Peter Stark  - Andy Balman - Esther Hingle - Deborah Little - Jenny Dewar

Peter Stark


Cultural policy - urban regeneration - international cultural exchange - senior strategy advice

Peter Stark has over thirty-five years direct experience of leadership and management in the cultural sector and of the interaction of that sector with issues of economic and social regeneration. He is an internationally acknowledged expert in cultural policy development, in cultural management training and in the conceptualisation, design and realisation of cultural precincts and projects – principally in the context of urban renewal.

Alongside his long term base in the North East of England, Peter has steadily increased his involvement in South Africa since a first visit in 2000 and now works principally from Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth) and Johannesburg.

From 1984, as Director of Northern Arts in his native North East of England, Peter played a leading national role in the redefinition of the arts funding system. In 1990 – he initiated the policies that led to the Gateshead Quays developments (at the heart of the culture-led regeneration of Tyneside). From 1995 – as Special Projects Adviser to Gateshead Council - he led the development of the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art with the Gateshead Millennium Bridge and Norman Foster’s internationally acclaimed Music Centre – now The Sage Gateshead - for which project he chaired the client side throughout the design process. 

His earlier career was in the experimental arts, as a cultural management teacher (City University and Northumbria University), as a cultural policy lobbyist, as a local authority officer, as a Community Performer (he is still a singer of traditional songs) and as Founding Director of South Hill Park Community Arts Centre in Bracknell Newtown.

Peter was awarded the OBE for services to the arts in the North in 1990 and a Chair in Cultural Policy and Management at Northumbria University in 2000. He is a Research Associate of Wits School of Arts and is the holder of a major Late Career Bursary from Arts Council England (2006-9) to support international travel and personal research which is centred on the role of cultures in regeneration in the Anglophone developing world.

Andy Balman 

Visual Art - Commercial galleries - Commercial trading

Andy Balman brings the skills of a cultural entrepreneur who has worked in the commercial sector managing complex partnerships between commercially driven retail partners, the subsidised arts sector and individual performing and visual artists.

In the 1980s and early 1990s he managed and programmed Newcastle’s Riverside venue, which integrated two popular music venues, rehearsal and recording studios, restaurant and exhibition space under one roof and ran a World Music agency and listings magazine. In the late 1990s he established the Biscuit Factory, a “visual arts supermarket”, as a major tourism attraction and outlet for sales by artists from across the UK as well as a series of artists’ studios and retail outlets.

Since moving on from the Biscuit Factory in 2007 he has been working on the Newcastle Gateshead Art Fair at the Sage Gateshead. (  As co-founder/Director he has established the Fair as one of the most important outside of London generating over 9,000 visitors last year exhibiting work from galleries representing artists from the UK and Internationally.

More recently he has established the Balman Gallery in the grade two listed Town Hall Buildings in Corbridge. ( Aimed at the serious collector the gallery represents UK and International artists, often being the only gallery outside of London and the South East to represent them. In the short time that the gallery has been opened it has established a collector base from the NE and across the UK.

Andy is also currently working on developing a multi use art space in the Fruit Market and Marina area of Hull. An area set aside for long term development, Hull Forward has decided to open up the area to creative businesses and we are developing a space for entertainment, exhibition and ar

Esther Hingle 

Arts Project Management – Local Arts Development – Dance – Fundraising – Music Programming – Performing Arts Marketing

Esther is a graduate of the London School of Contemporary Dance in contemporary dance techniques, choreography, music & related subjects and worked as a dancer, teacher and choreographer before studying Arts Management at London’s Birkbeck University.

She has worked in performing arts management, marketing and programming for many arts organisations including The Bull Arts Centre, Chicken Shed Theatre, SASA Music, Vital Arts and The Public. She moved to the North East to work as the Arts Development officer for the Alnwick Gardens where she successfully promoted a wide range of arts activity over 5 years. She now works as a freelance promoter, manager, fundraiser and consultant. 

Deborah Little

Education and Training

Deborah Little is an arts education consultant and practitioner. She trained as a drama teacher before working as a professional actress in major theatre companies in Australia in the 1970s and 1980s. In the UK she has become one of the most respected performing arts training specialists in the North of England and spent 15 years at Newcastle College as a drama, voice and movement specialist teacher and then leading the performing arts, music and media courses in the Higher Education sector. Since leaving Newcastle College in 2009 she has been in demand as a specialist trainer, guest director and independent consultant working with high schools and HE Institutions to raise standards in the delivery of performing arts courses.

Jenny Dewar 


Jenny Dewar works as a producer and administrator for Theatre Auracaria. She also runs Company TSU, a company committed to Empowering young people in Teesside through Theatre. Following an MA in Cultural Management, Jenny ahs worked as an arts administrator and project Manager at Brian Debnam and Associates on projects including The Doha Cultural Forum in Qatar and Soweto Music Centre in Johannesburg; for the Swallows Foundation UK and the North East Circus Development Trust before setting off on her freelance career.