Darren Henley

Darren Henley CBE, CEO Arts Council England

Fulfilling our mission: Supporting People, Place & Communities

From a difficult start since its establishment in 2007, the University of Cumbria has purposefully evolved and positioned itself as Cumbria’s university – for now and future generations. This role and impact extends from increasing participation in HE, addressing labour and skills needs through to place-based initiatives and partnerships focused on place vibrancy and community well-being.  

Importantly, this role proactively embraces a very strong and collaborative emphasis on the role of the arts and the cultural sector, from the university’s involvement in Carlisle Culture, Multi-Cultural Cumbria and Cumbria’s Arts & Culture Network; the ground-breaking Aspiring Leaders Programme partnership with Brathay Trust; through to strategic projects such as the Carlisle Citadels Campus and local initiatives such as the About Being project. The latter made up of lecturers and those studying dance, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, offering stroke survivors in Carlisle dance and movement sessions as part of their recovery and rehabilitation and named among the nation’s lifesavers - a list of the top 100 individuals or groups based in universities whose work is making life-changing differences to health and wellbeing.

As the University of Cumbria moves forward Towards 2030 and beyond, I have no doubt that its impact and reach will grow further, in, for and beyond the region and communities it serves.