Our Mission

We collaborate to create experiences which bring joy, spark curiosity, connect communities and inspire change.

Our Vision

A world in which everyone can explore and create culture.

Our Pledges

Every year we set out new pledges to work towards as part of our charity ambitions. Cheltenham Festivals’ pledges for 2022 build on our mission and vision.

Cheltenham Festivals Timeline

  • FameLab UK began
    FameLab Academy
  • First ever Cheltenham Jazz Festival
    Gregory Porter being interviewed at Cheltenham Jazz Festival 2019
  • Inaugural Cheltenham Music Festival
    Classical Mixtape at Gloucester Cathedral
  • First ever Cheltenham Science Festival
    A general shot of people stood in front of the Cheltenham Science Festival sign on a sunny day
  • Cheltenham Literature Festival formed
    A close up of the Cheltenham Literature arch

Key Facts

  • We produce 36 days of Festivals plus at least 180 days of year-round activity 
  • The four Festivals now feature nearly 1,000 events
  • In addition to our interactive zones and Learning and Participation programee, 25% of our programme is free
  • We sell over 215,000 tickets annually
  • We rely on sponsorship, grants and charitable giving to secure our international profile and position at Cheltenham's cultural core
  • Every year we invite more than 2,5000 of the world's finest musicians, writers, scientists and perfomers and thinkers to join with us to entertain and inspire Festival audiences of all ages
  • We work with over 25,000 school children from 250 schools in a given year

Job Vacancies

Festivals Administrator

Posted on Mon, 25/07/2022

Senior Management Team

Ian George

Ian George – Co-CEO

With 16 years’ experience in the event industry Ian has worked in events both in the public, private and charity sector including running press offices, marketing departments and promoting and running festivals.

Ali Mawle

Ali Mawle – Co-CEO

Ali brings 18 years of arts/education experience to the Festivals. After 10 years working in inner-city London as a teacher, literacy consultant, deputy head teacher and ITT lecturer, she moved to the National Gallery to lead the National Schools Programme.

Helena Bibby

Helena Bibby – Director of People

Helena joined Cheltenham Festivals in February 2006 on a part-time basis to provide administrative support during the early stages of Cheltenham Festivals’ independence from Cheltenham Borough Council.

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Suzanne Ross - Director of Finance

Suzanne joined Cheltenham Festivals in 2012 as Director of Fundraising for Cheltenham Literature Festival and has held a variety of roles across departments since, stepping into the role of Director of Finance in October 2021.

Board of Trustees

Beverley Grimster works with some of the most vulnerable groups in Gloucestershire through her work as a Service Delivery Manager for the Independence Trust. Beverley is passionate about the Arts and Sciences and a keen Festival goer, her ability to engage with all levels of society and in particular minority communities, is something she is keen to bring to the Board of Trustees. Day to day Beverley works with people who have no idea about the Festivals and feel that they ar

Beverley Grimster

Beverley Grimster works with some of the most vulnerable groups in Gloucestershire through her work as a Service Delivery Manager for the Independence Trust. Beverley is passionate about the Arts and Sciences and a keen Festival goer, her ability to engage with all levels of society and in…

Caroline Hutton

Caroline Hutton

For the last four years Caroline has worked closely with the programming team at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. She is also a member of the Literature Festival Advisory Board, which she joined after co-ordinating the 2013 inaugural Books Are My Bag campaign. In 2003 she set up the Althorp…

Debby Thacker

Dr Debby Cogan Thacker

American by birth, Deborah Thacker has been a UK resident since 1975. She has been teaching literature in higher education for 25 years. Her research is focussed on the inter-relationship between publishing, marketing, education, and children around reading, but she has published on many aspects…

Matthew Clayton

Matthew Clayton

Matthew has been a qualified solicitor for over 20 years and is a partner in law firm Willans LLP. His clients include multi-national companies, SMEs, owner-managed businesses, public sector bodies, charities, and other not-for-profit organisations. A former Cambridge University choral scholar,…

Shamil Makhecha

Shamil Makhecha

Having been raised in Cheltenham, Shamil Makhecha knows each of the four Festivals and is still drawn back to his ‘hometown’ as a Literature and Jazz lover. Shamil is currently the Director of a London based Race Equality organisation and Gender Equality Officer at a leading development…

Diane Savory

Diane Savory OBE

Diane is the former Chief Operating Officer of distinctive fashion retailer SuperGroup PLC. She went from having three Cult Clothing stores in the local area to a nationwide retail roll out and worldwide distribution of the Superdry brand. In March 2010 she took SuperGroup PLC to full floatation…

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Mark Philip-Sorensen

Mark is an experienced Non-Executive Director skilled in providing positive challenge, strategic oversight, and lateral thinking to deliver transformational change within diverse businesses and company cultures, locally, nationally, and internationally, whilst remaining connected to the values…

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Peter Howarth

After graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in English, Peter Howarth worked in the fashion industry for Paul Smith as Projects Manager and then for Nicole Farhi, where he set up the menswear collection and was head of menswear.

He then became a journalist and has been Style…

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Adrian Farnell

Adrian is a Chartered Accountant with over 35 years experience in finance within the banking and charity sectors. He started his career with Hazelwoods in Cheltenham and then completed 25 years with NatWest in a variety of senior UK and European finance roles and most recently was Director of…