Group of adults and school children in front of a double decker bus


The Culture Durham Partnership came together in 2009 as a collective of cultural organisations across County Durham bidding for City of Culture 2013. The partnership continued to work collaboratively because we knew that we were stronger together than apart. Since then, the energy, strength and maturity of the partnership has led to embark on an ambitious three-year programme developed with our partners Durham County Council and Durham University to deliver Into the Light.  In 2023 we reviewed our priorities, ways of working and governance and formed an interim advisory group to implement the recommendations of the review and recruit a new board. Watch this space for what will come next!

Screening of Bobby Robson film in The Pitmen's Parliament, Redhills
Raby Castle at night illuminated as part of Lumiere

Culture Durham aims to be as representative of our sector as possible and we’re always ready to welcome new members, perspectives and ideas to ensure that we are.

Find out how you can get involved by contacting Jane

Who we are and what we do

Culture Durham is here to create more opportunities for culture to change lives for the better across County Durham. We are a diverse collective of experts working in and passionate about the cultural sector in County Durham.

We provide our time on a largely voluntary basis to:

• Raise awareness of County Durham’s collective cultural offer.
• Make the case for investment in and partnership with our sector.
• Identify and share opportunities for our cultural sector to deliver projects and participate in training and events.
• Share best practice, knowledge and connections.

Our amazing county has stunning coastline, hills and dales with communities living in rural and urban settings. There is unique built heritage representing industry, past, present, and future; a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its spectacular Cathedral and Castle; a world leading university, innovative colleges, and schools; first class cricket and grass root sport; dark skies and unique geology in a UNESCO Global Geopark. This rich and distinctive backdrop is the context for visual art, theatre, music, museums, events, and visitor attractions for residents and visitors alike. The county is not without its challenges and Culture Durham strives to put culture at the heart of its communities for the common good.

The work we do brings together the cultural community across the county, providing opportunities to share ideas, best practice, discuss key issues, learn about and access funding opportunities, network with like-minded and not so like-minded people, celebrating difference, broadening horizons, and much, much more.

Click here to read our terms of reference.

Equality in Durham

Culture Durham aims to create a safe and welcoming space for everyone working in, or with, the culture and heritage sector in County Durham.

We want to challenge all forms of oppression including those based on race, ethnicity, nationality, creed, gender, sex, class, sexuality, gender reassignment, learning ability, physical impairment, mental illness, HIV status, age, occupation, income, wealth and unrelated criminal conviction.

We aim to design our activities, services and decision-making processes specifically to encourage and support participation from people who face disadvantage in society in general and in the culture and heritage sector specifically, including women, BME people, disabled people, LGBTQ people, people on low incomes and those who face digital exclusion.

We aspire to be inclusive and transparent in our own decision-making processes and we are committed to supporting sustainability, fair pay and conditions and improved equity for freelancers and independent practitioners.

Interim advisory group members

  • Jill Cole, Director, Northern Heartlands (co-chair)
  • Councillor Elizabeth Scott, Durham County Council (co-chair)
  • Julie Biddlecombe-Brown, Curator – Raby Estates
  • Hannah Fox, Executive Director -The Bowes Museum
  • Deborah Heron, Director People and Culture, Beamish
  • Jess Hunt, Director – No More Nowt
  • Sarah Price, Head – Locomotion
  • Janet Stewart, Executive Dean of Arts and Humanities – Durham University
  • Martin Wilson MBE, Co-Director – TIN Arts

Upcoming opportunities

View all opportunities

Stronger together

We’re firm believers in being stronger together.
Culture Durham aims to be as representative of our sector as possible and we’re always ready to welcome new members, perspectives and ideas to ensure that we are.

Contact us to find out how you can be involved.

Crowd at Durham Miners Gala