Biographies of the trustees of the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust.


David Anderson

David was a history teacher before he began his museum career as an educator at the Royal Pavilion and Museums, Brighton. He moved to the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, and then the V&A, where he was Director of Learning and Interpretation. In 2010 he joined Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales as Director General.

David Anderson is a Board member of Creative and Cultural Skills and a member of the Advisory Committee of British Council Wales. He has written many articles on museums and cultural policy, a UK government report on museums and learning, and two children’s books.

Tim Aspinall

Tim AspinallAfter a successful career as a lawyer Tim now has a portfolio of business interests.

He runs Aspinall Consultants Limited, advising professional services firms on strategy, acquisitions, and performance improvement. He is Chair of NAHL Group plc, an AIM quoted company, and a non-executive director of Kuro Health Limited, a fast growth private company.

Tim has been a solicitor for over 30 years. He was previously Managing Partner of DMH Stallard LLP where he led its transformation into one of the UK’s most respected mid-market law firms, negotiating many successful acquisitions to accelerate growth. The firm won many awards and Tim is now a consultant there.

Tim is passionate about the arts and history. He has been active in the charity sector for many years.  He is general counsel for English National Opera, at the London Coliseum, and was until recently a non-executive director of Brighton Dome & Festival.  He lives in Brighton with his wife Polly.


Lord Bassam of Brighton

Steve Bassam, Lord Bassam of Brighton, is a British Labour and Co-operative politician and member of the House of Lords. Steve was elected a Brighton councillor and rose to become Leader of Brighton, then Brighton and Hove Council, from 1987 until 1999. He was promoted to the frontbenches as Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Office in 1999 and in 2001 was appointed a Government whip in the Lords. In 2008, he was promoted to the role of Labour Chief Whip. When Labour moved into Opposition in 2010, he became Opposition Chief Whip.

Prior to his political career he has worked as a social worker and legal adviser for local authorities and in management consultancy. He is a keen cricketer and supporter of Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club and was instrumental in the campaign to get the club a new stadium. He supports the Brighton Festival has three children and lives in Brighton with his family.

Michael Bedingfield (Chair)

Michael was born in Brighton and lives in the city centre. He has lifelong links with the area and went to Hove County Grammar School, before starting his career at American Express in Brighton.  His career focused on travel and tourism, as marketing director with leading brands including P&O Cruises and VisitBritain, and as chief executive of Tourism South East.

In recent years, Michael has been involved with numerous trusteeships and brings fifteen years experience in the arts, charity and museums sectors, including six years as a trustee of the Brighton Dome and Festival Limited, and with Brighton based digital agency Culture24. He is Deputy Chairman of the National Museum of the Royal Navy, and a trustee with Martlets Hospice and Three Score Dance.

Councillor Steve Bell

Steve has been a Conservative Councillor since 2015 and was elected Leader of the Conservative Group in 2019. He is a councillor for Woodingdean Ward has a strong active voice, both in the local area by sitting on Village Committees, and also inside the City Council to ensure the voice of tenants and residents are represented in a fair but strong manner. Steve is a member and Group Spokesperson on the City Council’s Policy and Resources Committee and is a local authority representative for Brighton & Hove Connected Local Strategic Partnership

Prior to becoming a councillor, Steve was a consultant to the construction industry and served in HM Armed Forces, serving in The Queen’s Regiment. Outside of his role as a councillor, Steve is the Chairman of The Queen’s Regiment Association (Horsham Branch), Chairman of the Tory Society at Sussex University, Officer for the Royal Society of St George, and a Patron of various Charities.

Rebecca Crook

Rebecca has a wealth of heritage and arts experience having sat on The National Trust Strategic Advisory Board for 4 years. She co-founded Saltean Lido CIC sitting as Chair for 6 years, overseeing the country’s only Grade II* listed lido re-opening.

