About Appetite

What we do

Appetite aims to get more people in Stoke-on-Trent and the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme to experience and be inspired by the arts. We do this by working with local people to co-create world-class, unforgettable arts experiences in and for their communities.

Appetite began in Summer 2013 as a programme for Stoke-on-Trent, kicking off with an inspiring Taster Menu of art and since then has presented a feast of family-friendly, breath-taking cultural events in places and spaces across Stoke-on-Trent enjoyed by thousands from across the city. Working with our community decision makers Supper Club, over the last six years Appetite has engaged 485,061 audience members, 50,014 participants, 1189 artists and 1501 volunteers.

In 2019 the Appetite programme was supported by Arts Council England to expand into the neighbouring Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme. We’re looking forward to collaborating with residents and partners across the area to create life-changing arts experiences in new communities.

In 2022, Appetite was awarded the Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) status, confirming funding of the arts programme in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme for a further three years.

The Appetite programme is funded by Arts Council England and is led by the New Vic Theatre in partnership with Partners i Creative Learning6Town RadioStaffordshire UniversityNewcastle Business Improvement District (BID)Go Kidsgrove and Keele University. Appetite also works closely with Stoke-on-Trent City CouncilNewcastle Borough CouncilStaffordshire County Council and Aspire Housing.

Appetite is part of the Creative People and Places programme, initiated and funded by Arts Council England. Creative People and Places is about more people taking the lead in choosing, creating and taking part in art experiences in the places where they live. There are 33 independent projects, each located in an area where people have traditionally had fewer opportunities to get involved with the arts. www.creativepeopleplaces.org.uk

Our Vision

Appetite’s mission is to get more people in Stoke-on-Trent and the Borough of Newcastle-under-Lyme to experience and be inspired by the arts. Appetite works with local community members, a broad range of partners and local, national and international artists to deliver an inspiring menu of artistic projects to develop the appetite for the arts in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.

Our VISION is of a place where art is part of daily life: as sustaining, pleasurable and necessary as food is.

Our MODEL combines inspiration, co-production and place-making.

From large outdoor circus spectacles in parks to intimate folk gigs in bus stations, since 2013 Appetite has brought a vibrant and varied menu of world-class art events to over 485,000 people.


Our ambitions are to:

  • Increase the number and range of Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough residents engaging with and being inspired by the arts
  • Increase the high quality arts offer in Stoke-on-Trent in Newcastle-under-Lyme
  • Empower residents to make arts events happen
  • Created a more active, networked and sustainable community of artists
  • Forge relationships between local and national organisations, producers, promoters and audiences
  • Enable businesses and service providers to see the benefit of artistic investment

Appetite’s Core Values

In order to ensure Appetite delivers a diverse, high quality, accessible and cohesive programme, we have set some core values to help inform our decisions and plan the programme over the next 3 years.

Great Art

Delivering some of the best quality and most exciting arts activities that the local, national and international arts industry can offer is fundamental to this programme. So is the knowledge that great art can play a powerful role in regenerating societies and economies.


Arts professionals including the Appetite Director and the lead organisation will work with communities to define what we mean by quality, and how that’s judged within local, national and international perspectives. Innovation, continuing professional development, skills sharing, mentoring and collaborating across the arts industry will all contribute to achieving and enhancing quality.

For everyone

We want to engage with large numbers of people, and we want the art we offer them to be both physically and aesthetically accessible. Appetite will offer experiences that have a broad appeal to a broad range of people, including the hard-to-reach and those not-so-hard-to-reach, but still not engaging.


Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme’s arts industry already has a strong focus on grass-roots participatory arts. Appetite will offer local communities including the amateur sector additional opportunities to participate in making great art happen in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme: as facilitators, programmers, hosts and ambassadors.


We’ll approach the programme in a spirit of partnership, openness and transparency.

Value for money

At all times we’ll aim to deliver good value for money. This won’t always mean choosing the cheapest option, as quality is also one of our core values; but it does mean we’ll always give consideration to value.

The Team

Gemma Thomas


Heather Dowler

General Manager

Deborah Hilditch

Project Manager

Sally Malkin


Tash Gallimore

Project and Marketing Officer

Sammy Bishop

Volunteer Coordinator

Melanie Doyle

Marketing Officer

Craig E. Scott-Patrick

Audience Development Officer

Ruby Nixon

Community Coordinator

Rasandeep Singh Devgon

Community Coordinator