Published on 14 June 2021
Pro Vice-Chancellor, Graeme Thompson, was Founding Chair (2016-20) of Sunderland Culture, an organisation set up by the University of Sunderland, Sunderland City Council and the Sunderland MAC Trust to programme and develop the city’s arts venues, including the University-owned National Glass Centre and Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art.
He is also Chair of The Cultural Spring, a successful community arts project for Sunderland and South Tyneside launched in 2014 as part of Arts Council England’s Creative People and Places programme.
Originally from South Shields, Graeme joined the University in 2009 after a career with the BBC and ITV. He now chairs the annual RTS Television Awards for the North East and Borders as well as the RTS Education Committee, which has provided bursaries and mentoring for more than 120 students from across the UK with ambitions to work in content production.
A trustee of the Customs House in South Shields and the North East and Yorkshire Film and Television Archive, Graeme is also a member of council for the Creative Industries Federation and for Arts Council North.
He is also a board member for the North East Culture Partnership and Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID).
On being made an MBE, Graeme said: “I am absolutely delighted that Sunderland’s pioneering work in culture-led regeneration has been recognised.
"It has been made possible as a result of a unique partnership between the University of Sunderland, Sunderland City Council, the philanthropy of the Sunderland Music Arts and Culture Trust and funders such as Arts Council England and Heritage Lottery.
"I’m honoured to have been singled out for this award but I share it with so many friends and colleagues who’ve worked over the past decade to re-imagine the city’s cultural landscape.”
Graeme now lives near Thirsk in North Yorkshire with his wife Aly. They have three children and one granddaughter.