Our Talent Development Programmes

Our Talent Development Programmes

At Arts & Business NI, we are very proud of our hugely impactful Board Matching and Placement Programme which we have been running for 30+ years.

Our board matching programme places up-and-coming leaders, seasoned executives and strategic thinkers from our business member pool onto the Boards of local arts organisations.

Our participants undergo in-depth, arts focused, governance training before being introduced to boards. Our aim is to achieve a win/win situation- we take our time to understand the interests, skills and drivers of each individual applicant before matching them with an arts Board. The arts organisations tap into the specialist skill set of their newest board member and their associated networks.

We have two programmes available

To apply for our 2023 Business Leaders or Young Leaders on Arts Boards programme, please complete the application forms which can be found at the links above and return via email to info@artsandbusinessni.org.uk along with your CV by 12pm Monday 31 July 2023. Successful applicants will be invited to attend interview in August 2023.

Why should you take part?

  • Because you have a passion for the arts, and a desire to work with personal impact to help the cultural sector thrive locally. 
  • Because you want to develop your leadership skills in a totally different, creative environment
  • Because you want to extend your networks and form relationships with likeminded individuals
  • Because peers in your industry who have participated all agree the experience has been profoundly enjoyable and rewarding 
  • Because facilitating the local arts and culture sector is a crucial part of ensuring that Northern Ireland is an attractive and enjoyable place for to live, work and play, both now and in the future.

Why do businesses encourage their staff to apply?

Businesses of all sizes regularly support their people to participate in our board matching programmes, many of them doing so faithfully each year.

Businesses which have taken part in recent years include Sapphire Capital Partners LLP, PwC, EDG Legal, Strategic Investment Board, General Medical Council, Tourism NI, Lighthouse Communications, Belfast Harbour, Mango Bikes, Lotus Properties, UU, UUSU, Belsonic, Connswater SC, Castle Mall, Visit Belfast, Dale Farm, Think People Consulting Allstate, Lanyon Group, Power NI, Baker Tilly Mooney Moore, NI Chamber of Commerce, Progressive, PGR Accountants, Marlborough Marketing, Cygilant, Happening, The Junction and retired business people.


Read why PwC take part each year here:

Read why PwC take part each year here:

Lynne Rainey, Forensics Partner, Place & Purpose Leader PwC

"The Young Leaders on Arts Boards programme is one we've been delighted to support as a business over a number of years. Specifically, in the last year, five of our staff have been part of this programme that exposes them to the real world problems faced by Arts organisations. The programme has been an invaluable learning opportunity for our people. It has opened their horizons and perspective, and has allowed them to not only apply their professional expertise, but to also build their confidence and boardroom presence, and extend their professional network. We've also had one team member join the Business Leaders on Arts Boards programme, and we are really grateful to Arts and Business NI for creating this opportunity for the next cadre of local leaders and potential board members."

How do our board matching programmes benefit the arts organisation?

Let’s hear what Fighting Words NI think..

Let’s hear what Fighting Words NI think..

Hilary Copeland, Director Fighting Words NI 

As a young charity with a swiftly expanding staff team, Fighting Words NI needed to put in place good management systems and provide supportive guides to employment for our staff team. The expertise of an HR professional was exactly what we needed. We couldn’t have asked for more in a new Board Member in Bethany O’Neill: she brought professional knowledge that ensured we could satisfy the legal requirements as an employer and ensure compliance within our team, as well as provide support and guidance in her role as a trustee for me in a Chief Executive role. Since Bethany joined the FWNI Board, she has helped us put in place contractual and HR supports that help us set out the direction of growth for our organisation that aligns with our vision, and outlines the kind of employer we want to be. We are very grateful to Arts & Business NI for introducing Bethany to us via their Young Leader on Arts Boards programme.

If you would like to find out more, please email Maeve McKervey at m.mckervey@artsandbusinessni.org.uk

Thanks to our Sponsors 

The Arts & Business NI Leaders on Arts Board Programme is proudly supported by A&L Goodbody Northern Ireland LLP 


Our Funders & Partners

Arts & Business NI is generously supported by The Arts Council of Northern Ireland.