: a a a a
: A A A

Start Reading the Website Out Loud and control Speed and Volume using the player. You can also hover and click to speak any text on the site.
Adds a distraction Free Mask To The Screen. Block out all unneccessary content and scroll through the page line by line.
Changes the Default Cursor & Pointer to a large version allowing you easy navigation of the website.
Simplify any page on our website with 1 click. You can control Contrast, Colours and Text Size as well as print the page too.
Accessibility Menu
Strand Cinema Belfast

Strand Cinema Belfast

Claire Ritchie

Claire is a business leader with a passion to use her skills to create a sustainable, inclusive environment for all. An environment that embraces new ways of working and all cultures to make a better community for local families, society in Northern Ireland, the rest of the UK and the globe.

Combining her leadership skills built up over the last 20 years in the global technology market; her experience working in the NHS as a Dietitian; her qualifications and being a mother of young twins, she brings a strategic, pragmatic and creative approach to business and problem solving.

Her current projects include studying for her Chartered Institute of Marketing Digital Diploma, being the chair for the Penrhyn School Parent Association, Parent Rep for her son’s class at Campbell College Junior School and on the committee for the East and South Belfast Homestart charity where she is leading on fundraising.

Stephanie J Vaughan

Stephanie has been a member of with Chartered Accountants Ireland for over 15yrs. She trained and qualified with one of the Big Four accountancy firms.

During her term within the big four she specialised within the charity sector and has a particular interest with local charity. This skillset will be essential to support the vision of the Strand.

Stephanie has gained a wealth of accountancy knowledge within both the private and public sector working with a diverse range of businesses.

She is local resident who is passionate of local history and together help achieve the future vision for the Strand Arts Centre.

Amberlea Neely

Amberlea Neely is Director of Starling Start, a creative practice and consultancy with a focus on arts, place and collaboration. Previously she led creative and inclusive public engagement as Acting Director of non-profit PLACE.

Amberlea’s career has been rooted in understanding place and creating positive change in Northern Ireland including: investigative research into forgotten city spaces; community led neighbourhood plans; and framing a borough wide bid for UK City of Culture. She works with a range of clients and partners – local and central government, agencies, charities, artists, architects, academics, and communities of practice.

Amberlea is a Lecturing Associate on the MA Arts Management at Queen’s University Belfast, and a panellist on the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Reimagine Placemaking initiative. She holds an MSc in Cultural Management, a PgCert in Executive Leadership and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art.

Amberlea lives a very short stroll away from the Strand Arts Centre with her husband and son.

To learn more about Amberlea’s work visit www.starlingstart.com or follow on social media @starlingstart

Paula McKay

Paula has a breadth of experience in the Communications and Marketing sectors, in Belfast, Dublin and London, working with a variety of global and local brands.

She has acquired an acute knowledge and understanding of how to develop and deliver campaigns which help to raise the profile and awareness of brands, organisations and charities, and hopes to utilise her skills and professional skillset to support the development of the Strand.

Since beginning her current role as Communications and Marketing Executive at Belfast Harbour she has developed a passion for the importance of the local arts and cultural sector to tourism in Belfast, and how its development is aligned with Northern Ireland’s growing reputation as a tourism destination, as well as an attractive place for business and investment.

Brian Gaffney MRICS

Brian has over 20 years of practice in the commercial property market. With specialised knowledge in Property Management, Brian has detailed experience in preserving and amplifying the asset value of leisure, retail, office and industrial properties. Notable clients include Castlecourt Shopping Centre, Gyle Shopping Centre, Linenhall office block and Obel Tower, Ireland’s tallest building.

As a local resident and enthusiastic patron of the arts, Brian is relishing the opportunity to apply his professional skills to the betterment of East Belfast’s arts infrastructure.

Rachael McGuickin

Rachael has over fifteen years’ sales and marketing experience working in senior international roles across tourism, economic development and higher education. She leads a multi-award winning team at Visit Belfast where she is currently Director of Business Development, Sustainability and Transformation.

As a member of Visit Belfast’s executive leadership team, she is responsible for promoting Belfast internationally as a leading business events, cruise and group tour destination to help deliver inclusive and sustainable growth for the city region.

Rachael is responsible for leading out on Belfast’s ‘sustainable tourism’ programme as one of the 30 transformational change projects within city’s resilience strategy and climate plan. As a result, Belfast has gone from second last in the Global Destination Sustainability Index to a Top 20 destination in the world across 73 global cities.

Working for the city’s destination marketing and management organisation, Rachael has gained an extensive network across the public and private sector, working collaboratively with a diverse range of stakeholders and partners to support city development. She has a strong track record of securing investment and commercial income and hopes to use this experience to support the ambitious redevelopment plans for the Strand.

In addition to her role on the Strand Board, Rachael is a member of the Belfast Resilience and Sustainability Board as well as an Advisory Board member for One Young World Belfast 2023.

Dr Neill Morton OBE

Dr Neill Morton OBE is a retired school principal. He has corporate experience as a member of the Council of CCEA where he chaired both Education and Regulation committees. He sat on the last Board of Visitors of the Maze Prison and was appointed as OBE for his services to education.

He has experience of both professional and amateur theatre and has written for TV and radio and as a school principal he hosted the Fermanagh Arts Festival as well as the festivals celebrating the lives and works of both Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett.

Mark Compston

Mark is a renewable energy consultant with over 20 years’ experience in various roles in the energy industry, including eight years with a global building services company. His professional experience covers many aspects of project and business management.

Having grown up locally, Mark has always had a love for the historic Strand Arts Centre. As such he was keen to join the board to help fulfil the vision for this important community building as it enters its well-deserved restoration phase.

Mark holds an MBA and is a Member of the Chartered Management Institute and will use his professional experience on the Board to ensure the Strand Arts Centre continues to grow and expand its services, while continuing to maintain good governance.

Kathryn Thomson (Chair)

Kathryn Thomson has been Director & Chief Executive of National Museums NI since March 2016.

Prior to that she was Chief Operating Officer at Tourism NI for 11 years.
Before that Kathryn worked in the senior finance team within NHS Greater Glasgow, primarily involved in business and financial planning.

Kathryn holds a BCom (Hons) degree in Business Studies from the University of Edinburgh, completed her accountancy training at PriceWaterhouseCoopers and has a professional qualification as a Chartered Accountant with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA). She is a Chartered Director and Fellow of the Institute of Directors. In addition, Kathryn holds a public appointment as a Director of the Strategic Investment Board. She is the Chair of the Strand Arts Centre and is on the Board of Tourism Ireland, as well as being a Director and Trustee of the Grand Opera House and Culture Perth & Kinross.