Who We Are


Restormel Arts was formed in 1991 in partnership with Restormel Borough Council. Its aims are to promote a programme of professional and amateur arts activity and to engage the local community as both audience and participants.

Local government reorganisation and loss of Arts Council funding have led to a review of our priorities and methods of working.

Although we continue to promote professional events, attracting artists and touring companies to our area, our main focus is on engaging local communities in arts related activities. Projects that engage young people, that celebrate local culture and heritage or reflect on the many physical changes taking place locally are given particular attention.

We aim to cover the whole of what is now called St. Austell Bay and its hinterland including Fowey, Lostwithiel, St. Blazey, Mevagissey and the China Clay villages.

To carry out our work effectively we seek to develop partnerships with local organisations and interest groups including:

  • St. Austell Town Centre Management
  • The Eco Towns Project
  • The China Clay Country Park at Wheal Martyn
  • The Eden Project
  • Town and Parish Councils
  • Local schools and youth organisations
  • Groundwork

 Restormel Arts is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. It is overseen by a Board of Directors and employs experts as necessary for events and projects.

Some of the key people are:


Richard Turner (Past-Chairman)

Richard was a founder member of Restormel Arts and chaired it since its formation in 1991.

After nearly 25 years at the helm Richard stood down in 2015 and will be sorely missed



Mike Hackney (Secretary)

 After a career in industry Mike, a qualified Company Secretary, moved to Cornwall in 1998 and until recently worked with his wife and daughter in running the Atishoo Designs gallery and picture framers in Charlestown. In addition to being Secretary of Restormel Arts Mike also maintains the website.

Mike chaired the St Austell Heritage Festival Project Group.


Phil Webb (Chairman)

Phil was Development Director of Restormel Arts from its formation until 2008 when he became a freelance consultant and director of Kernow Arts and Music Alliance. He is an organiser of Every Culture Matters, a multicultural arts project and the increasingly popular Jazz at the Brewery for Restormel Arts. Phil is currently a member of the Jazz Services national touring panel and is working on a jazz promoter’s network for the South West. Phil is also project manager for Cornwall Music Forum, a not for profit organisation aiming to ‘inspire, support, connect and promote music in Cornwall’ www.cornwallmusic.co.uk 

Following Richard Turner's retirement in 2015, Phil took on the position of Chairman.



Richard Hope-Pears


Andy Ward

Originally from Birmingham, Andy studied hotel management in Cheltenham. In 1970 he and his wife opened "The Thin End" coffee shop in Fore Street, St. Austell. After some 29 years, having expanded into a retail Patisserie and online "Cakes Direct!", the business was sold. Earlier Andy had been a co-founder of the Tourist Information Centre (TIC) for St. Austell. Since the advent of The Eden Project the TIC has occupied much of his time and in the last few years he has set up an online box office service. As well as serving as a director of Restormel Arts Andy is an avid supporter of Phil Webb in promoting Jazz at the Brewery. 



Sheila Vanloo

Station Manager Radio St. Austell Bay

A Fowey girl, she attended Fowey Grammar School where music and drama were not really on the curriculum. That didn't stop her from having a passion for both and in her teens she organised live bands in Fowey Town Hall because nobody else did! She has written reviews for magazines and papers for some time and considers herself extremely fortunate to be invited to a wide range of Cornish theatre and music. Cornwall is rich in talent and she promotes both as much as possible on Radio St. Austell Bay. Sheila considers it an honour to be on the board of Restormel Arts.

Sheila project managed the St Austell Heritage Project.


Sandra Heyward

Originally from Blackwater near Truro, moved to St Austell in 1969 and has lived there since then. Worked within the Health Service for many years.
Elected on to Restormel Borough Council in 2003, elected on to the new St Austell Town Council in 2009. Mayor of St Austell 2011 - 2012



Karen Burdon

Karen left St Austell in 1998 to complete her degree in Drama and English at St Mary's University. She returned, initially, to work at The Eden Project which led to exciting adventures in Namibia doing voluntary work and then to America as the Drama Director of Camp Nicolet.

She returned to Cornwall again in 2005, not able to keep away from the wonderful county, to become a Lecturer in Performing Arts at Cornwall College St Austell.

She has since gone on to establish Cribhut Theatre and is both a performer and the Artistic Director.



Sandy French

I was born in St Austell, having not always lived down here, I have considered it to be my" home".
Tom and I came back to Cornwall after he left the Army,  I joined the family business Sydney Grose, and later in 1984, I opened Toad Hall in Truro selling ladies wear, specialising  in Mother of the bride, evening clothes and other special occasions,retiring in 2008.
Ever since junior school, I have taken a keen interest in music, the arts and theatre, enjoying St Austell Operatic Society productions, watching my Father in numerous shows since I was 4 years old .  Many years later, I also had a couple of small parts and sang in the back row of the chorus!
When Bodmin started its Decorative and Fine Arts Society, I was one of the original members and since 2010 have been their treasurer.
After the great sucess of the Bread Riots play, I look forward to staying involved with Restormel Arts.


Richard (Sandy) Hope Pears

Bio to follow.





Who We Are. Copyright Restormel Arts 2017
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