. She was also an Associate Lecturer for City University’s Cultural Policy Management MA in London, lecturing in Business and Marketing and devising their first Fundraising module.
As a consultant she has facilitated the growth of SMEs, charities and community interest companies, delivering research, creating business, audience and fundraising plans, securing core, project and capital funding, devising and implementing audience engagement strategies and delivering training in a range of topics from governance and strategy to communications/GDPR.
Pamela is committed to sharing knowledge, inspiring engagement and facilitating learning and has regularly volunteered throughout her career as a trustee and mentor. She has acted as a Regional Rep and Mentor for The Arts Marketing Association, been a trustee for Bury St Edmunds Gallery/Smiths Row, Babylon Arts (lead organisation for Market Place, a large scale Creative People and Places project) and Chair of Start (a network of community arts managers in Cambridgeshire), in addition to being on the Leadership Committee for the Institute of Fundraising's East Anglia Regional Group.
She is currently a board member of High Peak Trust which governs Buxton Opera House & Pavilion Arts Centre, led by Chief Executive Paul Kerryson MBE.
Matthew is a qualified accountant and an experienced CEO and Finance Director. He has worked with a wide range of charities, social enterprises, creative and digital industries, healthcare and education sectors, but has particular affinity for working with cultural organisations.
In 2014 Matthew founded Adding Value Consultancy Ltd to support values-led organisations maximise their impact. It does this by providing management consultancy services, interim and part time finance director services, capital project support, and an outsource finance and accountancy shared service centre. Recently Matthew was interim CEO at FACT for a nine-month period.
Matthew is also non-executive director at Magenta Living, a large housing association, and a mentor to business start-ups. He recently completed an MBA with distinction at the University of Liverpool. His dissertation was on measuring social value in the arts.
I am a business development consultant specialising in advice, support and future planning with organisations working in the heritage, arts, culture, festivals & events and community housing sectors.
I work with enterprises and organisations of all shapes and sizes and have had real success in supporting small community organisations achieve sustainable growth through a process of 'asset based development', supported private businesses and not-for-profit enterprises access significant investment finance as well as working with public bodies manage their future culture and heritage investment plans.
I take a client centred approach to my work but always bring a hard reality check to the process.
John Anderson is an experienced and successful senior manager whose strong leadership and management qualities have been acquired working within the public, private and voluntary sector.
During this time, he has gained significant project and general management experience, an ability to lead teams with a varying range of skills and experience, and the commercial acumen and organisational abilities to manage regional charities, public sector departments and major regeneration programmes.
Since becoming a freelance consultant in 2013, John has supported a variety of charitable, private & public sector organizations with business planning, implementing effective governance & team structures and fundraising activities as well as delivering several individual projects.
Throughout his career, he has worked with a variety of organizations and initiatives that have their roots in the arts, heritage and creative sector. He has coordinated a major business and enterprise support programme for creative organizations on Merseyside and worked a range of arts organizations across the region on neighbourhood regeneration programmes. Over the last 5 years he has:
• Delivered a governance review for the Community Radio Station, Wirral Radio.
• Worked with Daniel Adamson Preservation Society after the charity received £3.8 m Heritage Lottery Fund grant to restore a historic Steam Ship on implementing their business plan and supporting the organization make the transition from a group of enthusiasts to a commercially minded social business.
• Helped facilitate a merger between the Scarborough Museums Trust Creative Business Centre, Woodend.
• Undertaken a short review of the arts centre, the Blackwood Miners Institute and its role in this South Wales town evening and night time economy.
John is also Chair of Northwich Town Centre Heritage Lottery Initiative and a member of the Institute of Economic Development
I have over 20 years’ experience of working in the voluntary and community sector, social enterprise and social finance sector, cultural, creative, arts, museums, heritage, and business sector.
I have been a freelance Enterprise Consultant for over 10 years and prior to that spent seven years working with miners, ex-miners, and community groups in coalfield areas assisting with capacity building, business development and income diversification, partnership and meeting facilitation. I then spent 18 months with MLA Yorkshire to develop strategic and local partnerships, and networks across cultural, business, and third sector.
