MEET THE TEAM

 
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MARTIN THOMAS

Executive Director

As Executive Director of Torbay Culture I lead on the cultural strategy. I have worked for museums, arts and heritage organisations like the National Trust for twenty-five years. Previous roles include being a Heritage Lottery Fund Mentor, Royal Albert Memorial Museum’s Creative Programmer, Exeter Cultural Partnership’s Director and Arts Council’s regional Head of Learning. Torbay has been my home for twenty years and I want to ensure that culture and creativity improve the quality of people’s lives. Being hosted by TDA allows us to work with economic development to make this happen.

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ANNA MATTHEWS

Programme Manager

I’m Torbay’s Great Place Scheme Programme Manager. My professional background is mainly in public libraries where I have worked in strategy, infrastructure and change management. I am also a musician, composer and Clore Fellow. I believe that creativity, culture and heritage are essential to exploring and understanding who we are as individuals and our place in the world – and that this is the key to wellbeing for people and communities. I grew up in the area and am really pleased to be giving something back to Torbay.

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JACOB BRANDON

Chair

I am the Chair of Torbay Culture as of March 2019. I'm a Creative Consultant with Artizan Gallery, overseeing their annual exhibition programme and engagement with local artists. A brief migration away from the Bay opened my eyes to our potential as a destination for cultural tourism, with an exceptional quality arts and heritage offer and stunning coastal scenery. Through my work with the Board, I hope to share this revelation with other residents and encourage pride and innovative thought in the place we live.

 
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DR KEVIN DIXON

Board Member

I am Chair of Healthwatch Torbay as well as holding many other voluntary positions. I believe culture matters because its about how we can all live healthy and fulfilled lives. We all have a stake in making our Bay a great place in which to live and work. And our history and heritage tell us where we've come from. If we know where we are now, we can get a good idea of where we're going!

 

 

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MARK GREEN

Board Member

I’m Director at Fruition Creation Services, a partner in Unit 7 Creative Workhub and Agency. I’ve been active in the local arts and culture community for many years and am passionate about all things connected to the sea, particularly open water swimming, surfing and fishing. My ambition for Torbay Culture is to help Torbay become renowned for happy and healthy lifestyles, supported by its own rich, distinctive cultural identity and community.

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MATTHEW HARBOUR

Board Member

Arts and culture plays a huge role in our lives, forming a bond that holds communities together.  It helps shape our identity, defines the way we are and how we interact with each other. I am Vice Principal at South Devon College and a passionate advocate for culture. Through my involvement with the Board, I will support initiatives and opportunities that inspire Torbay's communities, creating something special and unique that puts Torbay firmly on the cultural map.

 
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PETER HEPPA

Board Member

Having worked in Creative Arts and Media at South Devon College for more than thirty years. I am especially interested in cultural issues relating to young adults. I believe that to keep the Bay vibrant, we need to hold on to and attract young people to live and work here. Although cultural activities are not the only answer to this problem, a vibrant cultural scene has proven to be a huge factor in the regeneration of towns across the UK. Through the Culture Board, I want to encourage a vibrant and varied cultural experience for residents and visitors to the Bay. 

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RICHARD MADDOCK

Board Member

I’m a Director of Torquay-based Kay Elliott Architects with over 25 years experience in the field of architecture and masterplanning. I believe art and culture can help to build stronger communities - contributing to a sense of identity and wellbeing for all. I would love to see Torbay's rich and diverse cultural landscape brought to a wider audience and take a central role in creating opportunities to improve quality of life for everyone.

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BECKY NUTTALL

Board Member

I am an artist and a poet. I come from an artistic and literary background - my parents moved to Brixham to help it become a hub for artists in the 1950s. My father owned Milton Head Pottery, Brixham, was a successful playwright and helped found The Devon Guild of Craftsmen. I believe that culture allows diversity to be recognised and celebrated in our communities, allowing us to create a dynamic and empathetic system that embraces all socio-cultural differences within Torbay's outstanding environment.

 

 
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TANNY STOBART

Board Member

I’m Director of Play Torbay and work as a play and playwork policy consultant. I am especially committed to promoting and developing a vibrant, joined up cultural sector in Torbay and supporting the development of opportunities for young people. I would like to give them a sense of personal progression, for example through the Arts Award scheme. I would also like to see an overall increase in involvement in culture and an enhanced cultural programme which includes a vibrant youth culture.

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PAUL WOOLNOUGH

Board Member

I am Cluster Lead for the Social Sciences at the University of Exeter and was the Chair of Torbay Culture from its inception until March 2019. I'm passionate about supporting socio-cultural development. Culture is important to our identity, whether we live in or come from the Bay. It can mean anything from enjoying our stunning natural surroundings to eating the best seafood in the UK. Attending festivals or enjoying our distinctive heritage venues. I'm delighted with our impact on embedding culture into residents' lives so far and excited about what we can achieve together.

