Board & trustees


Katy Astley

Katy has been working in fundraising, mainly in Higher Education, since 2004, and for the past six years has been providing specialist interim cover for Cambridge University development offices. She lives in Waterbeach with her husband, two young children and dog. Katy is a trained classical musician (bassoonist) and played in the National Youth Orchestra as a teenager. She no longer plays, now satisfying her musical needs through enthusiastic singing of hymns at her local church. Katy is an avid listener and consumer of music, and particularly enjoys the genres of classical, opera, folk and country. Katy is delighted to be joining the Board of Cambridge Live Trust and looks forward to combining her professional fundraising skills with her passion for the arts.

Councillor Jeremy Benstead

Jeremy has served as a Councillor on the Cambridge City Council, for the ward of Coleridge since 1992 and was Mayor of Cambridge for 2016-2017. Jeremy was born in Cambridge, and has lived in and around the City all of his life, and is old enough to have been a regular visitor to the Corn Exchange for the Thursday night wrestling. Educated at Impington Village College, most of Jeremy's working life has been spent in the construction industry, as well as working with the Chinese community having travelled extensively in China. He also likes football, boxing, horse racing, modern art and modernist architecture, which he feels is due a re-evaluation. Outside of work and local politics, Jeremy is a big fan of sixties and seventies soul music, and is a regular attender at the Folk Festival and the Corn Exchange.

Mark Boon

Vice Chair

Mark Boon is CEO of La Playa, an insurance broker that specialises in the creative sectors: media, performing arts; fine arts and technology – a company he co-founded in 1999. Having lived and worked in Cambridge for 30 years, Mark is an experienced and successful entrepreneur and businessman and that rare breed that has successfully managed to combine a passion for the performing arts with building a business. Mark is also one of the very few insurance professionals both licensed in New York State and an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute in London. A regular attender of the Corn Exchange and the City's major events such as Bonfire Night and The Big Weekend, he has a passion for the arts to the point where he even finds time to play bass in a rock band in his spare time.

Anthony Carey

Judith Elliott

Development Professional with a proven and successful track record in developing and driving leadership, management and HR strategies within both SMEs and large organisations with global reach.
With over 20 years’ experience she has worked in a range of different sectors having also held a senior HR role at John Lewis Partnership. She is currently the Director of Elconsulting Ltd which provides a "people management toolbox" with a range of e-learning and resources for managers.

Sara Garnham

Founding Chair

Sara Garnham brings a wealth of experience with her to the role having held key roles in the business and arts worlds. Having lived in Cambridge since 1984, she was Business Development Director at the house building company The Hill Group for six years. Since 2013 she has managed a portfolio of Cambridge private, third sector and charity projects including being Executive Director for new health start-ups in the Granta group of companies and working with the Cambridge Citizens Advice Bureau to develop new sustainable sources of income.

Sara also brings vast experience from the arts world having held various executive and non-executive roles, including having previously been administrator at the Mumford Theatre, where she developed the former lecture auditorium into a city-wide performance space. More recent roles include having been Chair of Wysing Arts Centre and a board member of Cambridge Arts Theatre, Jazz East and consultant with The Arts and Business Skills Bank.

Professor Lester Lloyd-Reason

Lester Lloyd-Reason is Professor of International Enterprise Strategy and founder and Director of the Centre for Enterprise Development and Research (CEDAR). Lester has more than 190 publications in the field of entrepreneurial management and SME internationalisation and his research has been judged to have World Leading impact. He has developed numerous projects for the European Union, has been in receipt of personal research grants from the British Academy and the Soros Foundation has developed policy papers and reports as Expert Academic Advisor to the OECD and for numerous governments and other organisations including South Africa, Romania, Singapore, the Philippines, Nigeria, Brazil and Uruguay. He is a member of the International Council for Small Business, served for many years on the Board of Directors of the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship (ISBE) in the UK and is a member of the Institute of Directors East of England Advisory Board. Lester is a Principle Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (PFHEA) and is a Fellow of the Institute of Enterprise and Entrepreneurs (FIOEE). Outside of the academic world, Lester mentored many startup businesses including the Queens Young Leaders programme, he was Chair of the Board of Trustees of Menagerie Theatre Company for many years, is a semi-professional musician, a published playwright and joint-founder of the Cambridge Floating Wine Company.

Jeremy Newton

After graduating in Modern Languages from Cambridge University, Jeremy Newton trained and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers + Lybrand (now part of PWC) then joined Eastern Arts Association as Deputy Director, becoming Director in 1984.He has since been the founding Chief Executive of the Arts Lottery Fund; the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA); and the Louise T Blouin Foundation. He then joined the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts (RADA) as Managing Director, leaving in 2008 to become Chief Executive of The Prince’s Foundation for Children & the Arts. Jeremy is a Fellow of the Judge Business School, Cambridge University, Chairman of the National Association of Youth Theatres and a Trustee of the Geffrye Museum.  He has also chaired the Boards of both English Touring Theatre and Youth Dance England.

Councillor Zoe O'Connell

Zoe graduated from Brunel University with a degree in Computer Science in 2001, and has since spent time working for a variety of senior technical roles in Internet Service Providers in Essex and London before coming to work for a fashion technology company based in Cambridge. She is also a former army reservist, serving in both the Royal Signals and Intelligence Corps. She is known for her work on equalities, in particular LGB&T issues, and is currently a city councillor for the ward of Trumpington, Cambridge. Zoe is a qualified yacht skipper and in her spare time, can often be found sailing around the East Coast.

Sian Reid

Sian did an MBA at London Business School after reading French and German at Bristol University. She has run young telecoms companies in the UK, and across Europe and is now an Associate Lecturer at the Open University Business School. She is a former leader of Cambridge City Council. She sits on the boards of the Cambridge Literary Festival and the Cambridge Ice and Leisure Centre.

Sara Sayer

Sara is a Solicitor Advocate who specialises in Dispute Resolution especially Public Law Issues (advising on the acts, omissions and decision making of public bodies). Sara also heads the Birketts LLP Charities and Social Enterprise Team and is a member of the Charity Law Association. She has a keen interest in arts and culture and a personal commitment to investing time to encourage others to participate in and enjoy events and also to ensure that events and activities are open to and accessible by all not just the few. Sara has lived in Cambridge for over 5 years, enjoys current affairs, walking the spaniels and when people aren’t looking or listening she likes to sing!

Simon Sherratt

Board Member - Cambridge Live Trading

Simon has worked in the banking sector for 38 years, with experience in Corporate, Commercial, Private Wealth and High Street Banking. A Relationship Director at Santander Corporate Bank with a passion for assisting businesses to grow, consolidate and open new ventures, involving UK and International trading.  Simon has lived in Cambridgeshire for the past 27 years.

A regular attendee at Corn Exchange events, and enjoys Music festivals of all sizes and music genres. A keen traveller and cyclist, wherever possible combing the two.  

Brian Whitehead

Brian has worked in the arts and cu ltural sector for thirty years in private, local authority and charitable cultural organisations before launching an arts publishing and consultancy business in the late 1990s. Prior to this, Brian was Director of Marketing for nine years at Derngate in Northampton, which went through the process of transfer from local authority control to charitable trust status successfully in the early 1990s. He is publisher of the leading trade journal, ArtsProfessional ( and provides occasional consultancy services in the sector, having worked with numerous arts organisations across the UK and Ireland since moving to the Cambridge area 16 years ago. He is a keen sailor, traveller and amateur family tree sleuth.