Finally, I was the Investment Readiness Programme Manager for Charity Bank working with third sector organisations. I developed, ran, and managed a comprehensive programme of workshops, seminars, and one to one development support with nearly 500 organisations across the Yorkshire Region. ~
During my time as a freelance consultant I have supported a diverse range of organisations across public, private, and third sector throughout the UK focusing on a range of priority start-up, development, and growth areas including:
• Income diversification – including traditional funding and fundraising, social investment, and private sector investment
• Change management and organisational development
• Partnership working and collaboration
• Training and development on volunteering, funding and financial diversity, governance, team / board away days, marketing and communications, digital and social media, networking etc….
• Event planning and management
• Feasibility and research studies
• Governance change development
• Business engagement, sponsorship & CSR
My previous work in all of my employment and as a freelance consultant has provided me with a wealth of knowledge, skills, experience and expertise on a wide range of key areas essential for future resilience of any organisation. My work as a freelance consultant means that I need to manage my time effectively, and ensure that I am able to develop and deliver reports, resources, studies, tools, training and information within deadlines provided.
As I work across numerous sectors and disciplines the resource library I have developed over the past 20 years is quite substantial, and enables me to provide my clients with a range of added value support through top tips, templates, case studies and examples of best practice.
Jane has an abiding belief in the power of the arts and culture to transform lives.
She has committed her working life to creating and sustaining environments in which people can experience and benefit from the profound and positive impact of creativity.
Before becoming a consultant in 2015 she was the Joint Chief Executive of The National Centre for Circus Arts.
During her tenure she led on a significant capital redevelopment; managed complex multi -stakeholder relationships; secured national status; rebranded, relaunched and repositioned the organisation while ensuring resilience in an increasingly hostile economic climate.
Now she provides bespoke support, advice and coaching to a range of clients across the arts and heritage sectors. She specialises in visioning, business planning, fundraising and development. She is passionate about good governance and is proud to be a trustee of Eureka! The National Children’s Museum.
Fiona Mitchell-Innes is a culture focussed consultant, specialising in creative, successful and realistic business development and planning, organisational development and change management, all with arts and heritage organisations. This has included having management positions in large organisations like Arts Council England and the Natural History Museum, to consulting and supporting many small and medium sized cultural organisations in developing their businesses to be more sustainable, resilient and effective.
In the last 8 years she has worked as a freelance consultant supporting arts and heritage organisations, and museums, helping them meet their full potential as businesses. She covers many areas of business development and values working with as wide a team as possible – from the Chair and CEO, to the volunteer, as experience has shown that every team member has a vital contribution to play to ensure that organisation thrives.
Particular skill sets include:
• Helping organisations identify weaknesses and where change in process or structure can bring new opportunities
• Devising and delivering change management to aid resilience
• Creating a meaningful mission that can connect to audiences, staff and partners
• Creating strategic business plans with clients that are realistic and agreed by all parties – so the organisation has a clear path to success
• Effective Board recruitment and development
• Skills audits to assess where strength lie and where organisations can improve their knowledge
• Creating and developing creative and effective team development programmes
• Strategic communications: Marketing and PR – placing your organisation where you want it to be seen
• Crisis management
• Partnership development
• Mentoring and coaching staff at all levels
• Creating successful fundraising strategies
• Writing successful funding bids
She works in a way that is inclusive and free from jargon. She is vastly experienced in all areas of facilitation, Action learning and development for all staff and uses a variety of techniques that ensure there are some quick wins for development, as well as longer term realistic goals that are timed and achievable – as well as be stretching, business focussed and creative.
Emma is a business growth coach, working with businesses to help them grow using their current assets, identifying new products and services or identifying funding.
After over 20 years working in the Tourism, Cultural and Heritage industry for SMEs and public sector bodies, Emma set up her own business to provide support and guidance back into the sector she had developed her career through. Her business provides consultation, mentoring and guidance specialising in cultural, heritage and events/festival markets, recently completing a project to create commercial bookable experiences in places of faith across England.
Emma is based in the midlands but travels the length and breadth of the country and has even travelled to the US to support projects.
Over the past 6 years Emma has been part of the business support programme in Staffordshire working on a 1-2-1 basis with around 100 businesses to work with them on marketing, communications, staff development, funding, business planning and vision setting, each business was very different but we spent time together it identify their goals and the path needed to get there. Within this project and with private clients Emma has worked with a number of funding bodies to bid for and successfully receive funding for capital and revenue projects, from rural funding to heritage lottery funding to Arts Council Funding.
