Voluntary Sector: N-E Arts Council beefs up comms

The North East Arts Council has created a top comms role as it gears up to promote the region as the host of the World Summit on Arts and Culture 2006.

North East Arts Council creative partnerships communications co-ordinator Susan McKeon has been promoted to head of communications.

The entire communications team has also been restructured and McKeon's former role, which was temporary, will be scrapped at the end of the month.

She takes up her new post on 1 April and will lead a three-strong team, reporting to director of external relations Jane Robinson.

The region is vying to attract artists and 'cultural practitioners' by positioning itself as 'one of the better places (for those involved in the arts) to live and work' in the UK.

'Our challenge is to ensure that all the tangible examples of how cultural regeneration has helped re-shape and define the North-East are publicised on the world stage,' said McKeon.

She joined the council on a temporary contract last year after being made redundant from her former role as North East Chamber of Commerce head of marketing in December 2003.

Earlier this week, the council teamed up with Five on a PR campaign to promote Fivearts cities, a series of programmes on the arts in Newcastle and Gateshead.

Manchester-based agency Lethal Communications is being used to run the campaign, which was launched on 7 March at Gateshead's contemporary art gallery, Baltic.

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