Rebecca is a NED with Transport for London Museum and a Trustee with The Martlets. In her day job she works in London as Chief Growth Officer for Somo, a digital transformation business working with some of the world’s best-known brand across digital products and experiences. She sits on the Board and has a global responsibility for growth, business development, marketing, brand and PR.

Davinder Dhillon OBE

Davinder was born in Tanzania and travelled to England in 1967 when he was 14 years old. He came to Brighton in 1973 to study and has lived here since then. He is married with 2 children, a son and a daughter.

Davinder retired in 2012, having worked as a teacher in Special Education for over 30 years.

A major part of his voluntary work is taken up by organising the annual Chattri Service on a memorial build on the Downs in memory of the Indian soldiers who fought in the First World War but died whilst convalescing in Military Hospitals, including the Royal Pavilion, in Brighton.

Atiya Gourlay

Atiya has a long-standing connection to Brighton & Hove, beginning 1988 as a student at the University of Sussex. She is currently Chair of south Asian classical dance company, Amina Khayyam Dance Company, and is former Chair of the Brighton Festival of World Sacred Music.

Atiya leads equality and partnerships in Children’s Services at East Sussex County Council and has also been involved in arts and culture in both a personal and professional capacity. She started her career at TV Asia, moving to Liberty as Press Officer at a pivotal moment for human rights in the UK. She worked in Brussels with the Local Government Association and then at the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, supporting capacity-building for new parliaments. Atiya returned to the UK to start a family, working as Public Consultation lead for Lewes District Council, moving finally to East Sussex County Council where she has held several roles over the years.

Born in Lahore, Pakistan, she came to the UK at the age of 15. She has also lived in Zambia, Papua New Guinea, Bhutan and France, and has always taken a global approach to understanding her local environment.

She lives in Brighton & Hove with her husband and daughter.

Brad Irwin

Brad is a museum professional with over 20 years’ experience of leading, devising and delivering programmes across a rich spectrum of cultural contexts in both the UK and abroad.

He is currently the Natural History Museum’s Head of International Partnerships where he is responsible for global advocacy, diplomacy and relationship building. Recent projects include working with the World Economic Forum and forming a new strategic partnership with the Museum Nacional Brazil. He previously oversaw all front facing education teams at the Natural History Museum, as well as working in cultural and educational organisations across Auckland, New Zealand.

He has a Masters of Education and is currently completing a Doctorate in Museology from Kings College London exploring the international work of UK national museums.

Councillor Phelim McCafferty

Phélim is Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council.  He has been a Green Party Councillor since elected for Brunswick and Adelaide Ward in 2011 and was named Green Group Convenor in May 2015.  He sits on the Greater Brighton Economic Board, is a member of the Planning Committee and is a member and opposition spokesperson on the Policy and Resources Committee.

Phélim is a local authority representative for Brighton & Hove Connected Local Strategic Partnership, he represents the Council on the Board of Trustees for Brighton Dome and Festival Ltd and is a member of the Local Government Association.

Councillor Alan Robins, Mayor of Brighton & Hove City Council

Alan RobinsAlan was born in Portslade, went to school in Portslade and has lived there all his life. He considers himself a true Brightonian!  He left school at 16 years of age and worked in retail and sales for over 40 years.  In 2011 he was elected as Labour Councillor for Portslade – a rare occurrence for a Councillor to be serving the ward he was born in.

Alan is Chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture (TECC) Committee and was elected as Mayor of Brighton & Hove at the Annual Council meeting in May 2020.

Since joining the Board of Trustees of the Royal Pavilion and Museums Foundation in July 2015, as an Ex-Officio member, Alan has grown to appreciate the hard work, dedication and passion of everyone involved in delivering the Royal Pavilion and Museums Service.

Shaun Romain

Shaun’s interests focus upon cultural consumption and how communities and populations engage with different cultural, creative and educational opportunities. Over the past 25 years he has been involved with over 200 projects from national government reviews to local community projects.

Shaun has extensive experience of working with the cultural heritage sector in Sussex, having started at Charleston (home of Bloomsbury) before moving onto SAM – an Arts Council funded audience development agency based in Brighton.