I am an independent consultant and executive coach working on organisational and business development. Based in York I work with a portfolio of projects around the UK mainly in the creative, heritage and cultural sectors but also working with universities, local authorities, schools, charity sector and social enterprise. I work with organisations of all scales from national museums such as Tate, through to artist-led projects and volunteer-run museums.
After several years working in programming and education roles in galleries and museums at the start of my career, in 1999 I moved into a funding and development role with Arts Council England, London office. In that role I assessed and supported organisations applying for grant funding (capital, revenue and project) but also undertook strategic development work to enable BAME-led organisations to become investment ready for major grants or first-time funding. A key skill I developed at this time was understanding how to tailor ‘best practice’ in business development to organisations which were often very small-scale.
In 2005 I became Head of Sustainable Funding for the National Council of Voluntary Organisations. Within 12 months I secured funding of £1.5 million and grew annual income from £300K to £500K. My work at NCVO involved encouraging smaller non-profits to diversify their income through trading and to encourage wider use of loan finance. Since 2007 I have worked as a consultant and also held senior interim management roles at Tate Liverpool (2011-12) and Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (2012-2013) and my approach as a consultant is rooted in hands-on experience of running organisations.
Ten years ago, whilst NESTA Innovation Fellow on the Clore Leadership programme, I trained as a coach and facilitator and I now deploy coaching skills in my consultancy and mentoring practice alongside giving specialist advice because it is an incredibly powerful tool to build capacity, ownership of the solutions, and most importantly confidence and self-reliance in the long-term.
I have also worked extensively with social enterprises and published research on business models and resilience within non-profit sector. Over the past decade my work has focused increasingly on enabling organisations to improve their performance and impact, through supporting strategic and business planning, but also organizational change and development and I particularly enjoy helping people create productive, innovative and effective working environments.
Andrew is an experienced leader of organisational change with particular experience of strategy, business development and fundraising across the charity, voluntary and social enterprise sector. As well as skills in coaching, mentoring and business advice he brings huge energy and enthusiasm for building, scaling and growing organisations to enable organisations and individuals to be more resilient and to fulfill their vision.
His key skills and experience include:
- Business Development
- Funding, Finance and Risk
- Governance and Policy
- Marketing and Communication
- Experience in dealing with HNWIs and senior people across all sectors in the UK and internationally
Alison has acquired a high-level calibre of leadership and consultancy experience in the cultural sector, having developed the organisational capacity, investment and market base for some of the country’s most successful cultural organisations in the West Midlands, North West and Yorkshire.
She has gained considerable experience in organisational leadership, fundraising and business development, stakeholder and partnership development and impact measurement in the not-for-profit sector working as a CIC Director, charity CEO, Senior Manager and more recently, independent freelance consultant.
Alison has supported a diverse range of cultural and creative industry clients nationally to become market-focused, better able to develop project partnerships and prepared to secure funding and business investment.
She has worked nationally on large-scale initiatives and projects including British Science Association, the Council for British Archaeology and Hull UK City of Culture 2017.
She has created new visitor engagement and impact measurement strategies with festivals, galleries and performing arts organisations including mima, National Portrait Gallery, Site, The Hepworth Wakefield, York Theatre Royal. She has enabled the growth and development of partnerships with museums, libraries and archives and National Park Authorities including Bradford Museums and Galleries, Museums of Cheshire, South Downs National Park Authority and Leeds University Library Galleries and has helped measure the social and economic impact of large-scale partnership projects to leverage funding, including Amy Johnson Festival, Yorkshire Festival and Arts Council England and VisitEngland Funded Strategic Programmes - Cultural Destinations Programmes in Calderdale and Sheffield and Right Up Our Street, Creative People and Places programme in Doncaster.
As a mentor and trainer, Alison adapts learning styles to suit individuals and successfully enables people to learn through experience and at their own pace. She has created and delivered training courses for voluntary-run organisations and local community groups through to running business planning awaydays with senior teams.
Alison has acted as mentor and trainer and improved professional standards by applying market and business intelligence to training programmes including for UK-wide voluntary network Making Music; she has established work-place training for recent graduates; conceived and implemented a programme of professional development for Cultural Leaders.
Most recently, Alison has been supporting cultural consortia in developing and delivering partnership-led cultural strategies designed to cohere a strategic approach to cultural programming and delivery working in partnership with arts, health, education and business sectors.
