Hebden Bridge Arts
January 2022 – Present
As Creative Producer I am responsible for developing and implementing the new strategy and vision for Hebden Bridge Arts, including planning and delivering major projects in addition to an emerging year round programme of events.
The role includes fundraising, gaining sponsorship, managing budgets and company administration, marketing, PR and communications and working with other professionals to ensure delivery of contracts.
In 2022 in addition to the Land Marks and Crossings project, Hebden Bridge Arts embarked on Open Space 70, an ambitious outdoor arts project, 4 day festival and arts trail around the theme of climate emergency, with work made with and by local communities. Open Space 70 delivered in July 2023.
I am now producing The Man Who Planted Trees 2024 project which includes a community performance, exhibitions, workshops and events, and Project Managing the ongoing Engaging Neighbourhoods communities project across Calderdale.
Independent arts and cinema consultant
May 2019 – Present
Freelance arts consultancy work. Advising in all main areas of cinema operations, including film and event cinema programming and scheduling, secondary sales offer and ancillary revenue streams, pricing and membership schemes, operational systems and organisational issues. Helping fledgling cinemas get off the ground, and working with more established venues to make improvements to their offer and organisation.
I can help clients to determine the best model of cinema operation for their venue and their community, explore options for technical equipment, seating, POS and ticketing systems, understand all potential sources of income generation in cinema exhibition and decide whether to operate as a staffed, volunteer-based or hybrid organisation. Additionally, I help those new to cinema to understand the cinema industry and make key connections to aid trade. I work with clients to identify the ideal hours of operation, programming mix and scheduling opportunities and consider issues such as pricing and accessibility, to ensure maximum community engagement.
I can host your events and Q&A sessions, help you recruit and train your volunteers, mentor one of your team as part of their professional development, cover your venue / event management needs during periods of sickness / holidays, produce a creative programme with you, and support you in many other ways.
British Independent Film Awards (BIFA)
June 2021 – present
A member of the BIFA Screening Group and Discovery subgroup, voting in 2021, 2022 and 2023. I am one of around 400 volunteers who each year watch, discuss and vote on the entered films to reach the year’s nominations.
The Clifton Community Arts Centre Limited
October 2021 – August 2022
An unpaid role, I was one of the directors of the community benefit society responsible for Wellington Orbit, an independent cinema and cafe-bar, in the market town of Wellington in Shropshire, with plans for phase two development of a community and arts centre on the upper floors. I established board level and operational level policies and procedures particularly in the areas of HR and governance, and created job descriptions and recruitment packs. I also advised on ticket pricing, volunteer coordination, and other areas such as property law, safeguarding and licensing best practice.
Hebden Bridge Picture House
November 2012 – November 2021
Responsible for the management of the independent Picture House cinema in Hebden Bridge, which transferred to Hebden Royd Town Council ownership in April 2012, and gained digital projection facilities on July 2012.
My role was the management of the cinema from all perspectives: the experience of the audience at films, live broadcasts and live events, maintaining a fantastic team of 26 front of house and behind the scenes employees, looking after the wonderful 1920s listed building and, of course, ensuring the Picture House continues to be a viable business and remains at the heart of the local community.
Following the December 2015 flooding of the Calder Valley, which saw the Picture House under more than 5 feet of dirty water, under my management the cinema has undergone complete front of house refurbishment, including the foyer and kiosk, stalls and circle, all toilet facilities and all 527 seats are either new (Stalls) or refurbished (Balcony). Similar work had to be done after Storm Ciara in February 2020 flooded the Stalls and under stage areas. In all cases great care was taken to retain and restore remaining 1921 features, such as stained glass work to the pay box and ornamental gold leafed plasterwork in the foyer and the auditorium. In 2021 the 1930s BTH projector used in the cinema from the 1950s was acquired by the Friends of the cinema and restored in-house and has pride of place at the rear of the stalls.
In November 2018 Hebden Bridge Picture House was Highly Commended in the category of Cinema of the Year in the Screen Awards. In September 2021 the Picture House was the first cinema to be given Cinema of Sanctuary status, recognising the work the cinema and its Friends.
Vice Chair (voluntary)
Friends of the Hebden Bridge Picture House
2011 – 2012
I was elected on to the committee of the Friends of the Picture House in December 2011, and act as Vice Chair. I also sat as a non-voting member of the Hebden Royd Town Council Picture House committee, as representative of the Friends group. I oversaw the drafting of the group’s constitution and created the new membership leaflet. The aim of the Friends is to channel the views of the users of the cinema to its operators, safeguard its future, and raise its profile in the local area. I stepped down from the committee in 2012 to take up the paid position of Manager of Hebden Bridge Picture House.
Development Assistant & Volunteer Co-ordinator
Square Chapel Centre for the Arts
2010 – 2012
I enjoyed a pleasantly varied and interesting role, which contributed to the internal running of Square Chapel and also its external presence in Halifax and Calderdale. As Development Assistant I constantly sought out opportunities to (a) raise awareness of all the wonderful things Square Chapel does amongst members of the local community and businesses based in the region, and (b) to raise money through sponsorship, charitable giving, and the Friends and Corporate Friends schemes in order to support the great range of activities and events organised by Square Chapel. As Volunteer Co-ordinator, I was responsible for the recruitment, training, retention and well-being of the 130-140 strong team of volunteers whose roles included helping at events and providing garden maintenance and administrative and technical support. I also organised shifts and rotas amongst the 120 or so volunteers that helped out at events and performances by ushering / stewarding, running the bar, and serving teas and coffees. I met fantastic people from all walks of life who all had their own reasons for giving up their time and energy to support an institution that they love.
2006 – 2010
I acted for a wide range of business clients, with a focus on the hotel industry. I dealt with development agreements, leases, the property aspects of business acquisitions and disposals, and general commercial property work. I was one half of the team shortlisted for the Insider Business Awards Yorkshire Property Law Firm of the Year award in 2008. I am still a solicitor (non practising) maintaining myself on the current Roll of Solicitors held by the SRA.
2004 – 2006
I worked in the Commercial Property department within the Leeds office, working part for large retail, commercial banking and development clients. I also worked with regeneration developers Partnership Projects and S Harrison Developments.
2001 – 2004
I trained with Walker Morris, spending 4 months working in each of the PFI and Public Sector, Commercial Property (Development), Corporate, Intellectual Property, Employment and Commercial Property (Finance) departments. I qualified into the Commercial Property department in September 2003 and worked for national commercial banks, investment landlords and renowned housebuilders.
35mm Projectionist, Secretary and President
St John’s Film Society, Cambridge
1998 – 2001
Initially working as a 35mm film projectionist, I was elected External Secretary of the college film society in 1999 with responsibility for film programming, marketing, liaising with advertisers and distributors and drawing up a written constitution. Screening films 3-4 times a week to up to 200 people at a time, I helped to make the Society profitable and as a result of our financial success, we installed surround sound into our cinema venue. The following year I served as President, offering advice and support to the new committee.