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Lara Ratnaraja



Lara is a freelance cultural consultant specialising in diversity, innovation, leadership, collaboration and cultural policy implementation within the HE, cultural and digital sectors. She develops and delivers projects and policy on how cultural and digital technology intersect for a number of national partners as well as programmes around leadership, resilience and business development for the arts and creative industries.

She works or has worked with the University of Birmingham, Coventry University, Birmingham City University STEAMhouse and University of Salford delivering and developing projects on diversity, digital engagement and research collaborations between arts, HEIs and SMEs.

She was the broker at the University of Birmingham on the AHRC Funded CATH Project (Collaborative Triple Helix) which developed 19 collaborative projects across the East and West Midlands with academics from the both Birmingham and Leicester Universities, cultural organisations and digital SMEs. The research project led to long term collaborative working and investment. She subsequently became Senior Research Facilitator leveraging investment for further knowledge transfer and research collaborations between academics, cultural organisations and artists across the sector. As Sector Development Director – Creative, Cultural and Digital, Business Link West Midlands she ran a £6 million programme for the creative, cultural and digital sector

With Helga Henry, she co-produced RE:Present and ASTONish leadership development programmes which supported the development of cultural leaders from diverse backgrounds so that the cultural ecology of the city better reflects its changing demographic. They are currently delivering AD:Vantage a leadership programme that places the vantage point of d/Deaf, neurodivergent and disabled creative practitioners at the heart of leadership

She is on the Board of Derby Theatres and Vivid Projects and the Advisory Groups for Coventry Biennial and SHOUT Festival. She is on the Midlands Area Council for Arts Council England, the Equality Monitoring Group for Arts Council Wales, and is a Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre Industry Champion.

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