My first degree was BsC Sociology from the University of Leicester.My doctoral research was funded by a University of Leicester Popular Culture and Society Studentship and focused on popular music, cultural policy and local cultural management. Since then, I have worked on a range of policy-related academic research projects, including an AHRC funded study of the Millennium Dome, an ESRC study of Local Music Industries and Economic Development in Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield, and the development of local cultural strategies and creative industries mapping. For five years (between 2004 - 2009) I held advisory and consultancy positions to the cultural sector with non-departmental bodies in the North West, and was the founding Director of the online regional research capability, the Northwest Culture Observatory. I returned to work in the higher education sector in 2009, developing a number of new postgraduate programmes in arts management and cultural policy.
Since then I've been involved in a range of research, knowledge exchange and public engagement activities for the School of Arts Languages and Cultures and the Faculty of Humanities, concerning the role and value of the arts and relationships between culture, place and policy. I regularly speak on these topics at academic conferences and sector symposia. Within the University, I work closely with Policy@Manchester and am affiliated to the Manchester Urban Institute. I am also a Co-I on the AHRC Policy and Evidence Centre for Creative Industries (the PEC) along with colleagues in SALC and AMBS. Externally, I sit on two arts charity boards including with the local arts festival, Barnaby Festival, which I founded in Macclesfield, and Abandon Normal Devices, a roving digital arts and culture festival.
Trustee, Macclesfield Barnaby Festival1 Sep 2016
External Examiner, MA Arts Management and Heritage Studies, University of LeedsSep 2016
→ Sep 2018
Trustee, Abandon Normal Devices21 Jun 2016
External Examiner, MA Arts Project Management/Curatorial Studies, Birmingham City UniversityJun 2016
→ Sep 2018
Chair of Trustees, Brighter Sound20 Feb 2012
→ 30 Sep 2019