Sunderland Culture re-shuffles its board members

Sunderland Culture has welcomed three new board members to replace a trio who have stepped down.

Monday, 27th June 2022, 12:20 pm

New trustees include MAC Trust board member and Sunderland Empire Theatre director Marie Nixon, University of Sunderland council board member Ian Kershaw and Sunderland City Council executive director of city development Peter McIntyre.

They replace outgoing board members Paul Callaghan, chair of Sunderland Music, Arts and Culture (MAC) Trust, Graeme Thompson, pro-vice chancellor at University of Sunderland and Fiona Brown, executive director for Neighbourhoods at Sunderland City Council.

Sunderland Culture, which aims to “improve life for everyone in Sunderland through culture”, welcomes three independent trustees.

Sunderland Culture board members Jane Earl, Gillian Miller, Ian Kershaw, Peter McIntyre, Marie Nixon, Steve Knight, Ram Ramanthas, Sheree Rymer, Cllr Linda Williams, John Mowbray and Annabel Turpin at Arts Centre Washington. Picture by David Wood.

They are Prof Roy Sandbach, previously director of the National Innovation Centre for Ageing, Sheree Rymer, faculty director for Creative and Digital at Sunderland College and Kamaswaredas Ramanathas, manager of Young Asian Voices.

Jane Earl, chair of Sunderland Culture, said: “I’m delighted to welcome all our new board members, who are going to be great support in delivering on our mission to improve life for everyone in Sunderland through culture.

“I would like to pay tribute to Graeme, Paul and Fiona who have recently stood down. They were all instrumental in the creation of Sunderland Culture and I’m enormously grateful for their massive contributions and their practical and moral support.”

Three new independent, non-executive directors are appointed to a new subsidiary, Sunderland Culture Trading.

Sunderland Culture board members Ian Kershaw, Peter McIntyre, Marie Nixon, Sheree Rymer and Ram Ramanthas at Arts Centre Washington. Picture by David Wood.

They will play key roles in the governance of all commercial areas of Sunderland Culture’s business, including commercial activity at The Fire Station, retail and other trading.

The new directors are Michelle Daurat, general manager at Oaklea Convent and previous head of business and operations at National Glass Centre, Neil Smith, a partner at solicitors Ward Hadaway and Nick Reed, chief executive of music charity B:Music in Birmingham.

Jane added: “There was a lot of interest in these volunteer roles and Neil, Nick and Michelle bring a range of skills and experience to the board.

“They’ll help to ensure financial stability for our trading arm so Sunderland Culture can remain the cultural jewel the city deserves.”

Paul Callaghan is among the board members to stand down. Picture by Stu Norton.

Sunderland Culture works across five venues: The Fire Station, Arts Centre Washington, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, National Glass Centre and Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens.

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