Alison is an accredited Action Learning Facilitator, a Fellow of the RSA and a member of the Market Research Society.
Sarah Sansom is an experienced arts consultant, producer and coach with over 20 years experience working across the cultural industries. Her practice facilitates organisations to be visionary and to plan strategically to ensure success.
She has run her own business for 8 years, focused on talent development, partnership working and customer engagement. She has worked for brands as diverse as Argos, Scotsiabank, Diageo and Circolombia, taking the cultural industries into business.
Sarah has also held significant leadership and management roles in the arts including Head of Creative Development at Contact Theatre in Manchester, Participation Producer at the Southbank Centre and Combined Arts Relationships Manager at Arts Council England.
Areas of expertise:
- Performing Arts
- Festivals and events
- Participation and Engagement
- Training and development
- 1-2-1 Coaching
- Workshop facilitation with teams
James is an expert at untangling business issues and explaining the way forward in a style that makes sense. He has advised several creative and cultural businesses across the UK – from volunteer-run charities, to private companies and leading brand names. A successful business owner himself working with arts clients including Pleasance Theatre Trust, Bernie Grant Arts Centre and Royal Opera House, James also works outside of the arts sector with Higher Education organisations, leading charities and Local Authorities.
James understands first-hand the challenges facing today’s entrepreneurs. His sector specialisms include theatre, live events and service-based products, offering advice and insight around marketing, sales, sponsorship, product development and growth planning. James is well-versed in coaching a variety of early stage and growth businesses through 1:1, group sessions, facilitation and training.
For the past 13 years, Anne has been a Business Support Officer for Creative Industries with a Local Authority in the North East of England. Prior to that she worked with her studio glassmaker husband, Roger, in the business they set up and ran together. She has also been a volunteer mentor working with several North East Universities.
Anne has worked with businesses as diverse as contemporary craft, visual arts, design and music and with organisations providing workspace for creatives and participatory activities. She has experience of organising events and festivals and has an IOSH accreditation in event safety.
Gill is an executive and business coach, based in Pennine Yorkshire and working across the UK and internationally. Since 2003 she has worked with over 230 creative and digital organisations, across all art forms and creative disciplines.
She also has undertaken over 100 pieces of strategic and governance focused work with arts organisations of all creative persuasions across Yorkshire,North West, London and Midlands. Prior to this Gill had a 20-year career in banking - 15 of which were in the City of London. She spent 10 years as a commercial banker, then gained an MBA from Warwick Business School, and spent 10 years as strategist, marketeer, corporate communicator and change manager. Her final role was at a senior level with Halifax plc. She graduated with a 1st in Fashion Design in 2003 and operates her own bespoke clothing company, Your Ultimate Working Wardrobe, alongside her coaching business. She specialises in working with creatively and mission led businesses in Strategic and structured thinking to bring clarity to existing business models; business model innovation; business, operational and financial planning; taking the fear and confusion out of financial complex management; building effective boards and governance structures; building effective leadership teams; coaching through change, periods of upheaval and crisis.
Sarah Thelwall is a business strategist who acts as a bridge between the creative and finance communities. She works with both product and service based businesses and whilst she has experience of most sectors she specializes in fashion, design, craft and visual art. Sarah works with creatives to connect their business goals to appropriate financing methods, business structures and production approaches, and in the non-profit arena she focusses on income diversification strategies. Sarah has designed an MA in the history and business of the contemporary art market (accredited by Warwick University); set up and runs MyCake, as well as the Culture Benchmark.
Paul Sturrock has 30 years’ experience developing and supporting the commercial capabilities and investment readiness of organisations and individuals.
He has designed and developed several entrepreneurial education and acceleration programmes for the cultural and creative sectors. He was one of the two project leaders for the Digital Arts and Culture Accelerator, funded by NESTA and The Arts Council England. He was also one of the co-founders of FastForward, London’s first pre-accelerator.
Paul is an Associate Lecturer on for Central Saint Martins where he designed the Entrepreneurship Unit for their new MA in Arts and Cultural Enterprise, and also teaches in their MA
Chris is a Chartered Accountant, qualifying with KPMG and subsequently spending all of his working life in the creative sector, holding senior management positions in the UK film and television industry – FD of Chrysalis Television and then FilmFour Ltd - and for the last fifteen years acting as a portfolio FD and business and commercial adviser. He is based in London and works with a wide range of businesses from independent production and distribution companies through to larger arts organisations and industry bodies such as the BFI and Creative England. His aim is to help creatively led businesses be commercially successful and sustainable.