Since 2011 Shaun has run his own consultancy, Sedum Consulting and has been involved with numerous large-scale projects including the evaluation of Hull 2017 (UK City of Culture) alongside redeveloping learning and engagement at IWM and the Serpentine Galleries. He is currently one of two Creative Programme Directors at the National Trust focussed upon change management and greater public accessibility.

Dr Angela Smith

Angela enjoyed a long senior executive/professional career across Commercial, Professional and Public services sectors. She retired from full time executive roles in 2017 to embark on a part-time/Non-Executive portfolio and a musical performance career.

Angela is Chair of the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust Finance and Governance Committee and Chair of the Audit, Risk and Compliance Committe at the East Sussex Colleges Group.

She is delighted to be supporting the outstanding heritage, culture and arts environment of the Brighton & Hove region.  As part of the regional music scene, Angela hopes to encourage even more music representation across the work of the Trust. She has three children and lives in Brighton.

Jane Weeks

Jane is a museums and heritage consultant. Clients include the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, Arts Council England, the Museums Association, University College London, and the British Institute for Archaeology in Ankara.

Jane began her career at the Museum of London, later joining the National Maritime Museum.  She has been a consultant since 1994 and acted as Museums and Heritage Adviser to the British Council from 2000-2017.

She is a former chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Committee for the South East, former Deputy Chair of the Churches Conservation Trust and is currently Deputy Chair of Pallant House Gallery.

Sue Wilkinson OBE

Sue Wilkinson read history at Cambridge before training as a teacher and undertaking the museum studies course at Leicester. After teaching in secondary schools she worked as education officer at the Tower of London and set up and ran the South Eastern Museums Education Unit.

In 1999 Sue joined the Museum, Library and Archive Council (MLA) as Director of Policy where she led and managed major development and investment programmes for the cultural sector. She left the MLA to join the scientific publisher Elsevier as the UK Director of Academic and Government Alliances.

In 2014 Sue became CEO of national charity The Reading Agency which runs programmes aimed at tackling life’s big challenges through the proven power of reading. Sue retired from The Reading Agency in 2019 and was awarded an OBE in the 2020 New Years Honours for services to literature and public libraries. Sue is also a trustee of Historic Royal Palaces.

Shadow Trustees

Shadow trustees attend board meetings and give their opinions on how the museums can serve a wide range of people and make the organisation more inclusive. Unlike the trustees, they do not hold voting rights or carry legal responsibilities.

Emily Maskell

Emily is at the very beginning of her career in the museum/heritage sector. Having attended school in Hove, she went on to study History at the University of Winchester and recently completed a master’s in art history and Museum Curating, at the University of Sussex.

Over recent years and during her studies Emily has volunteered extensively in various museums and galleries, including, Worthing Museum & Art Gallery, The William Morris Society and as a member of the Royal Pavilion & Museums, Museum Collective.

Emily is excited to be a part of the Royal Pavilion & Museums Trust, joining as a Shadow Trustee. She is looking forward to learning about the role, gaining experience, new skills and knowledge and is especially interested in promoting diversity and the importance of inclusivity and accessibility within the heritage sector.

Lucie Rachel

Lucie Rachel is an artist-filmmaker and creative producer. Since graduating from Fine Art at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design as one of the RSA New Contemporaries, she has directed award winning short films for the Scottish Documentary Institute, Glasgow Film, Channel 4 Random Acts and Art With Impact. Her work has screened internationally at over 50 festivals, including MoMA’s Doc Fortnight, Iris Prize, and the BFI & British Council Five Films For Freedom campaign.

Previously on the committee of Tin Roof Arts Collective in Dundee, since moving to Brighton in 2018 she has continued her voluntary work as Artistic Programme Volunteer at Photoworks (2018-19) and as a Community Curator for Queer the Pier project at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery (2019-21). Lucie works on the programme team at Lighthouse, supporting the delivery of exhibitions, workshops, training programmes and residencies.