Being a Trustee

New Brewery Arts in Brewery Court, Cirencester

New Brewery Arts in Brewery Court, Cirencester

The term ‘trustee’ could sound dry and dusty, and not very relevant to an organisation like New Brewery Arts, which is busy and vibrant. But in fact, behind Beth Alden, CEO, and her management team and staff, is a group of people who give up time, provide knowledge, expertise and advice, and are responsible for the proper running of the organisation.

Trustees meet as a group six times a year and discuss what is going on in the buildings – exhibitions, shop, café and makers’ studios – as well as review the accounts and discuss forward planning and strategy. Several sub-committees oversee different aspects of the organisation and feed information and ideas in to the main board meetings.

Several of us are active participants in New Brewery Arts through taking classes, and we all bring a different perspective to the table. We include an actuary, accountant, two architects, an editor, a communications consultant and a hospitality entrepreneur in our number.

Max McClure_The Barrel Store 45.jpg

We talk about how we use our space, the trading in the Café and Shop, our Education and outreach work, as well as future fundraising, financial performance, budget and the future business plan. And we are there to support Beth Alden, our CEO, and her management team by offering advice, and being critical friends, as well as fulfilling our statutory responsibilities.  It’s important too that we are visible and available – without getting in the way!

We discuss and debate all aspects of what goes on – and what is planned for the future. For example, the development of The Barrel Store – our accommodation immediately adjacent to the main buildings - was a major step for us, which was discussed in great detail at many meetings; and a working group was set up to oversee the build once the project had been funded and approved.

Stained glass courses at New Brewery Arts

Stained glass courses at New Brewery Arts

As a group, and individually, we are all committed to making New Brewery Arts a real success and a strong feature of the Cirencester and Gloucestershire landscape. One of the key attributes for being a trustee is a real commitment to, and enthusiasm for, the organisation and what it does. We try and recruit trustees to meet skills and knowledge needs, but enthusiasm, interest and involvement in the arts and craft is a must. But diversity is a key consideration as well – and just now, we want to attract some younger potential trustees to better reflect the community in which we are situated.

Right now we are recruiting new trustees to fill gaps left by trustees who have recently retired. If you are interested in receiving more information, or a preliminary chat, then do get in touch: email me at

Colin Forbes