Board of Trustees

The Atkinson Development Trust has Trustees offering diverse skills, knowledge and experience who are appointed in compliance with the guidelines set by the Charity Commission.  The Trustees serve for a term of two years in a voluntary capacity.

Lindsey Holding, Chair

Lindsey joined the Trust towards the end of 2019. She believes everybody should have access to the arts and admires the fantastic selection of treasures, spaces, and services that The Atkinson has to offer the Sefton community. She values how the staff, Trust and community have worked collaboratively to inspire and nurture projects, such as The Wellbeing Choir which has provided the opportunity for friendship and the chance to support other community groups and charities through their performances.

Lindsey has worked as a Programme & Department Manager for Arts at The Mill CIC (venues include The Old Courts, Wigan and Square Chapel, Halifax) and has previously taught local School of Rock (Under 18’s) groups alongside Wigan Music Services. Over the past 20 years she has studied Music at various levels, taught, and performed across the UK.

Lindsey has recently returned to her studies and has taken up a new role with Nature North – a steering group working to create an improved environment that supports Nature Recovery alongside climate resilience and green growth at scale across the North of England but remains committed to supporting the creative community and Arts for all.

Ian Bryden, Treasurer

Ian lives in Formby and has been involved in all aspects of amateur theatre in Sefton over many years.

He is an admirer of The Atkinson and all that it offers to the people of Sefton and is keen to help to take the fine examples of art and history that The Atkinson has to offer to an even wider audience throughout Sefton.

Ian brings to The Atkinson Development Trust many years’ experience as a consultant and project manager in various aspects of retail with top UK companies. Ian joined the Trust as Treasurer in October 2018.

Emma Harrison

Emma has been Principal Manager for Public Engagement at The Atkinson since 2015. She was recruited from the post of Southport Library Manager. Books have been her life, she worked in the commercial book industry for 20 years before moving to Sefton Library Service in 2008. Emma is passionate about libraries, not just about books and reader development, but also about their greater value to the community.

Emma has lived, studied and worked in the local area all of her life.

Stephen Whittle

Stephen has been the Principal Manager of The Atkinson’s museum and gallery service since 2013. Stephen has managed a variety of museum services across the North West over the last 25 years and was appointed as a Trustee in 2018.

His role is to connect the work of The Atkinson with that of the Trust and to help develop projects that inspire and engage communities all over Sefton.

Jenny Cope

Jenny is a Southport local who joined The Atkinson in 2021 as Museum Futures Digital Trainee. Museum Futures is The British Museum’s latest Skills for the Future training programme and is generously supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Open to people age 18-25, trainees earn a diploma in cultural heritage as well as gaining real industry experience.

By joining The Atkinson Development Trust this year, Jenny hopes to gain skills and experience in fundraising as well as bring a different perspective to The Trust. An art, theatre and history enthusiast Jenny is passionate about allowing The Atkinson’s collections and projects to be as accessible and engaging as possible.

Helen Birnbaum

Helen lives in Skelmersdale, Lancashire and has a passionate belief in the positive different that the arts can bring to communities. She has been involved with community arts in West Lancashire for many years and was a founder member of Treehouse Arts Café a pioneering social enterprise in Skelmersdale.

Helen is an artist who approaches contemporary society and science in a questioning way using sculpture, photography, film and sound. She obtained a Distinction for her Masters in Art in Science in 2019 and was Resident Artist at Liverpool Hope University in 2016. These experiences formed a bedrock for her understanding of how ceramics can be used to communicate messages about our relationship with the world and its precious environment. Helen will bring her experience and energy to her new role as a Trustee on the Atkinson Development Committee.

Dom Potter

Dom is an experienced business founder, startup investor and corporate executive. He has worked in senior positions for IKEA and UNICEF and was inaugural Professor of Practice for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at The University of Nottingham. Currently he is focused on building data platforms to help address the climate crisis.

Dom and his family returned home to Southport after spending five years in the forest of Sweden and can often be found in the Library or attending one of the family shows on at The Atkinson. He is a believer in the power of place and is excited to help such an important civic institution have a great impact on the local community.

Margaret Jolley

Margaret lives in Southport and has worked at The Atkinson for over 10 years. Working on the Box Office, Margaret brings in-depth knowledge of The Atkinson’s audiences. Although recently retired from this key role at The Atkinson, she has returned on a temporary basis.

Margaret is also an enthusiastic volunteer for the local hospice and other charities and in her free time is an avid theatre and live performance attendee

Alice Clark

Alice is an arts and heritage consultant specialising in socially engaged practice. She is passionate about making art accessible to everyone, and supports organisations to develop programmes that engage marginalised groups. Alice has worked with some of the UK’s most high-profile venues, from theatres and galleries, to parks and churches. Previous roles include Exhibitions Manager at University of the Arts London, and Head of Galleries at The Lowry.

As a sandgrounder, Alice recognises and appreciates the difference The Atkinson has made to Sefton. Having recently moved back to the town with her young family, Alice is proud and excited to play a part in supporting The Atkinson as a Trustee.

Laura Bell

Laura is a award-winning journalist who has spent the last 15 years leading communications and marketing teams across the UK for organisations in the public and private sectors. More recently she established and grew a succesful Liverpool office for a B-Corp certified PR agency before setting up her own PR and communications company.

Living in Southport with her young family, Laura is passionate about the Atkinson as a valued community resource and hopes to use her skills to better promote TADT and increase donations.

Gemma Grady Hill

Gemma has worked for the National Trust Consultancy Team for over 12 years, within this time she has worked in an expert advisory role for several major National Trust Visitor Welcome projects across the North West. Throughout her career she has held various leadership roles within the private and third sector. As a volunteer she has served as a Trustee on the Board Directors for Lancashire Wildlife Trust since 2018.

Gemma adores living in Southport and can often be found at the Atkinson enjoying the exhibitions and productions. A keen advocate for the importance of the Arts, she is a Member of the Museums Association and currently studying an MA in 19th Century studies, she is keen to explore opportunities with the existing partnership between Edge Hill University and The Atkinson. She hopes to bring her expertise in Visitor Business, Membership, Heritage and Fundraising to support the Atkinson Development Trust.

If you would like to contact the Board, please email us at:

The Atkinson Development Trust is a Charitable Incorporated Organisation Registered Charity Number 1161020.