About us

Our vision is to become an international centre of excellence for creative industries-led growth

About Us

High House Production Park is the result long term collaboration between the Royal Opera House, Creative & Cultural Skills, ACME Studios ,Thurrock Council, Arts Council England, together with the departments of Business Innovation and Skills, Communities and Local Government and their agencies.

The first phase of development of the fourteen acre site, its heritage buildings and public park, was completed in 2010 with the opening of the Royal Opera House's Bob and Tamar Manoukian Set Production workshop. This was followed in 2013, by the launch of Creative &Cultural Skills' Backstage Centre, a world class production, rehearsal and training venue for performance, broadcast and live events. ACME Studios opened the High House Artists Studios in October 2013, a new building that reflects the latest thinking in creative workspace.

In 2011, High House Production Park Ltd transferred from the public sector into the charitable sector and is now led by a Board of Trustees and a small executive team.

Our Role

High House Production Park is a new charity established to support an international centre of excellence for creative industries in Thurrock that will inspire a new generation. We work in partnership with the Royal Opera House, Creative & Cultural Skills, ACME Studios and Thurrock Council to :

  • Develop a shared vision and strategy for the production park
  • Broker wider relationships and resources to advance joint   priorities
  • Champion the work and achievements of High House Production Park.

Board of Trustees

  • Alex Beard (Chair)

    Alex Beard is Chair of the High House Production Park and Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House.

    Prior to his arrival in September 2013, Alex was Deputy Director at Tate since 2002 having started there as Finance Director in 1994.

    At Tate, Alex had particular responsibility for the business activities, resource management and audience development initiatives, as well as leading on their capital programme and government relations.  Previously he was at the Arts Council for seven years.

  • Neville Baldwin

    Neville Baldwin is a Chartered Surveyor with a career spanning some 45 years in the private and public sector.

    He was formally an Executive Director for Community Services with Thurrock Council and amongst other things was involved with developing the cultural and regeneration agenda for which HHPP became a part.

    In recent years Neville has been providing consultancy services to the private and public sectors on a variety of issues including developing Voluntary and Community sector strategies, asset management and business planning.

  • Paul Shadarevian

    Paul Shadarevian was called to the Bar of Gray’s Inn in 1984 after fulfilling a two year appointment as Senior Research Officer at the University of Essex, Department of Government (in which post he was responsible for the SSRC’s research into the effectiveness of major public inquiries as a means of governmental decision advice procedure, using the Third London Airport Inquiry, Stansted as a case study).

    Since then he has practised as both a solicitor and a barrister. In 1986 he joined the leading City firm, Norton Rose, becoming a partner in 1991. Since 1997 he has practised as a barrister specialising in planning, local government and compulsory purchase and is regarded as one of the leading barristers in his field.

  • Graham Farrant

    Graham Farrant is the joint Chief Executive at Thurrock and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham, the first such arrangement between a London Borough and a Unitary Council.Graham has over 25 years' experience in local authorities, starting as an Environmental Health Officer at Westminster in 1982.

    A graduate of Brunel University where he secured an MSc in Environmental Pollution Science and the University of Greenwich (BSc, Environmental Health), Graham knows both areas very well, having been brought up nearby.

  • Andy Swarbrick

    Andy Swarbrick has been a partner with Deloitte (and predecessor firm) for most of his career, having joined the company following graduation from Reading University with a degree in French.

    He has led a specialist team providing audit, accounting, tax and advisory services to a wide range of smaller businesses including hi-tech, life sciences, manufacturers, professional practices and charities.

    He has also been heavily involved in the management of Deloitte’s own practice, holding a number of roles culminating in being senior partner of the Cambridge office for 7 years until 2008. He steps down from the firm after 39 years in May 2014. Andy currently holds a number of trustee positions in the cultural and wider voluntary sector.

  • Clare Ruby

    Clare Ruby is the Director of Operations for International Broadcasting Convention (IBC) and oversees all operational aspects of IBC events and provides clear and strong leadership to the Operations and Conference Teams.

    She considers fiscal and operational efficiencies which can be implemented across the organisation, and works with all stakeholders to apply creative and innovative concepts to IBC’s portfolio of events.

  • Tunde Ojetola

    Tunde Ojetola won his first election in the South Chafford Ward after the boundary rearrangement in 2004. After being re-elected with an increased majority in 2006, Tunde became a Cabinet portfolio holder, with responsibility for Customer Service, ICT, and E-government.

    In 2001 as a resident of Purfleet, Tunde joined the initial drive to establish the Purfleet Community Forum, co-drafting the initial constitution of the Forum and sitting on the Executive Board.

