About us

Our vision is to become an international centre of excellence for creative industries-led growth

About Us

High House Production Park is the result long term collaboration between the Royal Opera House, Creative & Cultural Skills, Acme Studios ,Thurrock Council, Arts Council England, together with the departments of Business Innovation and Skills, Communities and Local Government and their agencies.

The first phase of development of the fourteen acre site, its heritage buildings and public park, was completed in 2010 with the opening of the Royal Opera House's Bob and Tamar Manoukian Set Production workshop. This was followed in 2013 by the launch of Creative & Cultural Skills' Backstage Centre, a world class production, rehearsal and training venue for performance, broadcast and live events.

Acme Studios opened the High House Artists Studios in October 2013, a new building that reflects the latest thinking in creative workspace.

The Bob and Tamar Manoukian Costume Centre opened on the site in 2015. The Centre is designed to hold costumes for Royal Opera House productions, as well as historic costumes, musical instruments and furniture from the archive collection. The Centre delivers a BA (Hons.) degree course in Costume Construction, in partnership with South Essex College and University of the Arts London. 

In 2011, High House Production Park Ltd transferred from the public sector into the charitable sector and is now led by a Board of Trustees and a small executive team.


Our Role

High House Production Park is a new charity established to support an international centre of excellence for creative industries in Thurrock that will inspire a new generation. We work in partnership with the Royal Opera House, Creative & Cultural Skills, Acme Studios and Thurrock Council to :

  • Develop a shared vision and strategy for the production park
  • Broker wider relationships and resources to advance joint   priorities
  • Champion the work and achievements of High House Production Park.

Company Information

  • Company registration number 06683419
  • High House Production Park is registered as a charity in England No 1145424
  • VAT registration number 123 4207 57

Board of Trustees

  • Alex Beard (Chair)

    Alex Beard is Chair of the High House Production Park and Chief Executive of the Royal Opera House.

    Prior to his arrival in September 2013, Alex was Deputy Director at Tate since 2002 having started there as Finance Director in 1994.

    At Tate, Alex had particular responsibility for the business activities, resource management and audience development initiatives, as well as leading on their capital programme and government relations.  Previously he was at the Arts Council for seven years.

  • Andy Swarbrick

    Andy Swarbrick has been a partner with Deloitte (and predecessor firm) for most of his career, having joined the company following graduation from Reading University with a degree in French.

    He has led a specialist team providing audit, accounting, tax and advisory services to a wide range of smaller businesses including hi-tech, life sciences, manufacturers, professional practices and charities.

    He has also been heavily involved in the management of Deloitte’s own practice, holding a number of roles culminating in being senior partner of the Cambridge office for 7 years until 2008. He steps down from the firm after 39 years in May 2014. Andy currently holds a number of trustee positions in the cultural and wider voluntary sector.

  • Tunde Ojetola

    Tunde Ojetola won his first election in the South Chafford Ward after the boundary rearrangement in 2004. After being re-elected with an increased majority in 2006, Tunde became a Cabinet portfolio holder, with responsibility for Customer Service, ICT, and E-government.

    In 2001 as a resident of Purfleet, Tunde joined the initial drive to establish the Purfleet Community Forum, co-drafting the initial constitution of the Forum and sitting on the Executive Board.

  • Rosalind Johnson

    Rosalind Johnson is the director and co-founder of “A Different View”, an international consulting firm that helps visitor attractions and cultural organisations develop compelling visitor experiences. The company advises national museums and heritage sites, national funding bodies and those looking to build and develop new attractions.

    She works and speaks internationally and enjoys building partnerships and motivating others to succeed.

  • James Heaton

    James Heaton is Deputy Director of Operations at the Roundhouse; a theatre, music venue and creative education centre in Camden, north-west London. His background is in business/operational management and commercial services, having managed catering and conference services for Goldsmiths, University of London before leaving to open an independent bar and dining room in south-east London.

    He joined the Roundhouse in August 2008, where he is responsible for the general running of the venues, production logistics, bars and the site's acclaimed restaurant, Made in Camden.

