County Durham Cultural Education Partnership

The County Durham Cultural Education Partnership (CDCEP) is a platform for organisations, schools and service providers to work together to instigate collaborative, informed approaches using arts and culture to address the needs of children and young people.

Aims and objectives

The work of the partnership is for the benefit of children and young people living in County Durham, encouraging and supporting them in accessing and engaging in arts and culture. This could be outside of County Durham, but there is intrinsic benefit in increasing their awareness of and access to opportunities on their doorstep within the county to encourage repeated and longer term engagement both in and outside of school.

Aims and objectives

The CDCEP’s broad purpose is to identify those needs and areas where support could be best targeted and the collaborative advantage of partnership working will affect greater impact toward change. The key priority areas are re-visited annually, guided by current data, reflection on previous work and collective current knowledge and experience.

The overarching aim of the partnership, through collaborative working and in alignment with Arts Council England’s Creative Case for Diversity and Cultural Education Challenge, is to ensure:

“All children and young people living in County Durham are able to access, and increasingly access, opportunities to engage with cultural activity within and outside of schools.” (Terms of Reference)

The CDCEP strategic priority areas are:

  • Sustainability of CDCEP work: overarching strategic goal.
  • Impact mapping and evaluation: overarching and continuous process.
  • Young people’s voices: overarching priority, mechanisms in place to directly consult and co-create with young people.
  • Training resources for schools: targeted delivery work with schools and their stakeholders including Governors.
  • Advocacy of cultural education: targeted delivery work, supported by a communications strategy

Terms of Reference


  • June 2018: First County Durham Creative Learning Week developed and delivered.
  • Summer term 2018: Request for governors to become cultural leads in their schools tabled at governor meetings in each school.
  • January to July 2018: Commissioned piece of schools engagement data mapping work to produce an extensive and informative report.
  • November 2018 onward: Ongoing offer of professional development and engagement opportunities for cultural governors.
  • January 2019 onward: sustainability subgroup established to explore potential investment opportunities linked to priority areas, including mental health and wellbeing as a crossover theme.


Information last updated April 2019

  • Eileen Atkins (Area Manager, Culture Bridge North East)
  • Anne Besford (Chief Executive, National Youth Choirs of Great Britain – NYCGB)
  • Jill Cole (Director, Northern Heartlands)
  • Sally Dixon (Assistant Director Partnerships & Communications, Beamish Museum)
  • Linda Dobson (Principal Libraries Manager, Durham County Council)
  • Liz Dollimore (Education Manager, The Auckland Project)
  • Julia Dunn (Education Officer, Bowes Museum)
  • Sarah Gent (Marketing Manager, The Witham)
  • Tony Harrington (Executive Director, The Forge)
  • Jane Hedges (Culture Durham Partnership and Active Durham)
  • Richard Hurst (Education Development Adviser, Durham County Council)
  • Kylie Lloyd (Community Arts Manager, Durham County Council)
  • Phil Miller (Programme Leader, New College Durham)
  • Katy Milne (Director, Greenfield Arts)
  • Ruth Robinson (Leader of Learning, Durham Sixth Form Centre)
  • Charlotte Rowbotham (Head of Education, Durham Cathedral)
  • Michael Summers (Manager, Durham Music Service)
  • Jane Whittaker (Head of Collections, Bowes Museum)
  • Ross Wilkinson (Senior Learning Officer, Durham University Museums)
  • Martin Wilson (Executive Director, TINArts)
  • Simon Woolley (Head of Education, Beamish Museum)

Get in touch

To get in touch, please contact Eileen Atkins, Culture Bridge North East, Martin Wilson, current Chair of the CDCEP, or Kylie Lloyd, current Vice Chair of the CDCEP.