Stephen was born and spent his early life in South Wales. Having studied at both the Universities of London and Paris, he began his career as a professional classical singer, touring internationally and recording widely, and held positions as a Gentleman of the Chapel Royal and a Lay Clerk of Manchester Cathedral.
His first role in the cultural sector was at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, as part of the small team working on the £36 million restoration and redevelopment of the world-renowned church, classical music venue and centre for social care. His next role took him to Manchester as Head of Development at Manchester Camerata before joining The Lowry in 2007. During his time at the landmark cross-arts venue, Stephen progressed from Development Director to Deputy Chief Executive, leading a number of major programmes including the venue’s award-winning Learning & Engagement programme and securing ‘Arts Charity of the Year’ at the National Charity Awards for The Lowry in 2015; developing and establishing Quays Culture, the critically-acclaimed outdoor digital arts programme on MediaCityUK; and raising £5.5million to enable The Lowry’s 2020 Capital Project.
Stephen was appointed Chief Executive of Norwich Theatre Royal in August 2016 leading all aspects of the theatre’s work both artistic and commercial, including Norwich Playhouse and a landmark new Learning & Participation facility, Stage Two. Stephen is also Vice Chair of the Albert Kennedy Trust, a Trustee of Manchester Pride, a Director of Blackpool Grand Theatre and The Touring Partnership and a Board Member of Maggie’s Manchester.
Angela Robson graduated from Exeter in 1982. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant in London in 1985 and then moved into investment banking, working for JP Morgan and then Goldman Sachs.
In 2003, Angela left the City to move to Norfolk and is now Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Norwich University of the Arts.
Angela is also a Non-Executive Director of the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital and a Director of the Diocesan Finance Board.
Brenda has lived and worked in Norwich since 1969. While she trained as a scientist working at the Food Research Institute, her career path changed once her two sons were born. Following involvement with the Spinney Youth and Community Centre she moved on to become a community worker in Norwich. This led to the opportunity to become the City’s Activities promoter for the Retired and then four years later to becoming Chief Executive of Age Concern Norwich, a post she held for 17 years.
Brenda retired in 2007 since when she has taken on a number of volunteer roles including chairing the newly formed Norwich Carbon Reduction Trust, being on the board of Norwich Consolidated Charities and being a trustee and acting Chair of NELM. From January until mid March 2008 listeners to BBC Radio Norfolk may have heard her as the resident Agony Aunt where she was able to apply her love of campaigning and fighting for justice in helping people with consumer issues and the occasional matter of the heart!
A former Sheriff of Norwich Brenda has an understanding of both the very positive side of Norwich life but is also aware of the challenges which still face the city in terms of education and training and addressing the deprivation which still exists. Brenda was elected as a city councillor in May 2007 and went straight onto the cabinet taking the portfolio for Housing and Adult Services. She was elected as Deputy Leader in September 2010, Leader in May 2011 and was The Lord Mayor of Norwich in 2015. She was recently appointed as Chair of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
Charlotte Crawley is an Art Historian who lives in Hunworth near Holt.
Born in Norwich, after studying Art History at Cambridge University and The Courtauld Institute in London, she worked for five years at Windsor Castle looking after the Royal Collection of Drawings and Prints. Charlotte recently retired as the Director of the East Anglia Art Fund, an art charity based at Norwich Castle; she also lectures on art and gardens and has travelled widely. For over twenty years Charlotte has served as a Parish Councillor and on the Norfolk Committee of the Art Fund.
As well as being a Trustee of the Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Charlotte is also a Church Warden, a Parish Councillor, Deputy Lieutenant for Norfolk and a long-standing member of the Art Fund Committee for Norfolk. She is also a keen tennis player and gardener, an opera enthusiast and a cook. Charlotte is married to Henry, a retired GP, and they have three children in their twenties.
(Charlotte worked part-time for the Theatre Royal between 1996 and 1997, co-ordinating The Ring special events programme).
Born in North Island, New Zealand, TV Master Chef Chris Coubrough has worked in some of the finest kitchens in the world before finally settling in Norfolk 15 years ago with his wife and 2 children.
Chris owns some of the most popular gastro-pubs in north Norfolk including The Crown Hotel Wells-next-the-Sea and The Ship in Brancaster.
Amongst them they have an increasing list of notable awards and achievements including Best Gastropub, Best Freehouse, Best Turnaround Site for East Anglia in The Great British Pub, Norfolk Dining Pub of The Year, in the prestigious Good Pub Guide to name but a few.
Growing up on an isolated farm where if they wanted to eat something they had to grow it first, Chris soon realised he had a natural flair with food and took a three year cookery course before winning the New Zealand Trade Board’s Swiss Scholarship which sent him to Michelin starred cooking in The Hotel Hirschen on Lake Zurich and later to Bern. Continuing his world travels Chris moved to London, cooking at Frederick’s restaurant in Islington for two years, before moving to Southwold in Suffolk, where for eight years he ran the kitchens of the well-known Adnams hotels, The Crown and The Swan before in 2003 moving to Norfolk and opening his first Hotel, The Crown Hotel in Wells-next-the-Sea. His natural and confident manner meant he was talent spotted during a cooking demonstration in 2006 and his easy camera presence meant he was soon presenting the highly rated Coastal Kitchen (ITV Anglia) as well as appearing on Eating for Britain (Channel 4) and Market Kitchen (UKTV). In August Chris re-visited Greenland to film his fourth food and travel programme ‘A Taste of Greenland’.
