Our Board

Sunderland Culture was formed in April 2016 as a partnership set up by Sunderland City Council, the University of Sunderland and the business-led Sunderland MAC (Music, Arts and Culture) Trust.

Its brief is to manage cultural venues across Sunderland and develop city-wide cultural projects.

Sunderland Culture’s activities are managed by a board comprising directors from each of the three partner organisations along with five independent members.  The chair of the board is Jane Earl.

The six directors appointed by the founding partners are:

  • Fiona Brown, Executive Director of People Services (Sunderland City Council)
  • Councillor Linda Williams, Cabinet Member for Vibrant City (Sunderland City Council)
  • Steve Knight, Chief Operating Officer (University of Sunderland)
  • Graeme Thompson, Pro Vice Chancellor Connections and Place, (University of Sunderland)
  • John Mowbray OBE (MAC Trust)
  • Paul Callaghan CBE (MAC Trust).

The independent directors are:

  • Andrew MacKay, director of the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery Trust in Cumbria
  • Annabel Turpin, chief executive of the ARC arts centre in Stockton
  • Iraa Kadchha, director of Sunderland-based RGB Media
  • Gillian Miller, regional director of the Association of Colleges.

The board is supported by:

  • Keith Merrin, Chief Executive
  • Rebecca Ball, Creative Director