People drumming in a square

Meet The Team

For the benefit of everyone in North East Lincolnshire

Group of people standing by mural of a haddock

Pictured left to right – James Trowsdale, Alisha Cesa, Sarah Smith, Dean Evison
(Photo Credit – Paul J Cunningham Photography)

Find out about the people behind Create North East Lincolnshire.

James Trowsdale

Strategic Lead For Culture

Career History

With more than 10 years’ experience in the sector, James was previously central to the team that delivered Hull City of Culture, leading relationships with Arts Council England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, as well as being responsible for securing and managing funds to drive the programme forward. You may also have encountered James in his work at the Humber LEP.

James’s Role Within The Team

James’s role within the team is to oversee culture and heritage activity across North East Lincolnshire, helping to set the Creativity Strategy and build the climate for creative things to happen. James lets other people do fun stuff by assisting them to create funded projects, which has seen record levels of Heritage Fund and Arts Council England investment.

Bit of Trivia about James?

James is a keen Grimsby Town fan and football fanatic, travelling up and down the country to support his home team. James might also be related to Bruce Forsyth.

Sarah Smith

Programme Manager

Career History

Before joining the Culture and Heritage team in 2019, Sarah worked for over 15 years in HR in private and public sector organisations, advising and coaching managers on employee-related matters. She also delivered on transformational projects in the area which paved the way for being part of the positive in the area.

Sarah’s Role Within The Team

Sarah Smith: “I have one of the best jobs in the world!! I get to speak to (and commission) cool and fabulous people who create or curate the most wonderful things”. Sarah loves making a difference in our area by connecting people together to deliver creative and heritage projects. Sarah is passionate about the local creative sector and enjoys showcasing the fantastic flourishing and thriving talent of the area.

Bit of Trivia about Sarah?

Sarah is a trustee for Enquire Learning Trust connecting culture with children and young people in education. Sarah enjoys getting to other places to see cultural activity and is privileged to be able to travel widely, mostly in her self-built campervan!
Sarah once served Stefan Dennis aka Paul Robinson from Neighbours his Sunday roast dinner in a country pub in Derbyshire!

Dean Evison

Programme Support Officer

Career History

Following a 14-year career as a Geography Teacher and Curriculum Leader at a local secondary school and sixth form college, Grimsby-born Dean became a Project Support Officer in the Culture and Heritage team. Dean has supported the delivery of creative programmes in the area, such as Grimsby Creates and National Lottery Heritage Fund Heritage Starter Fund Programmes. Dean sees a particular achievement in the relationships that he has sustained with local people and organisations who have been supported with funding opportunities.

Dean’s Role Within The Team

Dean’s role has many aspects but includes financial management and systems development, budget monitoring and reporting. He’s also involved in the procurement processes and contracting, developing and evolving programme outputs and designing support programmes to strengthen the local creative sector. Dean is keen to chat with creative people about their next steps at drop-in and networking events and showcase the fantastic work in North East Lincolnshire.

Bit of Trivia about Dean ?

Dean is a keen supporter of Grimsby Town Football Club (you are born into it!) and a keen runner. 5K’s have evolved into 10K’s, oh and one-half marathon, which might be the first and last! Dean also enjoys cooking, although other areas of personal artistic creativity may leave a little to be desired! Dean lived next door to his wife at University but they never met until a few years later!

Alisha Cesa

Culture & Tourism Graduate

Career History

Alisha has worked in many roles across different industries, from being a stylist to a sofa sales consultant. Alisha’s been primarily a travel agent and cruise expert for some of the biggest names in the industry, such as TUI, Loveholidays and Hays Travel. That all changed when she packed her bags and left her hometown of Brighton to study International Tourism Management at the University of Lincoln. Since graduating in summer 2023, she joined the team here at Create North East Lincolnshire.

Alisha’s Role Within The Team

Alisha’s role within the council is split between culture and tourism. In the culture team, Alisha’s responsibilities are marketing and making things look pretty. Alisha oversees the posting on the multiple Create North East Lincolnshire social media platforms and creating content such as infographics. Also, Alisha creates the monthly newsletter, so sign up to not miss the next issue. Most recently, Alisha’s been working on the Create North East Lincolnshire website. You will also see her at the networking events.

Bit of Trivia about Alisha?

When Alisha was younger, she was a keen theatre and dance kid, a regular chorus member in her local pantomimes. Not being shy of the stage, she competed in pageants to work within the local community and build confidence, winning the title of Miss International Curve in 2019.

Lake and trees in People's Park Grimsby

Central to the Creativity Strategy is a sustainable focus on landscape and connection to nature.

We will continue to deliver activity in parks, open spaces and other natural assets to highlight the world class natural heritage on our doorstep.

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