Andrew Rawlinson

Interim Chair

Andrew was born and bred in the Lancashire/Yorkshire border town of Todmorden, where his interest in the arts and performing first started as he joined the local Youth Theatre at Todmorden Hippodrome. Following on from this, and several years later, Andrew established an award-winning Murder Mystery company, and presented regular daily afternoon programmes for regional radio.

In a career spanning 20 years in professional arts, Andrew has been fortunate enough to work across both the subsidised and commercial sectors, starting as General Manager of national and international touring theatre company, Horse + Bamboo, after which became Executive Director and Chief Executive of Blackfriars Arts Centre in Boston, Lincolnshire. In the mid-noughties Andrew was fortunate enough to take up a career with Ambassador Theatre Group, becoming General Manager of The Palace Theatre in Manchester; moving on from there to lead Sunderland Empire Theatre, and then Liverpool Empire Theatre respectively; hosting number one touring productions such as We Will Rock You, Mamma Mia and Mary Poppins.  Continuing his career with ATG, Andrew is currently enjoying a national role supporting some of the UK’s most iconic venues, including Edinburgh Playhouse and Bristol Hippodrome.

Aside from his national role with ATG, Andrew is also a GoDA Adjudicator, annually adjudicating drama festivals In England, Wales and Ireland. Andrew has two children, both of whom have inherited the family love of theatre and the arts, and are members of the same youth theatre where Andrew first fell in love with theatre.

Andrew is delighted to be joining Hope Mill Theatre as a Trustee; ‘what a fantastic achievement by William and Joseph and the team; to have seen this organisation grow and gain the much-deserved recognition from both audiences and the industry has been an immense pleasure, and I am genuinely excited to be involved in supporting the organisation as it writes the next instalment of its success story.’ He said.

Meet the Board of Trustees

Darren R L Gordon

Darren is a native Londoner who has lived and worked in the northwest for over 20 years.

He is an industry creative who runs his own Actor training company, Actor’s Agency and film production company. He is excited to be on the board of trustees at Hope Mill Theatre and to be working to further develop its links with the local community.

Andrew Richards

Andrew spent most of his working life in finance in the private hospital industry and retired early about four years ago. Having taken the decision to retire, Andrew found he could spend his time helping worthwhile causes. The opportunity to become a trustee of the Theatre of Creativity came about through knowing Maggie Harwood.

Although his working life was spent in hospitals, the financial challenges of running a charity will give Andrew chance to put his experience into a new industry. Andrew’s daughter also works in costume in the theatre industry, sparking an interest in the way the sector operates financially.

He believes that charity is important in this country and is keen to both raise money but also ensure that it is spent wisely and ensure it operates within its means.

Caroline Pinney

Caroline has always been interested in the theatre, and the arts generally. She retired from working as a solicitor in 2020, and  being a trustee of the Factory of Creativity is a wonderful opportunity to combine her love of theatre and the creative arts, with her knowledge and experience of the legal system.

Caroline also has a particular interest in helping make the theatre as accessible as possible to disadvantaged individuals and groups.


Tom Kent

Tom has worked in HR for the last 10 years in various companies, starting off as a HR Manager at Tesco and his previous role was as a Senior HR Consultant supporting a number of multinational companies as well as charities and SMEs.

Tom’s current role is as Head of HR for a Leisure Trust based in Stockport who support residents in the local area by managing 13 leisure centres, sports classes and activities in the community. He understands the challenges that charities face whilst working for one over the last 12 months and believes that holds him in good stead when working with the Factory of Creativity.

Tom has a real passion for theatre and when the opportunity came up in the beginning of the year, it seemed like a great fit with his skills and an opportunity to support Hope Mill Theatre during an exciting time. Tom will support the charity with HR, employment law, contract law and managing all employee relations issues alongside the Artistic and Executive Directors.

Tom has been to a number of shows at Hope Mill over the years and knows that with the support of the board of trustees and the dedication that all employees of the charity will show, that this can be a huge success.