Matt works with companies at the point of change, who want to grow and develop but need a fresh perspective to find the right route forward. His expertise in strategy, commercial and business model design brings clarity to the challenges and opportunities companies face, and helps clients identify their purpose and design solutions that are innovative, robust and commercially sustainable.
Matt left the corporate world in 2013 to work with purpose-driven organisations, using his skills, experience and energy to help them succeed. Previously he worked in a variety of commercial roles - most recently at MITIE where he was the commercial lead on major outsourcing tenders, working in teams that won well in excess of £1bn of new business. At the start of his career he qualified as a Chartered Accountant working at Arthur Andersen.
Nigel mentors and coaches small businesses, mainly in the creative industries. He specialises in designer-makers in sectors such as: fashion; jewellery; textiles; illustration; ceramics; interior products etc. Based in London, he has been advising small businesses since 2005. Having trained as an engineer, he worked in production/ manufacturing for 26 years in a variety of roles such as production management, sales & marketing, and general management, including running his own small business, before applying his experience to supporting developing creative businesses. He also has experience in the charity sector having been a Trustee, Company Secretary and Treasurer for a charity. Nigel is a Specialist Advisor with Fashion Enter, an Associate of Cockpit Arts and a Business Advisor with Creative United.
Vanessa is a Director of Cultivate, the cultural organisational development agency and a freelance consultant. She was the first General Manager at Perth Theatre and went on to hold senior marketing and audience development and management roles at major UK companies including Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Birmingham Rep, Nottingham Playhouse and Leicester Haymarket.
She worked with Arts Council England for 13 years specialising in marketing and audience development and business planning for major capital projects. During this period she continued to deliver business and organisational consultancy to an extensive range of cultural and heritage organisations throughout the UK and abroad as well as for Arts Council England and Arts Council Wales.
Vanessa specialises in governance, business planning and implementation, advocacy and developing skills and strategies for marketing, audience development fundraising, philanthropy and income diversification. She has developed a range of toolkits, templates and training workshops on governance, business and strategic planning, marketing and audience development. Her publications include "Subscription What Now" following research in the USA and UK.
She has facilitated and created events and conferences on audience development, capital development and philanthropy and managed a range of training programmes for Cultivate, Arts Council England and Arts Council Wales
She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, was Chair of Origin Dance Company from 2012 to 2017and has served on a range of arts boards including Riverside Studios, Dance 4 ,Audiences UK and the American theatre company, Fusion in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Vanessa recently led the UK partnership with Arts Manager International with Michael K Kaiser on the ACE Building Resilience Fundraising and Diversification of Income programme.
Julia has over 20 years experience in music and the wider cultural sector, initially earning her stripes at venues including London’s Barbican Centre. In 2002 she co-founded the hub, a music ‘think and do tank’ that subsidises its own creative projects via consultancy and training, and heads up its Joining the Dots programme that’s testing potentially ‘game-changing’ business models in independent music. She’s helped more than 100 creative entrepreneurs and organisations across the UK develop plans/strategies that work for them as well as investors/funders, and finds working with people interested ‘good growth’ particularly inspiring.
Originally a Commercial Banker, Helene is a highly experienced FinTech Programme Director, Exited Entrepreneur, and Educator, and currently MD of the global Rainmaking Colab FinTech Programme, a world-first, post-accelerator programme connecting Series A+ FinTechs to Tier 1 banks financial institutions in order to create genuine commercial opportunities for both. She also successfully created and launched the Inaugural Programme of Education and Events for Innovate Finance, the UK FinTech trade body. Helene has worked tirelessly to enable commercial engagement, investment and genuine growth for her current cohorts, as well as those she’s worked with during her time at Grant Thornton on accessing finance.
Named a Top 10 Influencer in SME Funding, Helene is the sole author of Business Funding for Dummies (Wiley), and a contributor to The Parliamentary Rose Report on Female Funding in FinTech).
She is a regular judge, speaker and moderator for the Tech community and was named on the Computer Weekly 100 Women in Tech Award 2018. She was also recently inducted into the St George’s Leadership Foundation at Windsor Castle.
