Chief Executive, Vanessa Swann FRSA, MInstF, PgCertBA

Vanessa was appointed Chief Executive of Cockpit Arts in 2002. Since then she has transformed the organisation from a managed workspace to a creative-business incubator, actively supporting and promoting designer-makers. She has considerable experience of working with, and for, designer-makers and is a spokesperson and commentator on the sector. In 2011 she was awarded the Arts & Business Garrett Award for outstanding achievement in the encouragement of business support for the arts. She was previously the Deputy Director of the Design Museum and Director of the Commissioning Service at Contemporary Applied Arts. Prior to this she headed the RSA Art for Architecture scheme.


Head of Business Incubation, David Crump

David CrumpDavid has overall responsibility for incubation / business development services at Cockpit Arts. Prior to joining Cockpit he was Commercial Manager at Vipa Designs Ltd, an ethical metal jewellery manufacturer and ran Global Fayre LLC,  a retail and online store based in Missouri, USA, with a wider mission to promote Fairtrade in the mid-west region of the USA and support artisan groups in S America, Asia and Africa. David’s previous roles include being Consultant for the Small Business Development Centre in Missouri. David has an MBA and a degree in Economics from Nottingham Trent University.  He is currently a member of  the Futuring Committee for Ethical Metalsmiths.


Madeleine Furness, Business Development Manager

maddieB&WMadeleine joined the Cockpit team in 2014 and is responsible for managing the New Creative Markets project.  She also delivers training sessions and provides one-to-one coaching and peer-to-peer support for studio holders.  Madeleine previously worked for the Crafts Council where she supported over 200 makers on their creative and professional development.  Prior to this Madeleine was responsible for Crafts Council retail showcase development and exhibition sales and has also worked in jewellery retail and galleries.  Madeleine has a degree in Jewellery from Middlesex University.

Business Information Manager, Imogen Gray

Imogen is responsible for managing information on the New Creative Markets project, coordinating workshops and events and is the first point of contact for studio holders and non studio holder queries relating to business and professional development.  Imogen has a degree in Fine Art and has previously worked for Arts Council England and Contemporary Applied Arts.

Business Administrator, Marissa Anthony

MarissaMarissa provides support for the Business Development team administratively to deliver workshops, seminars and online resources. Marissa is also undertaking an Intermediate Apprenticeship in Business Administration through the Creative Employment Programme.

Studio Manager at Cockpit Arts – Deptford, Beckie Kingman

Beckie is the friendly face of Cockpit Arts Deptford – managing the studios and office facilities and handling the application process. An experienced administrator, Beckie has worked in the private, public and voluntary sectors. She also works freelance for four UK charities and is a parent governor of a local school.

Studio Manager at Cockpit Arts – Holborn, Adrian Lee

Adrian is the friendly face of Cockpit Arts Holborn – managing the studios and office facilities and handling the application process. A practicing artist and the co-founder of successful contemporary art website Artvehicle, he has been in the business of facilities management for many years, running his own studio and overseeing two central London language schools.

Head of PR & Marketing, Josie Ballin

JosieBallinphoto2B&WJosie works closely with Cockpit Arts’ designer-makers on devising high-profile PR campaigns and events that keep talent at Cockpit Arts in the spotlight. These include digital marketing, Open Studios and CultureLabel online shop. A design fanatic, she has an MA in Design Studies from Central Saint Martins and a BA in Design Studies from Nottingham Trent University. Josie joined the team at Cockpit in 2008 having worked in PR and Marketing with leading brands that include Agent Provocateur and Liberty and for creative organisations such as D&AD and Iniva.

Development and Events Manager, Sam Fry

samFryFaceSam is responsible for a wide range of fundraising and earned income activities at Cockpit Arts including managing the Supporters scheme, private venue hire, cross-site selling at Open Studios and tours. Sam previously worked as the Enterprise Consultant at University of Bristol where he took a lead on engaging students in enterprise across the University.

External Specialists & Industry Figures include…

Our Cockpit Arts Associates as well as Bill Amberg, Beyonder, Crafts Council, CultureLabel, Priscilla Carluccio, Sarah Faberge (Turners’ Company), Andrew and Ian Foxall, Sinead McManus, Carole Milner (The Radcliffe Trust), Own It & SEE, Mary Restieaux, Joey Richardson and UKTI.

Find out about Jobs & Internships

Find out about Cockpit Arts Trustees

Find out about Cockpit Arts Associates