Meet our Trustees

Keeping art, culture and heritage at the heart of our region

The Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums Development Trust is TWAM's charitable trust. It performs an essential role in our fundraising which supports the running of our nine venues, caring for our 1.1million collections and delivering our community and learning programmes.  

The trustees bring a wealth of experience to support our fundraising work and to open up new networks and opportunities to support TWAM's future success.

Phil Kite - Chair of TWAM Development Trust

Phil Kite, Chair of TWAM Development Trust

Phil started his career as a Chartered Accountant and has over 30 years’ experience leading innovative engineering businesses, as Managing Director and CEO. He has played an active role in championing the North East in a variety of roles that included chairing the NE Advisory Board of Make UK, the business organisation supporting UK manufacturing.

In 2019 Phil led a team that competed in the 3,000-mile Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, known as the world’s toughest row, achieving a world record for a mixed four. In 2023 he completed his second row across the Atlantic in aid of the mental health charity Veterans at Ease.

He is now a mentor to other business leaders and an event keynote speaker, as well as owner of the Adventurers Drinks Company.

When asked why he wanted to get involved with TWAM Phil said: 

I felt it was an opportunity to continue to contribute and champion the North East in an area which holds a particular interest - art, culture and heritage. Running TWAM isn’t without cost and funds are needed to keep the facilities fully operational, helping us care for our artefacts, expand our educational offerings and inspire future generations. Recent experience has highlighted to me the challenges faced by charities when it comes to fundraising and this is one area in which I hope I can help TWAM achieve its goals. 

TWAM is more than just responsible for storing and recording our cultural heritage. It is its role in sharing that information that makes it so important. As a society we need to learn from the past, understand how we became who we are, which in turn can only help us have a better tomorrow. It is important that everyone has the opportunity to share that experience, to engage with our past through viewing artefacts and learning how different cultures have shaped who we are today. I have a particular interest in innovation, which I believe is very much alive and kicking in the region. TWAM holds so many examples, generated in the North East, which can only inspire future generations. 

John Holmes - Trustee & Chairman of Bernicia Group

John Holmes, Trustee

John joined Bernicia Group in 2018 and was appointed Group Chair in 2019. In the past, John has sat on several boards across the region, including Northumberland College and Ouseburn Farm. Previous roles include Kielder Observatory (Operations Director), Durham Cathedral (Head of Property), Tyne & Wear Development Corporation, and Home Group. John was also previously director of One North East, Passionate People and Passionate Places campaign.

John is currently also a Trustee of Live Theatre.

“I’m committed to celebrating the rich heritage and legacy of the region, looking forward with optimism to the part that North East people and resources can play in the country’s future economic recovery and growth. The outreach which TWAM provides to schools, colleges and communities is invaluable to encourage, stimulate and engage people of all ages and abilities. TWAM is perfectly placed to provide a powerful regional art, cultural and heritage offer and to promote the value of the sector. I will support this by adding and sharing my own experience and networks developed over many years. 

“I enjoy visits to the Laing and the Great North Museum, particularly special exhibitions which play such a significant role in the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of the region.” 

Helen Cadzow - Trustee & CEO, Cadzow Estates 

Helen Cadzow, Trustee, TWAM DT

Helen has over 30 years' experience as an investor and senior management advisor across the private, public, and charity sectors in the UK and internationally with a key focus on new market strategy. She is currently CEO of Cadzow Estates, Co-founder and Director of Geek Talent, and Non-Executive Director of Modobloc, Rolton Group, and SPS Microgrids.

As well as being a being a Trustee for TWAM Development Trust, Helen also sits on TWAM Strategic Board as an Independent Member, TWAM Audit Committee, TWAM Enterprises Ltd & Exhibitions by TWAM.

I am honoured to be a Trustee of TWAM and support all of the amazing work that they do in education and outreach into all areas of our community. At times like now it is even more important to celebrate our heritage and culture to give us the strength and courage to keep looking forward to a more positive future.” 

Anna McCready - Trustee & Investment Manager / Assistant Director, RBC Brewin Dolphin

Anna McCreedy, Trustee, TWAM DT

Anna is Investment Manager and Assistant Director at RBC Brewin Dolphin, with a wealth of experience in managing portfolios for charities, pension funds and families. She began her career in Edinburgh where she gained experience in equity and fund research. Anna is also a keen potter, and has an interest in ceramics alongside fine and contemporary art.

We are so fortunate to have these world-class venues and collections on our doorstep, which are open to the widest possible audience. I recently heard TWAM described as the ‘story keepers’ of the North East and that really resonated with me.  It’s so important to celebrate art, culture and heritage, and to create spaces where families can learn and have fun together.We know that art, culture and heritage are key in promoting quality of life for individuals and communities, and it would be incredibly sad if future generations did not have the same opportunities.” 

Christine Holland - Trustee

Christine Holland, Trustee, TWAM DT

Christine is a trustee of Citizens Advice Northumberland as well as TWAM. She owned a successful PR and marketing company for over 30 years and was a member of the North East of England Chamber of Commerce's Council, advising on policy, for many years. She also represented the Chamber in education and environmental matters as a member and sat on the Bank of England panel representing SMEs.

“TWAM’s dedication to preserving and enriching the history, culture and innovation that hallmarks the region is hugely important to me. Its values of inclusion and aspiration mirror my own passion for celebrating and opening up opportunities to enjoy the best of the North East. It has the national reputation to attract extraordinary exhibitions and funding to help break down barriers and encourage visitors, and that aspiration is key to its future success. Times are tricky, and we all need to encourage friends, colleagues and the wider community to join us in contributing to support culture.” 

Charlotte Windebank - Trustee & Co-Founder: First Network 

Charlotte Windebank, Trustee, TWAM DT

Charlotte holds the position of Managing Director and co-founder at FIRST, an accredited agency specialising in learning and development, with a focus on empowering enterprise skills and entrepreneurship. Her work, in partnership with government agencies, employers, educational institutions, and community groups, has been pivotal in creating accredited programmes, workshops, consultancy, and events designed to inspire confidence, self-belief, and motivation. These initiatives aim to provide learners with fair opportunities to transition into relevant education, secure employment, or start their own resilient businesses.

Established in response to the notable challenges of high unemployment and low start-up rates in North East England a decade ago, FIRST's efforts have since included notable projects like the Startup Awards North East and offering Level 1 & 2 qualifications in enterprise.

Beyond her role at FIRST, Charlotte actively contributes to the broader community and business ecosystem. She serves as the vice-chair of the Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums Development Trust and is a board member of Women North East Connected, advocating for the representation and success of underrepresented groups in the business sector. Her contributions have been recognised with the Innovate UK Women in Innovation Award.

Charlotte's educational achievements include graduating with an Executive MBA from Newcastle University, with a research focus on sustainable growth and social value, which underscores her commitment to integrating these principles into her work and the wider economy.

"TWAM’s museums and galleries are sanctuaries and safe spaces for individuals. They offer healthy escapism and mental stimulation that can bring calm to people’s chaotic lives. I love looking at the inspirational women in business wall at Discovery Museum - a physical reminder of the great achievements our people have had – it makes people feel like they belong.TWAM is us, it’s our minds, actions and achievements, if we don’t contribute to the sustainability of the spaces, objects, archives and programmes then we lose our identity as a region and as individuals.”