Mairead O’Rourke set up CultureRunner in 2016 to support people working in cultural settings to bring about change. She delivers research projects, governance reviews, and advises boards, directors and strategic bodes throughout the UK.
Prior to setting up CultureRunner she worked as an Engagement Manager at The National Archives, Senior Officer at Arts Council England and Museum Development Officer in London and the South East. Mairead has been a trustee of Chiltern Open Air Museum and The Charles Dickens Museum. She is a working mum who loves a bit of running.
Marina is a skilled, senior professional with leadership experience in a wide range of contexts within the non-profit sector. She supports individuals and organisations to develop their vision, strategy and business models.
She runs her own consultancy and is a Director at Dixon De Jaeger, an international consultancy that supports cultural capacity building through recruitment. She acts as a Strategic Advisor to the Culture team at Business in the Community, is a Critical Friend to Home Slough, is an Associate Tutor for the Institute of Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths University and works with cultural organisations and grant making bodies to increase the quality of life in the UK through cultural engagement.
Graham currently spends most of his business life carrying out the following tasks.:
1. Finding funding for businesses - from banks to business angels and everything in between - From £10k -£2m.
2. Writing business plans and preparing Profit and Loss forecasts / Cash Flow Forecasts/ Balance Sheet Forecasts.
3. Training people how to pitch in front of business angels.
4. Going into businesses and helping improve their profitability by assessing what they are doing and where they can improve their performance.
5. Helping sell established businesses
Penny was a pioneer in the Event Cinema industry screening her first live to cinema events in 2002, including Led Zeppelin and Robbie Williams.
She co-founded Event Cinema distributor More2Screen in 2006, partner to The Royal Opera House and The British Museum, and was Creative Director until 2016.
Penny was appointed to the Appeals Committee of the Video Standards Council /Games Rating Authority in 2017, and is a Business Adviser on the ACE funded Creative United programme Prosper.
Through her experience she has a unique view of film and cinema, and how local cinemas arex transforming into world-class arts centres. Penny also set up WhereWestBegins, a not for profit to provide a more diverse film culture in the South West. Seed funded by the BFI Neighbourhood Cinema Fund, WhereWestBegins works with venues (including Hauser & Wirth Somerset) with a particular focus on bringing children and young people to cinema through events and workshops.
Penny consults to a range of film, music and media companies. Recent clients include The Space (BBC/ACE collaboration), Warner Music, Suede, Westlands Yeovil, and the Octagon Theatre.
In the past few years Penny has been a judge at the British Video Awards, as well as a speaker at the Event Cinema Association, for the Film Distributor’s Association, Film Cymru, The Scottish Documentary Institute, Film London, Birds Eye View Festival, The Edinburgh Film Festival, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Clore Leadership Programme, and Google HQ for REMIX.
Penny was a Nesta Fellow on the Clore Leadership Programme 2011 and is a credited Executive Coach. She is also a qualified IP barrister, and runs an award winning cheese business in Somerset with husband Marcus.
Oonagh Murphy is an arts manager, writer and lecturer, her research has taken her around the world to explore international best practice on the scalability of emerging technologies for cultural organisations. Alongside writing for The Guardian, Arts Professional and Culture Sync she has presented at key international conferences including Museums and The Web (Portland, OR), and Museum Next (Amsterdam) and spent summer 2012 in New York researching digital engagement as a Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Fellow. In 2015 she joined Richmond the American International University in London as Associate Professor of Visual Arts Management and curating, and Convenor of the MA in Visual Arts Management and Curating. She provides an international perspective, an external set of eyes and facilitation skills to help arts organisations ask difficult questions of themselves, shape new business models and long term strategic plans. Oonagh works with arts organisations to help them to take a more efficient, effective and creative approach to management.
Bernie Morgan is an experienced business advisor specializing in early stage and growing businesses. She is an accomplished innovator and developer who likes to find creative solutions to business problems. She is a small business owner herself and knows only too well the problems businesses face every day. Prior to this, she was, for eight years, the Chief Executive of the Community Development Finance Association which led the creation of the CDFI industry in the UK. Bernie owns a chocolate cafe in Margate, Kent. Margate is fast becoming a hub for creative businesses, which makes her work a great pleasure.
