North Area Council

Meet the members of our North Area Council.


Chair of Arts Council England North Area Council

Joe Docherty is Chair of Arts Council England North.

He is CEO of national education and skills charity NCG. NCG comprises three Further Education colleges with Foundation Degree awarding powers in Newcastle, Kidderminster and West Lancashire, the national apprentice and workplace training provider Intraining, based in Sheffield and national youth education charity Rathbones, based in Manchester. The group works with over 100,000 learners each year and employs nearly 4,000 colleagues.

Previously, Joe was Deputy Chief Executive for North East-based Home Group, one of the United Kingdom's biggest social enterprises, and Chief Executive of the award winning Tees Valley Regeneration, where he oversaw the signing of more than £1 billion of private sector investment in the North East of England. During this time Joe also spearheaded a cultural and social renaissance programme - the iconic Tees Valley Giants - which includes one of the North East's most iconic modern structures, Anish Kapoor's Temenos.

Between 1999 and 2007 Joe was a Trustee of The Baltic - a major international centre for contemporary art - where he was also Chairman of the Finance and General Purpose Committee. Joe began his career in banking, where he was a Director in the corporate banking division within Barclays Bank.

Joe is currently a Trustee and Member of Council of the University of Durham and Chair of its Finance and General Purpose Committee. He is also a Trustee and member of the Finance Committee of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, one of the UK's largest charitable foundations, supporting work across the arts, education and learning, environment and social change sectors. He is also an owner and Director of Crosbys, a supplier of services and equipment to the catering industry.

Term of appointment: 25 May 2011 - 30 September 2017


Middlesborough Councillor
Middlesborough Councillor

Cllr David Budd has been an elected member of Middlesbrough Council since 1991. He is the executive lead for Regeneration.


Director of Settle Stories
Settle Stories

Sita Brand is the founder and Director of Settle Stories, a storytelling organisation based in the Yorkshire Dales. She is also an Arts and Heritage Consultant specialising in diversity, equality and access and was formerly Programme Director of Decibel, a National diversity project


Creative industries practitioner

Lee Corner specialises in the development of organisations in the creative industries and the third sector. She has previously served on the Creative Industries Advisory Panel of the British Council and is currently on the Board of Directors for the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural Skills.


Leader of Sheffield City Council
Sheffield City Council

Councillor Julie Dore was elected as Leader of Sheffield City Council in 2011.

Sheffield is the fourth largest city in England. She has represented the Arbourthorne Ward in the city since 2000 and was elected as Leader of the Labour Group of councillors in 2010. Her many roles within the Council include Chairing the Council’s Cabinet, Sheffield Executive Board, Sheffield City Region Combined Authority and Local Enterprise Partnership, Sheffield Business Advisory Panel, Joint Chair of the Health & Wellbeing Board and Member of the South Yorkshire Leaders Group.

Her external roles include: Member of the Core Cities Cabinet, where she holds the Finance portfolio, Director of Rail North and Member of the Arts Council England. Councillor Dore was a Member of the HS2 Growth Task Force. Councillor Dore previously worked for a social housing association for over 20 years and prior to that in the construction industry for 10 years. To relax Julie enjoys the theatre, reading and good food and wine with family and friends. She is also a supporter of Sheffield Wednesday Football Club.

She has lived and worked in Sheffield all her life.


Gateshead Council

Cllr Mick Henry has been a member of Gateshead Council since 1986. Before becoming a councillor, Mick was a Senior Lecturer in Photography and Head of Digital Imaging at Northumbria University


Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage, Arts and Events (South Lakeland District Council), Mayor of Kendal (May'16)
Kendal Town Council, South Lakeland District Council, Cumbria Tourism, and Liberal Democrats, North

Studied History, Politics and Economics at University and then Marketing. Worked in the cultural sector for over twenty years including managing various National Trust, English Heritage, Museums and Galleries. Currently Mayor of Kendal, Cabinet Member for SLDC for Culture, Heritage, Arts and Events, Non Executive Director of Cumbria Tourism, Lakes Culture Steering Group, and ACE Rural Stakeholder Group.

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Kendal Castle Ward on Kendal Town Council and South Lakeland District Council. Founder of Kendal Organ Donor Town having donated a Kidney to my wife in February '16.


Leader of Manchester City Council
Manchester City Council

Richard Leese was born and brought up in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. After graduating from the University of Warwick, he worked as a teacher in Coventry and as an exchange teacher in the USA before moving to Manchester to take up a post as a youth worker. He was employed variously in youth work, community work, and education research between 1979 and 1988, and was elected to Manchester City Council in 1984.

He became Leader of the Council in 1996, having previously served as Deputy Leader (1990 – 1996), Chair of the Education Committee (1986 - 1990) and Chair of the Finance Committee (1990 - 1995).

Richard’s political interests include devolution, place-based budgets and the links between economic development and social policy, developing open democracy and the community leadership role of local authorities; and the role of cities in creating a sustainable future. He has a number of additional responsibilities including Director of Manchester Airport Holdings Ltd, Vice Chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Chair of the Association of Northern Transport Authorities, Chair of the Core Cities Cabinet and Chair of the LGA City Regions Board. His interests outside politics include walking, cinema, music, and sport (as a spectator, principally Manchester City football and cricket).

