Meet our Board of Trustees!

The trust is governed by a Trust Board with the following composition:

6 Community / Independent Trustees

1 Trustee representing People Express

1 Trustee representing Magic Attic

South Derbyshire District Council also have a representative on the Trust Board who is not a Trustee.

The Trust is supported by employed staff and a wide and active range of volunteers.

A Service Level Agreement with South Derbyshire District Council is in place to ensure that the Trust continues to support a number of Council strategies including economic and environmental regeneration, town centre development, lifelong learning, e-government and, of course, leisure (including heritage).

As with all charities the Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust has governing documents in place that set out the charity’s aims and purpose, and rules for how we must operate, these can be obtained on the charities register.

Our governing documents inform our plans, decisions and the policies we have in place to maintain the safety of our building, collections, staff, volunteers and visitors and manage the site.

If you would like more information please contact us.

We are currently looking for new Trust Board members! Click here for further information!

Our Trustees

Chris Beech (Chair)

Chris trained as a visual artist and photographer, he was self-employed for 25 years, working on varied commissioned work for the BBC, BMW, The Arts Council and The National Forest Company.  His work was both commercial and practice based, focussing on heritage and culture, he has also combined business interests with teaching since 1994. He has experience of curating major exhibitions, extensive experience of participatory arts including management boards, and has since concentrated on full-time education. Chris’s photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and he has delivered a diverse range of workshops and community-based programmes, he is currently Assistant Principal and Dean at Burton and South Derbyshire College, responsible for Higher Education with associated wider roles.

Chris moved from being an outsider observing to an enthusiastic ambassador and active trustee in 2019, where he has continually sought to address both new audiences and engage with its existing proud heritage. He is humbled to work with a team of like-minded individuals working towards a common goal.

Will Whitaker

Will now works for a local company managing a privately owned residential and commercial property portfolio. Before moving back to Swadlincote in 2011, Will served in the Army and then went on to study at Edinburgh University.

When joining the board in 2017 his main aim as a trustee was to assist the organisation in relation to the management of its site and build on his late father James’ legacy who saved the buildings from ruin and was instrumental in placing them into public ownership so that their history could be preserved and enjoyed.

Julie Batten

Julie has been a Director of People Express since 1992. She discovered the world of ‘participatory and community arts’ at an inspirational conference in Dublin and has been passionate about and committed to the principles of community development and empowerment through the arts ever since. Julie’s career in the arts started when she was four years old, with a passion for ballet and dance. After gaining a BA Hons Degree in Creative Arts (Theatre and Contemporary Art) Julie went on to become a freelance lecturer for South East Derbyshire College, set up a small-scale touring theatre company that created and performed original work called Cloak and Dagger and worked as a freelance dance and drama practitioner.

In early 2015 Julie became a trustee of Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust to share her passion for arts within the heritage sector, along with her knowledge and experience of working at a senior level for a local Charity.

Martin Wroughton

Retired teacher and trustee of the “Magic Attic” with a keen interest in local history, especially the domestic potteries. Martin has been a long-standing valued volunteer at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum since 2005. He has used his passion for pots and local heritage to undertake all sorts of tasks, from meeting and greeting visitors, to helping to research and maintain the collections and building. Back in 2015 Martin was particularly enthused by a large Bretby pottery object that was bought in. He and a couple of other volunteers took each piece washed it and took photos prior to auctioning off surplus items.

As a trustee of the “Magic Attic” and respected volunteer he decided to take up the mantle of becoming a trustee of Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust in March 2020, to apply his research skills and transfer his wealth of knowledge of domestic potteries, to preserve the past of Sharpe’s Pottery along with South Derbyshire’s wider industrial heritage.

Ian Bottrill (Trust Secretary)

Ian moved to Swadlincote from Snowdonia in 2017 having attended Matlock College from 1968-72.  He started volunteering at Sharpe’s Pottery Museum in 2019. He was soon on the Trust Board and was Trust Secretary from 2020 until 2022.  Ian took a year out but came back as Secretary in 2023 and became a Trustee again later that year.  Ian has had a varied career – a secondary school teacher in Coventry, director of a national community education charity, a councillor, council leader (Warwickshire) and an advisor to the Welsh Government (despite being a Londoner). His particular interests at Sharpe’s are the building itself and developing wider community use.

Christine Hampton (Trust Treasurer)

More information coming soon…

Peter Tunnicliffe

Peter is a retired university lecturer who started his career as a PE teacher in a couple of Derby secondary schools devising and delivering structured educational activities in a range of informal settings. This helped lead Peter to be based in Swadlincote to manage Adult and Community Education activities across South Derbyshire and later in Amber Valley and Oakham, Rutland.

Having lived and worked in Derbyshire most of his life Peter hopes to draw on his knowledge of the area and people while overseeing the programme and work of Sharpe’s Museum and Pottery in order to promote collaborative and interactive activities which engage as wide a range of participants as possible.

Peter became a trustee at Sharpe’s in 2022 and is also a trustee for another local interest group, Melbourne Civic Society.

Katie Duggins

Katie is a property solicitor and after starting out in residential property now predominantly deals with commercial property, acting for a range of third sector clients, including charities, faith organisations and social businesses. She also undertakes development work, assisting community led housing groups with their affordable housing projects.  Katie works for a specialist law firm in Birmingham who have a clear purpose – to improve lives, communities and society. These are purposes that Katie is very passionate about. 

Katie was born in Swadlincote in 1992 and lived in the area until she commenced her law degree at the University of Manchester in 2010, where she obtained a First Class Honours degree. Katie then worked at law firms in Solihull and Burton upon Trent whilst she undertook her further studies. Katie qualified as a solicitor in 2018 and moved to a specialist law firm in Birmingham in 2019. Katie still lives in Swadlincote with her partner, Tom, and their two cats, Mop and Mouse. 

Katie wanted to use her skill set to support the charity and so in October 2022 Katie became a trustee of Sharpe’s Pottery Heritage and Arts Trust. 

Cllr. Steve Taylor

More information coming soon…