Who we are

Who we are

A team of highly professional practitioners in the arts, libraries, sports and healthy living services that come together to form Vivacity.


Our charity number is 1138230 and company number is 07171668.

Find out more about the people who make up our leadership team

Our Senior Management Team

Kevin Tighe, Chief Executive

Kevin’s professional background is firmly within the world of managing cultural services. His first role was in what was then a newly emerging field- sports development. He managed one of the first teams in the country which was based in Nottingham.

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“It feels like a long time ago since I was wearing a tracksuit and helping others take part in sport. But even now it’s the part of the work I think is most important – enabling people to enjoy life to the full.”
This was a springboard into the world of sport and he subsequently worked for Sport England in a number of guises covering a period of 15 years and culminating in the post of Regional Director (South East).

The next ten years of his career was spent in local authorities, this time with a much broader portfolio of services. The arts (including theatre management); managing parks; library services; heritage services were all added to his already extensive experience of sports facility design and management.

In 2009 Kevin was pivotal in the creation of Vivacity which he describes as “a process that was challenging and rewarding in equal measure, I look back with pure pride on the work that my whole team undertook to create an organisation that is now firmly established and growing day by day”.

Outside of the office Kevin enjoys playing tennis which has provided him with a lifetime of frustration in trying to find a faultless service! He is a keen reader, perhaps one reason why he is based in a library and he rides a Royal Enfield Bullet. His favourite time of the day is breakfast which he shares with his 2 year old daughter: “she helps me keep things in perspective and reminds me that above and beyond everything we are in the people business”.

Pam Whitbread, Director of Resources

Pam has the dual role as Director of Resources and Company Secretary for Vivacity, and is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants

Pam is an experienced senior manager within the voluntary sector, who joined Vivacity in June 2010.

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Prior to this, Pam worked for the Papworth Trust as Head of Finance.
“I believe that the voluntary sector has a major part to play in society and I’ve chosen to work in this sector knowing that people are at the heart of our vision, mission and values.”

Since joining Vivacity Pam has rediscovered Peterborough and all it has to offer through a diverse range of Culture and Leisure services. Pam’s mother was born in Peterborough and as a child Pam was a frequent visitor to the city.

A keen keep fit enthusiast, Pam regularly takes part in step aerobics and body pump classes. Exercise has always been a key feature of Pam’s adult life. Her other interests include socialising, reading and travel.

Jon Marsden, Director of Sport & Healthy Living

Jon has spent all his working life in Peterborough within the cultural and leisure sector. During his time he has amassed extensive experience in managing public services as varied as sports facilities, parks and open spaces, landscape management, bereavement, libraries, arts, tourism and heritage services.

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His current work as Director of Sport and Healthy Living centres on rejuvenating Vivacity sports facilities and Jon has extensive experience of planning and delivering major capital projects. As a member of the senior management team he remains as passionate as ever about providing outstanding public services and has over the years achieved many awards for the quality of services provided.

Outside work Jon is a long standing board member of the Nene Park Trust which manages areas such as Ferry Meadows Country Park and since childhood remains an avid Peterborough United supporter.

“I feel extremely lucky to work in a role that combines my hobbies and interests. Working for Vivacity with so many talented and like minded people committed to making Peterborough a better place to live and work is a real pleasure.”

Sean Nolan, Business Development Director

Sean brings over 30 years’ experience in the Leisure Industry having most recently worked as the Business Development Director at Sheffield International Venues.

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The role saw him manage the redevelopment of leisure centres and fitness clubs, where he won and managed contracts for sports centres, golf courses, catering and entertainment venues – putting in place successful improvement strategies for commercial areas of the business.

Also a Fellow of the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity his role in Vivacity is to identify opportunities and deliver projects to improve our financial performance.

As well as spending time with his family, Sean’s other main passion is music and he loves going to concerts, collecting records and discovering new bands and musical gems.

Sean says, ‘I am really excited about the possibilities for Vivacity, in the short time I have been here I have already met a lot of enthusiastic, knowledgeable and hard-working people, hopefully my experience will help to maximise the opportunities that exist now and in the future’.

