CBNE is recruiting a new Chair for its Advisory Board

15 May 2018

CBNE Advisory Board Chair information pack

About Culture Bridge North East

Culture Bridge North East’s (CBNE) vision is that everyone growing up in our region should have a childhood rich with arts and culture. We believe that arts and cultural education is not only the spark that creates the artists, performers, makers and curators of the future, but that it is essential for children’s quality of life. Taking part in excellent cultural education enables children to make meaning, discover connections with others, find and develop their unique talents, and build the confidence, resilience and transferable skills that set them up for life. CBNE collaborates with organisations across the North East and beyond to champion culture and the arts as vital parts of childhood.

Arts Council England funds 10 Bridges across England, all of which are tasked with the strategic development of arts and cultural education by, with and for children and young people. CBNE is managed by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and based at the Discovery Museum in Newcastle. Currently funded until April 2022, we are working towards our vision through a range of partnership development, information sharing, CPD programmes and investment. 

The purpose of the Advisory Board is to:

  • Broker local and regional strategic connections for Area Managers and Local Cultural Education Partnership chairs (e.g. with Local Authorities, LEPs)
  • Make decisions about the awarding of Partnership Investment
  • Be custodians of CBNE’s Values, providing challenge and support to staff on the basis of these
  • Scrutinise CBNE’s plans, evaluation and reporting to ensure agreed objectives and funding criteria are met
  • Champion the work of CBNE to stakeholders and networks
  • Provide advice to the CBNE staff team on the strategic direction of the programme

CBNE’s Values are:

  1. We value diversity, through our commitment to TWAM’s Equality Action Plan and to the Creative Case for Diversity.
  2. We take a long term view, keeping legacy and sustainability central to all of our work.
  3. We build the capacity of our stakeholders across the region, by adopting a non-protectionist approach which allows our delivery partners to grow their expertise and strategic relationships.
  4. We build positive relationships, by being friendly and helpful.
  5. We engender trust, by being transparent and clear about our remit.
  6. We create programmes which are relevant and responsive, by seeking and acting upon the input of our stakeholders.
  7. We create programmes which are high quality, by carefully planning and evaluating our work.
  8. We communicate clearly, using understandable and appropriate language for all of our stakeholders.

The role of the Chair

The Chair sets the tone for our Advisory Board, and therefore for the whole of CBNE. We’re looking for a Chair who is passionate about the potential of cultural education to change children’s lives for the better, who can provide leadership within our Advisory Board, and who can represent CBNE as an ambassador and spokesperson.

Advisory Board Chair role description

Strategic leadership:

  • Developing and providing leadership
  • Ensuring board members are fully engaged that decisions are taken in the best interests of CBNE
  • Acting as an ambassador and spokesperson for CBNE


  • Chairing meetings of the Board effectively and efficiently, bringing impartiality and objectivity to the decision-making process
  • Working closely with the Programme Manager and other relevant staff to ensure that meetings are well planned, that agendas cover the necessary areas for consideration, and that discussions are supported by appropriate and informative papers and reports
  • Ensuring all Board members understand their roles and responsibilities
  • Reviewing membership of the Board to ensure it incorporates the right balance of skills, knowledge and expertise required to deliver its role


  • Working closely with the Programme Manager and other relevant staff to explore approaches to and opportunities for the Board to support CBNE in its work, particularly in Local Cultural Education Partnerships and Partnership Investment
  • Broker strategic connections for Area Managers and Local Cultural Education Partnerships
  • Ensuring CBNE plans strategically for the long-term benefit of cultural education in the North East

Advisory Board Chair person specification


  • High level of personal credibility and leadership
  • Strong understanding and extensive experience of results-focused performance
  • Working at a senior/influential level with multiple stakeholders
  • Working to a high standard of behaviour, demonstrating honesty and the highest level of integrity in conduct


  • Chairing skills: ability to organise, co-ordinate and follow through on key decisions; manage competing or differing views, and positively challenge to achieve the desired outcome
  • Strong networking skills with well-established links to networks which are beneficial to the aims of CBNE
  • Strong interpersonal skills with tact and diplomacy and capable of effective conflict resolution
  • Assertive clear thinking and able to negotiate
  • Strong strategic awareness and ability to identify opportunities and ‘open doors’
  • Excellent communication skills, able to represent CBNE effectively in the public arena
  • Ability to be objective, independent and impartial


  • Knowledge of the North East’s cultural, education, political and business infrastructure with an ability to command respect amongst regional stakeholders and national decision-makers in the public and private sectors


  • Demonstrate a strong passion and commitment to the vision and objectives of CBNE
  • Able and willing to devote the necessary time to the role

Time commitment

The Advisory Board meets four times per year in the early evening for two hours per meeting, with the Partnership Investment sub group meeting in the afternoons of the same day. The chair will be expected to devote adequate time to preparation for board meetings and appropriate research and planning. Board members are invited to take part in CBNE events in between meetings. Upcoming meetings are scheduled on 18 July and 25 October 2018, and 29 January 2019.


CBNE is committed to working with as wide as possible a range of people in the North East and beyond. We believe that in order to be able to ensure that our activity and our audiences are as diverse as they can be we need a diverse board. We will seek to ensure diversity on the board and welcome applications from all. We are happy to review our procedures, meeting venues, times etc to meet members’ access requirements.


This is a voluntary position. Travel expenses can be provided.

Application process

To apply, please send your CV and a covering letter outlining your interest in the role and skills against the person specification to Elvie Thompson by midday on Monday 18 June 2018. For an informal discussion please contact Elvie Thompson, Programme Manager, on the email address above or by telephoning 0191 277 2166.

CBNE Advisory Board Chair information pack