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 six directors appointed by the founding partners are:
- Fiona Brown, Executive Director of People Services (Sunderland City Council)
- Councillor John Kelly, Cabinet Member for Public Health, Wellness and Culture (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:
- David Roberts, from Manchester-based igloo regeneration
- 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