Jan works across London and the south west (she’s based in Bath). With over 25 years experience of the creative and cultural industries, Jan has progressively built a prestigious portfolio of clients connected to design, fashion, craft, festivals/events, education and training and city/regional development using the creative and cultural industries as an enabler for growth. Jan’s specialist areas include strategic, financial and business planning advice to small creative businesses; creative and cultural tourism strategic development; development and delivery of training programmes; practical project delivery, project management, project monitoring, evaluation and research; and project development and bid writing expertise in response to regional economic needs.
Joan is a qualified chartered accountant with a broad business background. She is the founding director of Agora Bay Limited, a consultancy company providing finance and accounting services to growing businesses and third sector organisations.
She is an experienced finance director and non- executive director and has worked with a number of large visitor attractions in North East England and regional Theatre venues.
She is particularly interested in working with ambitious creative and cultural businesses that need additional financial expertise and governance support.
She has a lifelong love of theatre and in all aspects of the performing arts.
Bryn has over 30 years’ management and consultancy experience in the museums, heritage, arts, tourism and wider leisure sector. A former Head of Visitor Services and Trading for the Science Museum, when it was a charging attraction, and a former Commercial Director at the Lowry Centre and the Alnwick Garden. In 2006, he set up his own consultancy, Bryn Jones Associates Ltd, which has established itself as the leading commercial operational and customer experience consultancy in the sector. He and his company has significant experience in helping to turn existing operations around, business planning, operational and commercial reviews, interim management, planning and setting up new developments and operations so they can be resilient, sustainable and deliver a great customer experience.
Ellen O’Hara is an independent coach and consultant in creative and cultural enterprise with 18 years experience spanning the private, public and third sectors. She has designed and delivered enterprise and business development programmes for Nesta and Arts Council England (Digital Arts & Culture Accelerator), Innovate UK (Enterprise Skills for grantees), British Council, Creative United, and the Clore Leadership Programme. Ellen delivers coaching, consultancy and facilitation in strategy and planning, business model innovation, income diversification, enterprise capabiity, and access to alternative finance.
Recent clients include National Theatre Wales, Warwick Ventures, Turner Contemporary, Coney, Metal, Theatre Centre, Stopgap Dance Company, Clore Leadership, New Art Exchange, Big Issue Invest, Creativity Works, Crafts Council, Nesta and British Council.
Ellen previously held roles at award-winning craft incubator Cockpit Arts, the Prince's Trust and Arts Council England. She began her career in management consultancy at Arthur Andersen. She is a published researcher, Clore Leadership Fellow 2014/15, SFEDI accredited coach, Fellow of the RSA, holds a degree in Economics & Econometrics from the University of Birmingham and a postgraduate diploma in Administrative Management.
She sits on the board of regional theatre company Little Earthquake and is also co-founder and editor at City Writers Room, a place for writing about people, places and ideas on the theme of city. She works internationally and is based in the Derbyshire Dales, UK.
Miriam is a chartered accountant and spent her corporate career in Procter and Gamble with key roles in financial analysis, treasury, manufacturing and product launches. She started working in museums in 1998 and has run two museums; Bede’s World and Beamish Museum. Miriam set up her own consultancy in 2008 and has since worked in a mixture of project development, project management, fundraising and interim roles across a wide range of Arts and Heritage organisations. She is an accredited Growth Accelerator Coach, a government initiative to provide business support to SMEs that have high growth potential. She has extensive experience in business and financial planning, and enjoys using her wide ranging skills and experience to work with individuals and organisations, big and small, bringing enthusiasm and energy to the development and success of those organisations.
Tracey is a creative and digital industries consultant with wide ranging experience across private and public sector roles. She leads a successful and award-winning tech hub in Yorkshire as well as leading a range of local, regional and international projects supporting and growing the creative and digital sectors. These projects have helped to create jobs and stimulate new economies across the EU.
She has worked across a number of organisations as a consultant supporting them to develop their products, services and capacity. In addition, she contributes regularly to events and dialogues on sector development (particularly in smaller economies) at national and international level, as well as on diversity in tech and digital skills issues. She is a trustee of Barnsley Museums and Heritage Trust and has led for-profit and non-profit companies and projects. Specialist sectors include digital/tech, visual arts, design, crafts, communications/branding and built environment.
Stuart graduated in Interior and 3d Design from Kingston University but on graduation started his own fashion brand with his partner. They designed and sold their range of women's occasion wear for over 25 years as an independent label. Wholesaling to stores and boutiques all over the world as well as opening their own retail outlets in London's Carnaby Street and Kensington High Street.
