Our core team is employed across two locations - in Edinburgh and the North East of England.


Zoe Bottrell

Managing Director


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“Zoë is willing to take on technical projects that would scare most people to death” INSPIRING FUTURES

Zoë has over 15 years’ events management experience and specialises in delivering contemporary art projects in heritage and landscape settings, often in challenging locations. Her role at Culture Creative involves working closely with partners and developing and managing projects from conception to completion, including project and production management, marketing and communications, and sponsor and financial management. Zoë is well versed in managing the strategic context and ‘big picture’ phase of any project, and managing budgets and partners.


Ian Bone

Director, Head of Production

Ian has been involved in all aspects of event production for over 30 years. During this period he has worked on major events throughout the UK. The majority of which have been large-scale public events involving music, street theatre and art installations. At Culture Creative Ian is directly responsible for health and safety and overseeing the production of event manuals, risk assessments, planning schedules, delivery and budgetary control. He also has extensive experience of working with local authorities, the emergency services and artists from across the world.


Gary Campbell 

Head of Operations and Development

Gary previously worked for English Heritage and Northumberland County Council and was Museum Manager at Locomotion in County Durham up until 2018. At Culture Creative, Gary is responsible for business development and ensuring that the operational side of the organisation supports the company’s growth.

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Julie Shackleton

Admin and Finance Manager

Julie has a background in project management, HR and business administration. Her role at Culture Creative is running the Alnwick office and the day-to-day financial management of the company.


Simon Smalley 

Assistant Producer and Logistics Manager

Simon was Operations Manager at The National Railway Museum in York before moving to Culture Creative in 2018. Simon’s role is to support the Senior Management Team and to work as Associate Producer across a number of projects throughout the year including Christmas at Dunham Massey.

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Matt Wilson

Production Manager

Matt has over fifteen years experience of working in the theatre and events industry. Before joining Culture Creative, Matt was Production Manager for SCENEgineering, Lighting Designer for Glasgow Rep and Clyde Opera Group and Technical Manager for Scottish Opera. Matt’s role at Culture Creative is to oversee the production of all CCL events and work with the team on company development.


Clare Elliot 

Senior Designer

Clare is a BAFTA award-winning costume and set designer and has been the creative talent behind our illuminated Christmas trails for over seven years. Clare also designs and produces our indoor Christmas experiences including Cinderella (2018) and Alice in the Palace (2019) at Blenheim Palace. 

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Mandy Bryson

Design Assistant

Mandy is a fine art sculptor and florist. At Culture Creative Mandy works alongside Clare as Design Assistant creating hand-made props and bringing the magic of Christmas at Blenheim Palace to life.


Emma Henderson 

Senior Producer (Communications)

Emma has been working in communications for over 15 years and specialises in festivals and the visual arts. For Culture Creative Emma works closely with Raymond Gubbay on the marketing of My Christmas Trails and also produces Christmas at the Botanics in Edinburgh.

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Ellie Barnatt

Senior Producer (Events)

Ellie has over 15 years’ experience of event production for both public sector and commercial clients, and began her career as Events Manager for Kew Gardens. At Culture Creative Ellie oversees the event management for My Christmas Trails and produces Christmas at Bedgebury and Christmas at Belton House. 

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David Guy

Site and Warehouse Technician

With over 25 years worth of event experience, Dave started out as a DJ and quickly progressed to promoting his own clubs, art and live music events. Over a varied career, he has produced AV and Street Art events, curated exhibitions, managed cultural venues, and has numerous years of outdoor event management experience in a variety of situations.

Dave's role with Culture Creative sees him managing the day-to-day workflow at the warehouse and liaising closely with the production teams to ensure the distribution and return of kit and installations, from the warehouse to sites, runs smoothly and efficiently.

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Charlotte Woods 

Senior Producer (Creative)

Charlotte previously worked as Head of Events for Harrogate International Festivals before moving to Culture Creative in 2021. Charlotte works closely with our event partners and leads on the delivery of the creative elements in our events. Charlotte’s role sits between the creative vision and operational process, orchestrating ideas, resources, people, and participants to turn the seed of an idea into reality.

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Emily Sewell 

Senior Producer (Venue Management)

Emily previously worked within the Event Department of English Heritage for 21 years, and as Head of Events for the last 13 years. As Head of Events, Emily was responsible for the public event programme for the organisation, overseeing the production of approximately 700 events a year across about 40 historic properties.
At Culture Creative Emily is a Senior Producer, overseeing and managing relationships with our partner venues for events.

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Brian Thunder

Fire Producer (UK)

Brian has been setting things alight professionally since 1991. In that time he has burned things on every continent apart from Antarctica. Using fire, fireworks, theatre, music, and art, he has been a core team member of world-leading companies producing spectacular outdoor arts to audiences of several hundreds and many thousands. These include The World Famous, Theatre of Fire, And Now, The Bureau of Silly Ideas, Lightfires, PaBoom, Avanti Display, Emergency Exit Arts, Le Maitre, and The National Theatre of Scotland.


Since 2017, Brian has worked on the delivery of fire installations at Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. In his new role as Fire Technician he will create fire installations for all our trails and hopes this may yet include a future opportunity to travel to Antarctica...

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