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A meeting of creative minds

2:46 pm, Wednesday, 5th October 2022 - 2 years ago


Local creative organisations and individuals have come together to form the first ever “Creativity Board” for North East Lincolnshire.

Following an open recruitment process earlier this year, 12 people from a range of backgrounds have offered to help drive forward the Creativity Strategy adopted earlier this year in North East Lincolnshire.

Cllr Tom Furneaux, Cabinet member for culture, heritage and tourism, said: “We were looking for a board of external partners to help us oversee and champion this once-in-a-generation opportunity for creativity through the delivery of our recently developed Creativity Strategy.

“Collectively, creative ventures have really come to the forefront in the last few years, and we want to capture the growth and excitement about the changes that local organisations and creatives have made.

“I’d like to thank each and every one of the new board members for volunteering their time and coming together to help us support the future growth of this important sector for North East Lincolnshire”.

One the first tasks which the board has undertaken to develop a draft action plan to deliver the Creativity Strategy which was considered at North East Lincolnshire Council’s Tourism and Visit Economy Scrutiny Panel on Thursday 29 September.   The Action Plan highlights priorities for the next year including helping the creative sector secure additional funds, supporting creative high streets and building on the successes of recent activities such Grimsby Falfest, Heritage Open Days and Grimsby Creates to tell the story of the area.

Here’s what a few of the new board members said:

Emma Forrest-Leigh Vice Principal at Grimsby Institute:

“Creativity is all around us but is often the silent point of difference that is easy to miss. Applied well, it means that you sit on a more comfortable chair, or hear stirring background music when you are travelling in car on a commute, or walk into a well-designed space that feels considered, or attending an event that elevates mental wellbeing. Done well, lives can feel vibrant and make hearts feel full, where applied creativity can create lots of small experiences that can come together to enrich daily life. It is the lifeblood of culture.

“Being part of this creativity board, for me, is about just this very thing. It is about looking at ways to bring creativity to everyone, to enhance daily life. Everyone should be able to access and benefit from a creative stimulating community. Grimsby deserves this, we deserve this. I want to be part of making that happen.”

Dan Clarke (Founder of Grimbarians and Photographer)

“The idea of a Creativity Board being created in N E Lincs is an exciting prospect and something sorely needed to bring together the growing creative community in the area. I’m proud to be a part of it and really hope to be a part of something substantial and that we can really support the growth and development in the area. Bringing my knowledge and experience of the fashion and photography industry back to Grimsby is something I’ve been keen to do and hopefully will be a worthy addition to the board that is full of experience, drive and passion for what the area can become. Watch this space.”

Hannah Dawson (DN35 Podcast and Marketing Manager at Auto Trail), said:

“It is an honour to be selected for the Creativity Board, as Grimsby and surrounding areas are very special to me. This is a fantastic opportunity to support local growth in creativity, culture and the arts. There are lots of inspirational people trying to make a difference locally, and I’m really looking forward to working alongside these and sharing my skills, connections and experience.”

The Creativity Strategy, funded by Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and NELC and delivered by Beam, outlines a five year framework and sets out key ambitions grouped under three key themes:

  • Creativity for all: including increasing the amount and visibility of creative activities in the area, focussing on equity, diversity and inclusion, involving young people and bringing generations together;
  • Creative economy: including developing the next generation of creative people, securing funding, supporting creative individuals and businesses;
  • Creative working: including embedding creativity in everyone’s lives, taking advantage of digital technology, striving for quality, working in collaboration and learning from others.

Creativity Board Members

  1. James Brindle (Magna Vitae)
  2. Dan Clarke (Photographer & Grimbarians)
  3. Hannah Dawson (Auto trial & DN35 Podcast – Grimsby Town)
  4. Paula Denton (Our Big Picture)
  5. Lisa February (Lowercase theatre)
  6. Bailey Greetham-Clark (Be Great Fitness)
  7. Chelsy Hutton (Original Emporium)
  8. Sukhy Johal (University of Lincoln)
  9. Lauren Smith (Stand up comedian)
  10. Emma Forrest-Leigh (Grimsby Institute)
  11. Frances Hodson (Artist)
  12. Gemma Winter (It Started with a stitch)


  1. Dave Power (Lincs Inspire)
  2. Zoe Everatt (Music Hub)

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