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Ben to lead City of Dreams

12th June 2017

We are excited to announce that NGCV has appointed Ben Dickenson as Executive Producer for City of Dreams, our new, ambitious, culture-led programme for children and young people in NewcastleGateshead.  He will be joining NGCV in September from The Children's Society, where he is responsible for developing and implementing their strategic vision and plan for the region, as well as major programmes promoting positive outcomes for children and young people across the North East. 

Kate Edwards, Chief Executive of Seven Stories and Chair of NGCV explained the importance of the appointment, “We were looking for an inspiring and dynamic individual to lead and drive the development of this bold new initiative and with Ben, we have found someone with both passion and the experience who can help us make the dream a reality.

Over the last year, we’ve been thinking about how we can do more together to have a bigger impact and enhance the opportunities and life chances of children and young people in NewcastleGateshead and now we have made a decade-long collective commitment to something we think will be transformational for children and young people, our city and organisations.  

City of Dreams will have children and young people at its heart with genuine influence, as well as access to culture and the widest range of opportunities from cradle to career.  This will mean that as organisations we will have to work in different and more dynamic ways. We are all signed up to this and believe that by providing a year-round programme of opportunity, we can contribute to supporting more confident, creative, connected and confident citizens in the long term.

 As 10 individual organisations running 20 venues across Tyneside, we already deliver significant cultural, learning and participation programmes for children and young people and have a wealth of experience, knowledge and resources within our organisations.  We have also been working together within the NGCV partnership for over 15 years, improving standards of excellence, sharing learning and developing new approaches and initiatives to benefit audiences and participants.  Ben will build on this strong base within our partnership, as well as working with other partners across the area and most importantly, with local children and young people, to develop the City of Dreams."

Ben has many years’ experience developing and leading cultural programmes for children and young people nationally and regionally and has steered projects from concept to success.  He is passionate about this new initiative. He said, “Growing up on Tyneside, I reaped the benefits of rich cultural experiences. They changed my life, harnessed my ambition and grew my skills. Without this, I doubt I would have made it to higher education, let alone develop a 20-year career in the children and young people, and culture, sectors.

"I was lucky. I was in the right place, at the right time. City of Dreams is our chance to turn luck into opportunity for tens of thousands of Tyneside children and young people. Together, the NGCV partnership, can pool its collective impact and engage other partners, not only to bring children and young people closer to culture, but to transform their lives for the better."

"It’s a fantastic mission and I can’t wait to get started!”

Ben will take up the role of Executive Producer on 1st September 2017.