Thinking of Setting Up

setting up image

Luxi, Ward Hadaway and Northern Stage present an informal discussion about starting your own arts business.

Offering artists and cultural professionals the opportunity for a chat with some of the region’s most experienced and expert professionals, covering roles, responsibilities and some of the practical considerations, including:

Legal structures : companies, CICs, LLPs, charities de-mystified

Intellectual property : protecting your IP assets

Employment : working with others, the pitfalls

Finance : what you need to know


When – Wednesday 13th March, 6-8pm

Where – Northern Stage, Newcastle


Places are strictly limited to 30, book via Northern Stage on 0191 230 5151


More information about the speakers:

Fiona Wharton, Ward Hadaway

Fiona currently works as an Associate in the Commercial Department at Ward Hadaway Solicitors where she advises a range of charities and social enterprise clients.  She advises on all issues relating to formation, registration, governance, trustee or director duties, re-structuring organisations and reviewing governing documents, mergers and collaborative working, trading, fundraising and funding issues as well as commercial contracts and intellectual property.  She provides bespoke training for trustees and directors.  Previously Fiona has worked both in private practice in Leeds; as the first ever in-house lawyer for Comic Relief; for Harbottle & Lewis Solicitors in London where she trained; with the Society of London Theatre/Theatre Managers’ Association and, prior to qualifying as a lawyer, Fiona worked for Peters Fraser & Dunlop literay and talent agents (now United Agents).  Fiona is a member of the Charity Law Association, the Institute of Fundraising and is a charity trustee and volunteer.


Neil Butler, RSM Tenon

Neil is a Client Services Senior Manager in the Accounts and Outsourcing team at RSM Tenon based in the Sunderland office advising a wide range of owner managed businesses. This covers initial set up, selecting the right legal framework and ensuring all compliance matters are covered. Neil also advises on outsourced solutions in respect of bookkeeping, management accounts, VAT returns, payroll services, etc. The aim is to provide tailored solutions to clients. These clients cover a wide selection of industries and business sectors. Neil trained with Littlejohn Frazer, a thirty partner firm in London, with clients in the City as well as a range of clients spread across the country. Following this, Neil returned to the North East and worked for KPMG for two years. An opportunity arose at a local practice, RMT, and Neil decided that this would give him an opportunity to work closely with owner-managed businesses. This enabled him to develop his skills in advising clients on a wide range of issues. In 1997 Neil joined the legacy practice of Jennings Johnson which in turn became part of RSM Tenon. In the last sixteen years Neil has been the senior manager in the accounts department before taking on the responsibility for the outsourcing department. Both roles involve working closely with clients to become their principal adviser.


Lyndsey Black, RSM Tenon

Lyndsey is an Audit Manager at RSM Tenon, based in the Sunderland office. Lyndsey is responsible for the development and delivery of audit, assurance and consultancy services to a diverse portfolio of clients, specialising particularly within the charity and not for profit sector. As part of this role Lyndsey advises clients on a wide variety of issues, including statutory reporting requirements, funding sources and cash flow requirements. Lyndsey joined RSM Tenon as a graduate in 2006 and trained with the firm to qualify as a Chartered Accountant in 2009. Lyndsey was then promoted to Audit Manager in 2010, a role which involves liaising and advising clients on a day to day basis.


Nicole Vivien Watson, Surface Area Dance Theatre

Following the completion of her vocational training from The Northern School of Contemporary Dance in 2005, Nicole returned to the North East to establish Surface Area Dance Theatre CIC, she was the youngest founding member to establish a Community Interest Company within the North East of England and pioneered the legal structure within the cultural sector. In 2009 Nicole was awarded North East Young Woman Entrepreneur of the Year. With support from The Northern Rock Foundation, Arts Council England and Awards For All, Nicole has steered the company, developing areas of specialist interest that enable the work created to remain relevant. Nicole studies British Sign Language at Durham University, School of Modern Languages and Culture, the company is now working with Deaf artists and cultural ambassadors to create new performance repertoire.


Generously supported by:  NStage logo new (Black on white)        WH (LAW FIRM LOGO)CMYK

Concept: Jen Morris

Image credit: IKEA