Ian Brown

Ian Brown represents the third generation in the family business of Graham and Brown. Formed in 1946 the company supplies wall decorative products to consumers worldwide. Ian has gained knowledge and expertise in many operational areas of the business and led the company’s CSR initiatives. He is also a director of Growth Lancashire and the Education Partnership Trust as well as sitting on the steering group of the Hive Business Network. More recently he has supported a number of education initiatives in Blackburn with Darwen, culminating in the creation of Hive Business School.


Christine Cort

Christine Cort co-founded the biennial Manchester International Festival (MIF) and has held roles including Communications Director and Associate Director. In 2015, Christine was awarded the Inspirational Woman Award for commitment to the arts. After five festivals, MIF is now widely regarded as one of the most successful festivals in the world and its reputation for staging world premieres brings visitors from over 50 countries to Manchester. It is the only festival staging entirely new work and special events. Previous commissions have included Kenneth Branagh’s Macbeth, Damon Albarn’s ‘Monkey’ and The XX ‘In Residence’. Much of MIF’s work is now touring the world.

Click here to read Christine’s Twitter


Patrick Grant

Director of Norton & Sons, E. Tautz, Hammond & Co, Cookson & Clegg and Community Clothing

Patrick is a fashion designer, social entrepreneur and is regularly seen on television and radio as a commentator on the British fashion, clothing and textile industries. He has been a contributor to several major television documentaries, but is best known for his role in the BBC2 Series The Great British Sewing Bee, for which he was nominated for a 2017 National Television Award. In May 2015 he was awarded the BFC/GQ Designer Menswear Fund for his work on menswear brand E. Tautz, which he re-launched in 2009. In 2015 he purchased the ailing Blackburn clothing manufacturer Cookson & Clegg, saving the factory from closure. This was followed in 2016 with the launch of social enterprise Community Clothing. He has written on diverse subjects for many titles including GQ, The Financial Times and The Times. His book ‘Original Man’ was published by Gestalten in 2014.

Click here to read Patrick’s Twitter


Paul Haywood

Paul Haywood is an artist and Associate Dean at Central St Martins, London. He is an educationalist concerned with fair and equal rights of access to learning that can effectively promote independent creative enquiry and enhance personal development. He commits his time within education and within the contemporary visual arts to supporting broad educational engagement and social activism. As an artist, he experiments with processes of painting in the studio and with photography in the landscape in which he is fascinated by colour and its impact on place identity.

Click here to read Paul’s Twitter


Caroline Rush

Caroline Rush CBE is the Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council (BFC). She has 20 years of experience in marketing and PR across both consumer and corporate communications in fashion, music and lifestyle sectors. Since her appointment as Chief Executive in April 2009, Caroline has expanded the London shows, ROOMS and Style Suites, taking British designers to new markets including Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Sao Paolo.  In 2012 she worked with the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to launch Britain Creates, an artistic project which formed part of the Fashion 2012 platform to celebrate the Games and the 2012 Cultural Olympiad. She is listed in the Evening Standard Power 1000 List 2012 and 2013 as well as the 2013 Business of Fashion’s 500. In 2014 she was made an Honorary Professor at Glasgow Caledonian University and awarded a CBE for her services to the British fashion industry.

Click here to read Caroline’s Twitter


Annika Small

Annika Small is a social entrepreneur committed to the imaginative use of digital technologies to address big social challenges. She acts as Chair of the social enterprise accelerator, Wayra/Unltd, is a Trustee of Access, the social investment foundation and a non-executive Director of CAST, the Centre for Social Technology. Annika was CEO of Nominet Trust, investing more than £25m in early-stage ventures that deploy technology for social innovation, and also led the Tony Blair Foundation’s global education programme, bringing together young people from different cultures to learn directly with, from and about each other. As former Chief Executive of Futurelab, she aided the development of radically new approaches to teaching and learning using technology.

Click here to read Annika’s Twitter



Michael Winterbottom

Born in Blackburn, Lancashire, Michael Winterbottom read English at Oxford before studying film at Bristol and London.

His work for television includes The Magic Lantern a documentary based on Ingmar Bergman’s autobiography, which won the Best Documentary Prize at Valladolid Film Festival; Forget About Me, Under the Sun – shown at the Turin and London Film Festivals, Cracker; Family, a four-part BBC serial, written by Roddy Doyle (winner of the Prix Europa and two BAFTAs) which was shown at Telluride and Toronto Film Festivals and Go Now, which won the Prix Europa and was BAFTA nominated.  His first feature was Butterfly Kiss, starring Amanda Plummer and Saskia Reeves, which was selected for Competition at Berlin Film Festival in 1995.

Since then he has had six more films in competition in Berlin, winning the Golden Bear award in 2003 for In This World and the Silver Bear for directing for The Road to Guantanamo in 2006 In This World also won a BAFTA and two BIFAS. Welcome to Sarajevo, Wonderland and 24 Hour Party People were all nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. A Mighty Heart was in official selection at Cannes and nominated for Best Actress at the Golden Globes and Independent Spirit awards

He is currently finishing the third part in his The Trip series, The Trip to Spain.

12th - 13th May 2018 | Blackburn, Lancashire

The National Festival of Making Delivery Team


The National Festival of Making is supported with funding from Arts Council England, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and Heritage Lottery Fund