Five years ago as a development from mentoring fashion start-ups, he began a new career as a freelance business advisor offering 1-2-1 bespoke advice to a variety of creatively minded businesses. He further developed his own workshops and training presentations based around creative business growth and management.
He enjoys working with all kinds of creative enterprises, large and small and get great satisfaction from helping them develop their full potential.
Remi Harris has 15-years’ experience in the music industry as a senior manager, mentor and business adviser and is qualified with an MBA and a certificate in Business Mentoring. She has secured more than a million pounds of grants and loans for her clients. She also has some knowledge of digital, design, TV and film. She is author of the book: Easy Money? The Definitive Guide to Funding Music Projects in the UK (2013). Remi is based in London.
Sue specialises in working with charities and social enterprises and is passionate about the difference these organisations can make, both in local communities and in society as a whole. Her business skills and knowledge come from a career in banking. For the past 20 years she has worked with charities and social enterprises for Triodos Bank UK and as CEO of a similar regulated finance organisation in New Zealand. Returning to the UK she set up a new social investment programme for an endowed charitable foundation. Sue is based in Bristol and works as a consultant and non-executive director; she is currently a trustee of Watershed and St Monica Trust in Bristol and Access - the Foundation for Social Investment in London.
Abigail is a SFEDI accredited business advisor and project manager who has been working in the cultural and creative sector for over 20 years. Based in Bath, she specialises in providing professional development support for designer-maker businesses. She also works with a range of arts organisations including the Crafts Council and Cockpit Arts and has been involved in a variety of Arts Council funded initiatives such as their Catalyst programme and museumaker.
Andy has worked for over 30 years in the creative industries. He has experience of working with various business models from commercial to not-for-profit and has sat on various boards and committees. He is currently a Board Member for Freedom Festival Arts Trust in Hull that runs an annual 3 day festival attracting 115,000 people. He splits his time between Northumberland, where he lives and runs a commercial art gallery, and Hull where he runs a live music venue, a multi-disciplinary venue, live music pub and ticket agency. Andy is passionate about working with creative people and businesses, ensuring their viability as small businesses whilst maintaining their creative focus.
Damian has grown a number of creative businesses and worked within a team of experienced entrepreneurs and business coaches . They have access to their own start up finance packages via Transmit Start Ups and a new signposting service called Teal that helps more established businesses access alternative finance .
In 2017 they re-formed Transmit Consulting and are now delivering high growth business coaching in NELEP area and creative and digital business support throughout England.
Olga has many years of experience running her own small enterprises and advising businesses. She mentors and advises in the start-up and small business sector, with experience across many industries including furniture, fashion, craft, interiors, retail and social enterprises. Her career and own entrepreneurial activities have covered hospitality, events, food and drink manufacturing and fashion. She is primarily a business development and sales and marketing practitioner, particularly skilled at developing the customer propositions, ensuring that her clients can build sufficient demand to ensure success and helping them to achieve an effective online presence.
Julie is a consultant specialising in business planning, marketing strategy, and organisational development. She mentors and advises CEOs, leaders, and managers across a diverse mix of arts, heritage, creative and cultural organisations.
Working with sole traders, independent makers, and small businesses, and with national and international arts organisations (and everything in between), Julie supports individuals and teams to explore future ambition, devise new strategies, or take an existing plan to a new level.
She helps people to consider how their work might matter more to more people, to audiences and potential audiences, to funders, partners, members, sponsors etc. Helping to drive a relevant and resilient future for creative and cultural organisations.
Julie can help with producing a business plan, developing an audience or marketing strategy, launching or refreshing a membership scheme, building earned income, or planning staff development and internal communication.
Prior to becoming a consultant, Julie was Executive Director of the Arts Marketing Association (AMA) for over a decade, trebling the size of the turnover, staff and membership, as well as expanding income streams across grants, sponsorship, and broadening the portfolio of earned income.
She devised, developed and was a core trainer on the Future Proof Museums programme enabling museums across England to develop more resilient business models for the future.
Julie helps teams to look internally to consider what might need to change or develop to be effective externally. She is a trainer on strategic marketing planning and leadership residentials, including Shared Ambition, a programme helping marketers and fundraisers to consider how they might work more effectively together, and has launched cultural sector academies focused on innovation and experimentation.