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Vanessa Swann

Vanessa Swann

Consultancy Interests

Organisational Strategy & Development Consultant / Executive Mentor

I am an experienced former CEO of a major arts / social enterprise charity, Cockpit Arts, and have a proven track record of successfully starting up, growing and expanding Arts, Charities & Social Enterprise organisations, including turnaround and enterprise development. I  have been consulting for several years specialising in Organisational Development and Change Management including  governance, strategic business planning, income generation, stakeholder engagement and communications. I am a qualified Social Enterprise adviser with coaching, mentoring and facilitator experience; an experienced Trustee in the visual arts and music sector and a Consultant Grant Assessor.  As well as undertaking organisational briefs, I provide personal mentoring and coaching to CEOs and managers.

Examples of recent assignments for clients including Arts Council Wales, Nesta innovation foundation, CAF Global Alliance, SE Assist Brighton, School for Social Entrepreneurs and The Fore:

  • Change management for a community arts organisation involving a new communication and political influencing strategy
  • Strategic support involving an organisational restructure and repositioning of a regional arts centre with business planning ad HR advice
  • 360-degree organisational review of a local authority-owned performing arts centre to achieve cost savings and improve operational effectiveness.
  • Strategic support to align services offered by a regional crafts centre with local authority tourism strategies.
  • Facilitation for a national social sector organisation helping managers working remotely to decide on new ways of working together to better support organisational goals.
  • Research and brokering of introductions between UK and Russian organisations involved in social change and civil society development.

Strategic planning
Business planning
Social enterprise development
Fundraising and earned income/sustainable funding
Change management
Charity management and governance
Leadership development
Stakeholder engagement
Partnership working
Property development
Premises management



Was CEO of

  • Cockpit Arts

Was trustee of

  • PRS Foundation; Unity Arts Trust CIC; Association for Contemporary Jewellery

Years in the sector

  • 25

Years as a consultant

  • 5 years independent / 8 years in house consultant

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