  • Rosalind Johnson

    Rosalind Johnson is the director and co-founder of “A Different View”, an international consulting firm that helps visitor attractions and cultural organisations develop compelling visitor experiences. The company advises national museums and heritage sites, national funding bodies and those looking to build and develop new attractions.

    She works and speaks internationally and enjoys building partnerships and motivating others to succeed.

  • James Heaton

    James Heaton is Deputy Director of Operations at the Roundhouse; a theatre, music venue and creative education centre in Camden, north-west London. His background is in business/operational management and commercial services, having managed catering and conference services for Goldsmiths, University of London before leaving to open an independent bar and dining room in south-east London.

    He joined the Roundhouse in August 2008, where he is responsible for the general running of the venues, production logistics, bars and the site's acclaimed restaurant, Made in Camden.

    James holds a Bachelor of Music (BMus) from Goldsmiths and is currently enrolled upon Edinburgh Business School's MBA programme.

  • John Kent

    John Kent is the Leader of Thurrock Council, he was educated entirely in the borough, leaving school in the early 1980s to start a four-year apprenticeship with a print company in the East End of London.

    He went on to spend 16 years working with a renowned printing organisation in The City of London before concentrating on politics full time. John became a councillor — for the then Grays Town ward — in 1993 and has represented Grays ever since. He became leader of the opposition group in 2004 and Leader of the Council in 2010.

  • Sue Macpherson

    Sue Macpherson, a Thurrock Councillor for nine years, achieved her English degree through the Open University at the age of 40. Following her years as a professional actress has now opened her own theatre school in Grays.

    Having just launched the first ever Thurrock Speech and Drama Festival, Sue works to encourage good speech in children to provide them with the best opportunities for the future. As an entrepreneur, she also owns her own lettings and estate agency.

  • Jonathan Harvey

    Jonathan Harvey is Chief Executive of Acme Studios, England’s leading affordable artists’ studio provider, founded with David Panton in 1972. He studied Fine Art at Reading University and Chelsea School of Art. He was Director of The Acme Gallery (1976-1981) in Covent Garden, an artist-centred space known for its uncompromising approach to the presentation of installation and performance work.

    In 1977, he co-founded TSW-Television South West and working as their Arts Consultant co-organised the public art projects, TSWA 3D (1987) and TSWA’s Four Cities Projects (1990). He was Chairman of Arnolfini, Bristol (1993-2006) and a founding trustee (2006-2011) of the National Federation of Artists’ Studios Providers. Jonathan, and David Panton, were awarded OBEs in the New Year 2014 Honours List, for services to the arts.

  • Pauline Tambling

    Pauline Tambling is Joint CEO of Creative & Cultural Skills, the skills council for the creative and cultural industries, including the National Skills Academy for the sector. Pauline set up the National Skills Academy Creative & Cultural in 2009.

    She previously worked at Arts Council England (1998 – 2007) in five senior roles with a wide range of responsibilities and led several major initiatives. Pauline was Head of Education at the Royal Opera House from 1983 to 1997 where she was responsible for a wide ranging education programme of schools performances, events and projects.

    Pauline is a member of the Clore Leadership Programme Management Committee, Chair of Shape (an arts and disability organisation), Board member of Drama UK and Chair of the da Vinci Studio School for Creative Enterprise. Previously she was a governor of the University for the Creative Arts, member of the arts committee of St George's Healthcare Trust and trustee of Shakespeare Schools Festival.

Executive Team

  • Andrea Stark, Chief Executive

    Andrea is the first Chief Executive of High House Production Park.

    Previously a member of the National Executive Board of Arts Council England, with responsibility for South East England and for its national work to shape wider public policy.

    During her tenure as Chief Executive of Eastern Arts Board, she devised an investment strategy that generated over 125 million pounds for a series of world class arts centres.

    As arts chief for Dundee City Council and the City of Sunderland , Andrea led major regeneration programmes that positioned the arts as a driver of economic development.

    After completing postgraduate studies at University of Birmingham, Andrea's early career was in youth and community theatre .

  • Paul Hellen , Operations Manager

    Paul joined High House Production Park as its Operations Manager in 2011. He is responsible for the smooth running of the Production Park and works closely with its tenant partners to achieve this.

    Prior to HHPP, Paul worked for Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation. As Finance and Administration Manager for the Association of British Insurers, Paul worked in the capital for eighteen years.

  • Claire Smith, Finance and Administration Officer

    Claire Smith joined High House Production Park as the Finance and Administration officer in 2012, assisting Paul with operations and events, but also dealing with the day to day administration and finances.

    Claire has a strong finance background of 15 years, and has worked for some great organisations such as National Westminster bank, Reebok Sports Club, Lift Components and Coe Vintners.