Thursday, April 18, 2024

New boss for National College for Creative and Cultural Industries announced

ALTHEA Efunshile, currently Deputy Chief Executive of Arts Council England, will take on a new role as Chair for the first ever government- backed National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries.

Althea has been Deputy Chief Executive of Arts Council England (ACE) for over three years, and a member of ACE’s Executive Board for almost a decade. During that time, she has been responsible for the organisation’s strategies to invest in the country’s arts and culture and day to day operational delivery.

Prior to working at ACE, Althea held very senior executive positions within local and national government, including as Executive Director for Education & Culture in the London Borough of Lewisham, and as Director of various groups successively within the Department of Education. All these positions were concerned with improving the education and well-being of children and young people, in particular those facing disadvantage and exclusion.

The National College was founded by Creative & Cultural Skills on behalf of a consortium of employers and industry organisations including Live Nation, Royal Opera House, BBC, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Royal Exchange, National Theatre, Ambassadors Theatre Group, White Light, BECTU and the Association of British Theatre Technicians. It will provide specialist training in the technical skills needed by the creative and cultural industries.

Upon accepting the position, Althea said: “I look forward to contributing to a much improved pipeline of young people, with the necessary talent and industry- focussed skills, for the sustained buoyancy and increased diversity of the sector.”

Speaking for the selection panel, Pauline Tambling CBE, CEO of Creative & Cultural Skills said, “We are delighted to welcome Althea as our founding Chair. She is an experienced leader with a proven record of delivery in the creative and cultural sector, and an obvious passion for furthering the interests and needs of young people.”

In addition to Althea, the initial Board members for The National College for the Creative and Cultural Industries will be Kim Bromley-Derry, Chief Executive of the London Borough of Newham; James Jefferson, Executive Creative Director at Equator; Catherine Large, Director of Strategic Relationships at Ofqual; and Bryan Raven, Managing Director of White Light.

The Principal of the National College was recently announced to be Jane Button, Director of Learning at Lambeth College.

The National College will welcome its first students in September 2016 to study a new Level 4 Professional Diploma in Technical and Production. The first term will be in collaboration with Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures & Re:Bourne as the company will be resident at High House Production Park in the Autumn making a major large-scale new work for UK and international touring. Applications are now open at

On 19th May 2016, The Backstage Centre hosted Technical Arts open evening for young people and parents to find out more about technical and production careers, including studying at The National College. The evening was a great success, and a further event is planned for June 2016 (date tba).

The National College’s Technical and Production Professional Diploma is designed to equip students for a job as a technician in any theatre, music or live events venue in the country. After one year, students will be able to start a career working behind-the-scenes in theatres and at gigs, concerts and live events, contributing to lighting, sound and production management.

In March 2016 it was announced there will be a new £9 million building project at High House Production Park. The new investment will include new residential accommodation which will open up National College opportunities to students from all parts of the UK and internationally. This is due to open in 2018.


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