Han Yang Yap
Han Yang Yap practiced as a solicitor in Singapore and Hong Kong before heading the Asia Legal Department for global information and news provider Reuters.
Having pursued a successful legal career for more than 15 years, he then re-trained as an East Asian art historian and then became the main tutor for the Chinese module of the Diploma in Asian Art at the School of Oriental and African Studies. Han Yang is currently restoring Elsing Hall, a 15th century house and garden in Norfolk.
Born and educated in Norwich, and then Queens’ College Cambridge, Michelle worked in publishing in London and Norwich before joining Jarrold Retail Division in 1990 . In her role as Development Director she has been closely involved in recent years in the repositioning and redevelopment of the London Street department store, winner of the Drapers Independent Department Store of the Year in 2001 and 2004, and voted Times Readers Favourite Department Store in 2010.
She has been on the Main Board of Jarrold and Sons Limited since 2002 and is also currently a Board Member of the UK buying group Associated Independent Stores. Michelle is married with two children and her interests include travel, theatre, choral singing, skiing and tennis.
Michael Newey (Chairman)
Michael has been the Group Chief Executive of Broadland Housing since May 2003. He is ex-officio member of the Board and Executive Chair of Broadland St Benedicts Limited.
Michael has worked in the affordable housing sector since 1997, having previously worked for Flagship Housing Group and Anglia Housing Group. Prior to 1997 Michael worked as a Chartered Surveyor in private practice in London, working for Richard Ellis and Savills.
In 2013/2014 Michael was the President of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, the global professional body for those working in land, property and the built environment.
Michael, a graduate in Urban Land Administration from Portsmouth Polytechnic, is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Housing and is also a Member of the Australasian Housing institute. He is a Visiting Fellow of the Royal Agricultural University at Cirencester and has previously been an External Examiner at Oxford Brookes, Glasgow Caledonian and Portsmouth Universities.
Tessa is Chairman at Howes Percival LLP, and also heads up the Commercial Property department, specialising in landlord and tenant work, sales and purchases, joint ventures and funding arrangements. She originally came to Norwich in 1990 to do a law degree at the University of East Anglia, and never properly left!
Tessa has been with Howes Percival since 1998. Tessa lives in Ringland with her husband Mark Scott, and their daughter Georgina. In her free time, she likes going to the theatre (of course), doing yoga, walking and gardening.
Tom’s family have lived in Hoveton, Norfolk for generations and he recently took over the running of the Estate from his father Sir John Blofeld. He is married to Leslie, a film journalist and they have a son, Rufus and a very recent daughter, Eve. Previous to dreaming up the concept of BeWILDerwood Tom had a ‘maverick’ career.• He ran his own company ‘Templestone’ fire surrounds for 12 years
• He was a Curator at the Courtauld Institute
• By his own admission a bad art dealer
• and also a one time worker at McDonalds.
Tom has always had a sense of fun and together with a passionate interest in Children’s literature and a dream of having his own book published, ‘A Boggle at BeWILDerwood’, and BeWILDerwood could be said to be that dream come true. Tom is a founding member of Visit East Anglia, an organisation funded by the private sector to promote tourism across East Anglia. Tom is also Vice President of Autism Anglia.
Steve is an experienced marketing professional who has the rare distinction of having set up successful agencies in both the offline and online space. His current agency, Further, is a Norfolk-based digital marketing specialist which provides strategies and campaigns for regional, national and global clients.
Further is now regarded as a leading UK search, social and content marketing specialist and has worked with brands including the British Film Institute, Anglian Water, Expedia, AVG, Archant, UEA, Mazda, British Safety Council and Beko.
A graduate in Business Studies & Marketing, Steve started his agency career as an Advertising Copywriter before taking up Creative Director roles, winning industry awards for press, poster and radio campaigns.
Now, with digital and traditional marketing experience under his belt, Steve’s client involvement sees him advising on brand and marketing strategies in his own no-nonsense way.
Away from the office, Steve is married with a son and daughter in their early twenties – and lists his loves as travelling, horseracing, live music and comedy. (Oh and spicy food!)
Stephen is the Norfolk County Council (NCC) representative on the board. He has been a member of NCC since 2013 and of Breckland District Council since 2003. He has lived and worked in Norfolk all his life where he runs the family farm at Old Buckenham along with his brother.
Stephen developed an instant love for acting and the theatre after taking the role of two of the Ghosts in the school production of A Christmas Carol in the late 70's. He has been involved in many productions with groups in Norwich and South Norfolk including the Theatre Royal Studio Theatre Company and is a frequent visitor to both the Theatre Royal and Norwich Playhouse
Stephen is delighted to represent NCC on the Board of Trustees.