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Gavin Cleary is CEO of Locate in Kent, the official inward investment agency for Kent and Medway. Before taking up the post, he ran an economic development consultancy focused on the financial services sector, working with Fintech businesses to support growth on a global scale. Prior to this, Gavin built invaluable expertise in foreign direct investment and international trade, working with clients across Europe, the United States, South America and Asia. He also acted on behalf of UK Trade & Investment, leading a team focused on achieving a significant increase in investment and trade for the financial and professional services sectors.


Ian Lewis is Executive Director of Opportunity South Essex (OSE). Ian started his career as a Civil Engineer, working in both the public and private sector, working across a range of highway, transport and coastal projects. In 2006, he took the opportunity to move into Economic Development and Regeneration and has led a number of projects across Kent and Essex. He has been actively involved with South Essex since 2015. Ian achieved a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Warwick in 2011.


Jon Linstrum is Senior Relationship Manager at Arts Council England and lead for Creative Estuary alongside other projects across the South East area.  He has extensive experience at Arts Council and has previously worked in outdoor events, public realm installations, theatre and international performing arts touring.


Lauren Gindre leads on Placemaking in the Mayor of London’s Culture and Creative Industries team at the GLA. She is responsible for supporting the delivery of Mayoral programmes that embed cultural infrastructure in new developments to deliver good growth, such as the Thames Estuary Production Corridor, East Bank and the Royal Docks. Prior to moving to London in 2017, Lauren worked for two Mayors of Paris as Cultural Advisor. She is a lecturer in Comparative Cultural Policies at Sciences Po Paris.


Matthew Norwell is Chief Executive of the Thames Gateway Kent Partnership. He has worked for different local authorities, including Greenwich and Westminster City Council, and in central government. At Greenwich, Matthew was Director of Environment and Community Safety, with over 1600 staff and an annual budget of £250m. Matthew led Greenwich’s Olympic “City Operations” function in 2012, and delivered an employment brokerage scheme, creating over 300 jobs. Matthew is a Man of Kent and after 20 years away, returned to live there in 2016.


Paul Cowell is Head of Culture and Libraries at Medway Council, integrating community needs, business strategy and commercial requirements to develop sustainable models, that have collaboration, quality and ambition at their heart. Paul is Founder of the London Events Forum, ex-trustee at Attitude is Everything, member of Events Industry Forum and mentor at Arts Emergency.


Stephanie Humphries is Knowledge Exchange Manager – Digital, Creative, and Cultural at the University of Essex. She has a professional background in higher education policy and leadership of creative businesses. Stephanie facilitates new and innovative collaborations between the creative industries and experts at the University of Essex.


Sue Jones is Artistic Director and CEO of Cement Fields. She has 25 years experience of leading publicly funded organisations, working with artists to create ambitious and ground-breaking new artworks. In 2006, Sue joined Whitstable Biennale, an award winning and internationally acclaimed festival exploring contemporary film and performance within the visual arts. She established the festival as one of the most important showcases for new and experimental work in the UK. Previously she was Curator, and Director, of Chisenhale Gallery in east London. Sue is an Honorary Fellow of The School of Arts, University of Kent.


Laurence Taylor has over fifteen years’ experience delivering creative projects through consultancy, producing & project management, specialising in commissions, collaboration, participatory projects & art in the public realm. His work involves supporting the development of artists, and facilitating situations in which artists and communities can express their own voice. He is driven by an interest in people; specifically, ideas of agency, equality and self-determination. He is a co-founder & former co-director of Open School East, a trustee of Southwark Park Galleries and a trustee of Canterbury & District Samaritans.


Jennifer Yard has extensive experience in brand, marketing and place making in the cultural sector and visitor economy. This has included roles in some of London’s most well-loved visitor attractions including the Natural History Museum, Kew Gardens and London Zoo as well as Somerset House, Royal Academy of Art, Visit Kent and Dreamland Margate.


Laura Bailey is Cultural Development Manager at Ebbsfleet Development Corporation. Laura has worked across the culture sector for the past 19 years, from photography and music to heritage and arts, within the corporate, public and charity sectors. She has developed a career out of her love and fascination with people and culture, accumulating experience in strategic, policy-based roles, and direct delivery at the heart of communities. Her primary interests are around the transformative power of creativity on personal and collective wellbeing and the role of culture in inclusive growth and placemaking. Laura is a creative thinker who thrives on collaboration and approaches her work with a genuine desire to make a difference.


Lorraine Cox is an experienced Cultural Strategist specialising in regeneration and committed to community engagement. Lorraine has worked for and with local authorities; in the housing sector for Peabody Trust; and led policy work at Arts Council England.  She has experience of commissioning artists to make work for public places; set-up artist studios; led cultural services at local level; curated large-scale events and festivals; and refurbished historic buildings for cultural use.  Lorraine is on the board of three high quality artist-led organisations in London.


Shane Forster is Skills Development Manager for Re:Generation 2031. Shane has worked within the Youth Justice System for the last 12 years supporting young people to unlock their potential and make a real difference within their community through Education and Employment opportunities. He is looking to transfer these skills and Champion the next generation of creative talent and future leaders within Kent & South Essex. Shane believes that all young people deserve the opportunities to succeed.


Thea Behrman is Senior Project Manager for Estuary 2021, working for Metal. Thea’s focus is on developing collaborations to realise artistic ideas capable of creating exciting experiences for the broadest possible audience. She works with a diverse range of people in order to provide opportunities for artists, and grow creative talent and opportunities across the Estuary region.