He is a regular runner and cycles to the Town Hall most days.


Executive Director of Tate Liverpool
Tate Liverpool

Andrea Nixon is Executive Director of Tate Liverpool, a post which she has held since 2006. She has a range of experience in development work and is a Board member of the Craft Council, The Audience Agency and North-West Museums Group.


Founder, Creative Arts Promotion Ltd
Creative Arts Promotion Ltd

David Porter founded Creative Arts Promotion Ltd, based in York, in 1992 and works principally alongside local authorities and national organisations to develop arts programmes. He also serves as Company Secretary for the National Rural Touring Forum


Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative
NewcastleGateshead Initiative

Sarah Stewart is Chief Executive of NewcastleGateshead Initiative: the destination marketing agency for NewcastleGateshead. Her early career included roles with Procter & Gamble, Price Waterhouse and Sage plc. She is a Board member of several organisations including: Beamish Museum, VisitEngland and Durham University Business School.


Senior Producer

Jo believes that ‘different’ is delicious not divergent, embedding the belief that diversity adds texture, turning policy into real action.

Jo is currently the senior producer for Unlimited - the world’s largest commissions programme for disabled artists, working to get work seen, discussed and embedded within the cultural fabric of the UK with partners such as ACE, Creative Scotland, Southbank Centre, Spirit of 2012 and the British Council. Working with Sarah Pickthall, she runs SYNC, examining the interplay between disability and leadership in the cultural sector and with Luke Pell, she has created the movement installation Take Me to Bed Jo has won both Cosmopolitan’s woman of achievement award and her village’s cup for making jam.


Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer
Liverpool John Moores University

Nigel was born in Cleckheaton, Yorkshire and attended Whitcliffe Mount Grammar School. He was an undergraduate and postgraduate at the University of Southampton where he read Mathematics and Aeronautics and obtained a PhD in the Department of Mathematics for his work in magnetohydrodynamics. After leaving Southampton, he joined the Research Team of the Anglian Water Authority where he developed mathematical models to predict water quality in rivers and estuaries, before moving to the aerospace sector to undertake research on compressible high-speed flows at the Aircraft Research Association, Bedford.

In 1986 he was a Research Fellow in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, USA. In 1987 he joined Swansea University where he held a variety of posts including Head of the School of Engineering and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research). In May 2008 he was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Engineering and Physical Science at the University of Birmingham.

In September 2011 he took up the position of Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive Officer of Liverpool John Moores University. Nigel has undertaken research visits to many countries and was appointed Adjunct Professor at the US National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centre in Mississippi where he spent the year in 2001. For three years he was Scientist-in-Residence at the Institute for High Performance Computing in Singapore. He has over 300 publications in journals and conference papers.

Between 1998 and 2011 he was the Co-Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids published by Wileys. His main research interests are in high speed compressible flows of relevance to aerospace engineering, although he has also published work in the areas of environmental modelling and bio-engineering. He has worked with business and industry throughout his career, working with both large multi-national organisations and small companies in the UK and overseas. Whilst at the University of Birmingham he was the Executive Director of the National Higher Education (HE) STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Programme for England and Wales. The aims of the project were to promote and widen access to HE in STEM disciplines, innovative curriculum development and STEM skills for employment. He was also a member of the founding group that formed the Manufacturing Technology Centre which is now part of the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

Nigel was appointed by the Elected Mayor of Liverpool to chair the Mayoral Commission on Environmental Sustainability. He is also Honorary Colonel of the Liverpool University Officer Training Corps. He is a trustee of a number of organisations, including the Royal Court Theatre, Liverpool, the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust, the Daniel Adamson Preservation Society and is the HE representative for the CBI North West Regional Council. Nigel is on the Board of the Local Enterprise Partnership for the Liverpool City Region and the Board of Arts Council (North). He was appointed Chair of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic in November 2015. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society and the Institute of Mathematics and Its Applications.

He is a Chartered Mathematician, Chartered Engineer and Chartered Scientist. In 1996 he was awarded a DSc from the University of Southampton for his work on computational fluid dynamics. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2003, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in 2012 and a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute in 2016. In 2009 he was made an Honorary Fellow of Swansea University. Professor Weatherill is married to Barbara, a retired GP, and they have two children, George and Laura.

Outside work his interests include fly-fishing, hill walking and music.

Image captions
Top left to bottom right: 1. Roll Over Beethoven at Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch. Photo © Mark Sepple / Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch. 2. Maudits Sonnants by Transe Express Company at Birmingham Weekender 2015. Photo © Andrew Fox / Birmingham Weekender. 3. New Wolsey Theatre's Feed the Beast by Steve Thompson. Photo © Patrick Baldwin / New Wolsey Theatre. 4. Nuffield Theatre's Merlin. Photograph © Luke MacGregor.