Richard Hunt, Director Of Culture

Richard Hunt took up his new role with Vivacity as Director of Culture from the beginning of March 2016. Over the past five years Richard has previously worked for Vivacity as Archives Manager for our Archives Service in the Central Library. 

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He has also worked as Archives and Collections Manager overseeing the teams that curate our stock and heritage collections in the libraries and museum, and most recently covering maternity as Head of Cultural Development.

Prior to working with Vivacity he worked in libraries and archives in Nottingham and Oxford.

Outside of work, Richard spends most of his time meeting the demands of a very opinionated and exhausting toddler. When he gets a moment’s break from Duplo and reading ‘Rabbit’s Nap’ he enjoys singing tenor in a cathedral choir, playing the piano and campanology – ringing church bells.

Richard says “I’m really excited to be taking up this new role in Vivacity. It’s an organisation that I am really fond of with wonderful events and activities, wonderful collections, and, most importantly, wonderful people. I’m looking forward to developing our services so that great culture inspires more people both in Peterborough and further afield.”

Kay Parkinson, Director of Marketing

Kay brings a wealth of Marketing experience to her new role as Director of Marketing for Vivacity, most recently leading Marketing Communications for comparethemarket.com

Kay previously relocated to the area from London and is pleased to be a little closer to her home town being a true northern girl.

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Kay says “I’m really excited to be taking up this role in Vivacity. I see an exciting opportunity to use effective Marketing to grow the awareness of all the great services we offer to the community and build on all the excellent work the team already do.

I’m looking forward to working in this sector and on this great brand that has people at the heart of its vision."

Kay is happiest when she is out and about outdoors kayaking or on a bike surrounded by her family and friends. 

Our Trustees

Alan Sadler, Chairman

Alan is married with 2 grown up sons and has lived in Peterborough since 1984. Alan attended Midhurst Grammar school before joining the Royal Air Force as an engineering apprentice technician in 1975, he served 37 years in a number of roles and locations and retired as Officer Commanding Leadership Training in 2013.


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More recently he has worked as a business and programme manager for the NHS responsible for staff, budgets, programmes and governance. As a school governor since 1997 he has worked with the last 3 head teachers and is currently serving in his second spell as Chairman at Jack Hunt School.

"I have been extremely impressed by the remarkable evolution of Vivacity as a result of Shelagh Smith's commitment, enthusiasm and leadership. Whilst I recognise I have a tough act to follow, I can say I’m really looking forward to working with everyone to build on the success of the last 6 years.”

Keith Marriott

Keith is currently the Finance Director of the Professional Publishers Association. Keith, a Chartered Accountant, has been heavily involved in the media sector for over 25 years, holding the positions of Finance Director and CFO for several companies. 

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Keith moved to Peterborough when he joined Emap some years ago, and although he has since worked in Australia, France and America, he always had a base in the City and thinks of it as his home. He is happily married with two wonderful young children and thoroughly enjoys family bike rides around parts of the Green Wheel and daytrips with the family

Rachel Woodford

Rachel is a business consultant, Trustee and Non Executive Director. Prior to this she owned and managed a successful retail, online financial services organisation in the City of London where she held a number of roles, most recently, Chief Operating Officer and Deputy CEO.

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Rachel now provides support to other businesses in variety of ways, including: Marketing and Brand development, Strategic Planning and Thinking, Business Reviews, Recruitment and People Management.

Having grown two businesses from start-up, Rachel has an excellent understanding of the many challenges of growing a fast-paced organisation.
Rachel is married with two young children (both avid POSH fans). As a family they enjoy many of the services and facilities provided by Vivacity. Rachel is also Secretary of the “Friends of John Clare Primary School”.

Stewart Francis

Stewart is an award winning broadcaster and was Managing director of Mid Anglia Radio Group PLC. He launched three radio stations in Peterborough and has been responsible for raising one million pounds for local disability charities.