    James holds a Bachelor of Music (BMus) from Goldsmiths and is currently enrolled upon Edinburgh Business School's MBA programme.

  • John Kent

    John Kent is a Thurrock Councillor, he was educated entirely in the borough, leaving school in the early 1980s to start a four-year apprenticeship with a print company in the East End of London.

    He went on to spend 16 years working with a renowned printing organisation in The City of London before concentrating on politics full time. John became a councillor — for the then Grays Town ward — in 1993 and has represented Grays ever since. He became leader of the opposition group in 2004 and Leader of the Council in 2010.

  • Sue Macpherson

    Sue Macpherson, a Thurrock Councillor for nine years, achieved her English degree through the Open University at the age of 40. Following her years as a professional actress has now opened her own theatre school in Grays.

    Having just launched the first ever Thurrock Speech and Drama Festival, Sue works to encourage good speech in children to provide them with the best opportunities for the future. As an entrepreneur, she also owns her own lettings and estate agency.

  • BJ Chong

    BJ Chong is one of the Management Partners at Palmers Solicitors. Palmers is one of the largest law firms in the London Gateway area with eight partners,  80 staff and three offices across SE Essex.

    BJ graduated with a LLB (Hons) and also holds a LLM (Company Law) from UCL.  He trained with Palmers and became a Partner within three years of qualifying as a solicitor. 

    He has received citations in the independent review publication “Legal 500” between 2008-2014.  He was also part of the winning team for the Basildon B2B business awards 2014.  BJ has steered the Thurrock office to win two consecutive Thurrock business awards in delivering Excellent Customer Service in 2014 & 2015. 

    BJ is a member of the Thurrock Business Board, a body set-up help raise Thurrock's profile and to promote economic growth.

  • Lyn Carpenter

    Lyn Carpenter is Chief Executive of Thurrock Council. She took up her post in September 2015, joining Thurrock from both Hammersmith & Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea - bi-boroughs - where she was Executive Director of Environment, Leisure and Residents Services.

    Lyn also chaired the tri-borough (including Westminster City Council) Public Health Board and Violence Against Women and Girls Board and is a member of the national Society of Local Authority Chief Executives Board (SOLACE).

    Outside the work environment, Lyn has had over 30 years' involvement in netball - contributing as a player, coach, administrator and volunteer.
    She was an England Under-18 and Under-21 player and became a senior international in 1997, representing England in the Commonwealth Games in 1998 and a year later at the Netball World Championships and winning bronze medals at both.

    Lyn started work in the private leisure industry straight from university in 1987, before moving to the public sector at the London Borough of Bexley in 1992.

    She has also worked at Bexley, Crawley, Elmbridge, and Merton councils.

  • Hannah Corbett

    Hannah Corbett has been Chief Executive of Acme Artist Studios Ltd since March 2016.

    Hannah joined Acme from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, where she most recently served as Commissioner General and Director for the UK at the Milan Expo 2015 commissioning an artist-led, UK Pavilion and leading a global programme of business and cultural events promoting UK creative strengths internationally. Attracting 3.3 million visitors over 6 months, the Pavilion was the UK’s top paid visitor attraction in 2015 and won multiple awards, including the Expo Gold Medal for design and architecture. It is now on display in Kew Gardens.

    Prior to this, Hannah held a wide range of senior UK policy and diplomatic roles with a focus on the global economy, European Union and post-conflict reconstruction and worked for international organisations including the European Commission and International Energy Agency. She also sat as a member of the FCO Operations Committee overseeing the management of its finances and overseas estates, advised on work-live housing projects in Hackney Wick and worked for a local authority on housing allocation. In 2016, Hannah received an OBE for services to diplomacy and UK trade and investment.

General Management

  • Paul Hellen , General Manager

    Paul joined High House Production Park as its Operations Manager in 2011. He is responsible for the smooth running of the Production Park and works closely with its tenant partners to achieve this.

    Prior to HHPP, Paul worked for Thurrock Thames Gateway Development Corporation. As Finance and Administration Manager for the Association of British Insurers, Paul worked in the capital for eighteen years.