John Newbigin is founder and first Chairman of Creative England (from 2011 to 2018), a public/private partnership that invests in creative content businesses and digital technology.
As Special Advisor to the UK Minister for Culture, Rt Hon Chris Smith MP, he was closely involved in developing the UK government’s first policies for the creative industries in the 1990s. He has written and talked extensively about the creative industries and worked with governments and public agencies around the world on creative economy policies. He was Head of Corporate Relations for Channel 4 Television (2000-2005) and executive assistant to Lord Puttnam as the Chairman of the film company Enigma Productions Ltd (1992-97).
He is a member of the UK government’s Creative Industries Council; the London Mayor’s Ambassador for the Creative Industries; Chairman of the British Council’s Advisory Group for Arts and Creative Economy; member of the Advisory Board of the Institute for Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship at Goldsmiths, University of London; and of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Creative Economy Programme Board. He is Chair of Counterculture, a partnership of professionals specialising in consultancy services for museums, galleries and arts organisations in the UK and internationally. He is a member of the International Board of Advisors of Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in Bangalore and an Honorary Professor at the University of Hong Kong.
He was a youth worker in East London for 6 years and writer-in-residence for Common Stock Theatre. He has also worked as a journalist and as an illustrator.
He was awarded an OBE for “services to creative industries and the arts” in the Queen’s 2015 New Years Honours List.