 
 
 

CURRENT PROJECT PARTNERS

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LISA GARDINER (WONDER ASSOCIATES)

Marketing & Audience Development;
Cultural Tourism Product Development (with Karen Marshall)

I’m the Marketing & Audience Development lead for Torbay’s Great Place Scheme. I’m the Managing Partner at Wonder Associates, the cultural communications agency, established in 2005. Everything we do is about better understanding and motivating audiences to attend arts and heritage more often. We aim to do this though deep insight, creative content and compelling marketing. Our project work for Torbay Culture includes The 99 audience research project, producing The Shorely insider’s guide to culture in the Bay, and developing the cultural tourism offer working alongside Karen Marshall.

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KAREN MARSHALL (CANNY MARSHALL)

Cultural Tourism Product Development (with Lisa Gardiner)

I’m the Managing Director of Canny Marshall Ltd, specialising in tourism, heritage, festivals, events and destination communications. I’m working with Lisa Gardiner from Wonder Associates to develop a cultural tourism offer as part of the Great Place Scheme. Our goal is to devise authentic, bookable tours, trails, guides and itineraries, bringing new cultural tourists and spend into the area, promoting Torbay as a cultural destination and giving an opportunity for the real stories and community to shine through.  

 Picture By Jim Wileman - RAMM portraits, Annual Report images.

GILLIAN TAYLOR

Communications & Advocacy

I’m communications and advocacy consultant for Torbay Culture. By securing media and online coverage of our Great Place Scheme and other work of the Torbay Culture team, we aim to raise the profile of Torbay as a creative place to live, work and visit. By telling stories about the events and activities taking place across the Bay, I also aim to encourage all sorts of people to participate in the cultural programme, Eyeview.

 
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VICTORIA HARDING (SW MUSEUMS DEVELOPMENT)

Audience Evaluation

I am working with colleagues Darren Roberts and Rachel Miller on audience evaluation as part of Torbay’s Great Place Scheme. We are looking to contribute to an increased, collective, understanding of audiences across Torbay, using our practical experience of audience development, data capture and insights generated through our work for SW Museum Development and Bristol Culture. Working in partnership with the cultural organisations, festivals and events, we will bring together existing audience data and support organisations to collect new data in sustainable ways.

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REBECCA DAVIES (TDA)

Destination Management Co-ordinator

I lead on the Destination Management strand of the Great Place Scheme by co-ordinating the English Riviera’s Destination Management Plan and supporting the Destination Management Group to ensure the plan is delivered. The focus of the five-year plan is to develop the visitor economy by extending the season, attracting new visitors and supporting businesses by developing skills.  Cultural tourists are a new type of visitor and opportunity for the destination. We have abundance of culture, history and heritage here, we just don’t shout loudly enough about it.

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NATHALIE PALIN

Creative Direction (with Tom Littlewood)

I’m Co-Creative Director for Eyeview, Torbay’s Great Place Scheme Cultural Programme, along with Tom Littlewood. My background is as a visual artist with a strong interest in socially-engaged practice – nurturing relationships between communities, artists and cultural spaces. I’m interested in how acts of making nurture agency and shared narratives within communities. Most of my work supports development of creative partnerships with museums, galleries and creative organisations, local authorities and the voluntary sector. I’ve been working in Torbay since 2012 and am now happily embedded in its cultural landscape – one that is complex, tenacious, delicate, and constantly surprising.

 
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TOM LITTLEWOOD (GINKGO PROJECTS)

Creative Direction (with Nathalie Palin) and Town Centre Development Lead Artist

I am Co-Creative Director for Eyeview, our Great Place Scheme Cultural Programme with Nathalie Palin. My experience and background is within landscape architecture, and over the last 20 years has progressed to running Ginkgo Projects Ltd. I am particularly interested in how a sense of belonging and identity is nurtured and developed within communities and how this is reflected in townscape design. I am also part of the design team working on the planned town centre regeneration projects for Torquay and Paignton.

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CAT RADFORD

Creative Commissioning

Learning from pilot projects in Arts, Health and Wellbeing with partners in the NHS and Torbay Council, I am working to fully embed ‘creative commissioning’ here, so we can increase reach and deepen impact. This work is an important part of the Changing Lives strand of the Great Place Scheme. I provide support to Torbay Culture & Arts Network as part of my role.

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DEBBIE HYDE

Volunteer Co-ordination

I co-ordinate the Torbay Culture Ambassadors. I first became involved with Torbay Culture in 2017 when I was the volunteer co-ordinator for International Agatha Christie Festival and I loved bringing people together in the community to participate, share experiences and learn from cultural events. Having moved from Surrey to Torbay the previous year, I felt instantly at home and with a real desire to see the community of Torbay flourish as well as to look after our natural landscapes and heritage. What continues to fascinate me as I work with creative practitioners and community members is the way arts and culture provoke deep thought and conversations which prompt us to engage and participate in our community in different ways.