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He was previously Chair of the regional Strategic Health Authority, Chair of the RPC (the National Railway “Watchdog” responsible to Parliament) and a member of the Commission for Integrated Transport.

He is a qualified football referee and cricket umpire.

Stewart is Deputy Chair of Vivacity.

David Bath

David is a retired town planner, responsible for the “Peterborough Effect” marketing campaign with Peterborough Development Corporation. David has been influential in the growth and development of Peterborough since the 1970s.

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He has served on the Boards of Nene Park Trust, Minster Housing Association and Peterborough Sculpture Trust. David has a passion for public art, is a keen sportsman and long-time member of Peterborough Rugby Club.

Janet Goodwin

Janet is currently is currently a Councillor for the Hargate and Hempsted Ward and was recently appointed as Peterborough City Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for City Centre Management, Culture and Tourism.

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Janet has previously been a Cabinet Advisor to the Leader of Peterborough City Council with responsibility for City Centre Management, Business Engagement and Tourism. She was also a member of the Opportunity Peterborough Board and Vice Chair of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority.

“I am committed to being an active member of the Board of Trustees whilst also representing Peterborough City Council.”

Sarah Sewell

Sarah is a Financial Analyst within the Environment Agency where she has worked within varying financial roles for 13 years. She brings a wealth of experience from her degree in Marketing and Communications she gained at Nottingham Trent University, alongside her financial background.

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Sarah is married with one young child and together they enjoy many of the services and facilities provided by Vivacity; in addition she supports her friends and family as members of the Westwood Musical Society and Peterborough Voices.

"I am in awe every year by the incredible events the Vivacity staff and volunteers organise from the Arts to Heritage festivals and sporting activities. I am looking forward to being actively involved in inspiring more people to engage with the Arts, Culture and Sport in Peterborough."

Graham Casey

Graham studied at the Royal College of Music, performing in all of the major London concert venues. On graduation he joined the Royal Navy and served as a Commissioned Officer until September 1990. During this period he saw a lot of the world, travelling to the West Indies, Hong Kong, the Mediterranean and the Gulf.

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He then served in the Royal Naval Reserve, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

Since leaving the Navy, Graham has been busy performing and teaching. As well as various freelance orchestras, he played with the Bournemouth Sinfonietta and with the London Symphonic Wind Orchestra/Wallace Collection. He has given solo recitals and has performed throughout the UK with the Jupiter Ensemble, of which he was the administrator.

As a soloist Graham has performed concertos by Mozart, Weber and Finzi. He gave the first public performance of Robin Holloway’s Clarinet Concerto and subsequently performed it in Peterborough Cathedral, Cambridge and on a tour of Hungary with the Cambridgeshire County Youth Orchestra. In 2004 he performed the Nielsen Concerto in Cambridge.

Graham currently holds teaching appointments at Oundle School and Anglia Ruskin University.

Graham became a Councillor in May 2011 and served on a number of committees before being appointed Cabinet Advisor for Culture and Recreation in May 2013.

Graham is married with three children, two of whom are studying at university; the youngest is still at school. Graham’s interests include a number of sports, fitness, music, education and current affairs.

Paul Simmons

Previously a regional director for Barclays Bank, Paul is currently an executive coach, supporting senior business leaders. He was chairman of St Theresa’s House, a charity for the homeless in Peterborough, for three years and a member of the Greater Peterborough Investment Agency board for five years.

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He has a wealth of experience of the public, private and charitable sectors, and with 37 years in banking, has considerable business support, financial management, training and governance skills.

“Having lived in the Greater Peterborough area for over 20 years, I’m committed to helping make our city a great place to live and work. I believe the new Trust can play a big part in the city’s development and I welcome the opportunity to be actively involved.

”I regularly support cultural and leisure activities in the city, ranging from shows at the theatres to being a season ticket holder at Peterborough United. I have a particular interest in library services as my wife is a Library Assistant in Lincolnshire, which has made me very aware of the tremendous benefits a well-run library service can bring to communities.”