Stephen Feber

MRL programme director

Stephen is a creative director and producer for museum, exhibition and regeneration projects in the UK and internationally. He regularly writes about and speaks on cultural topics. He has always been devoted to promoting the role of museums in developing social capital through development and regeneration projects. See Stephen's articles on the future of museums here.  See also the recent Museums and Heritage article here. He is an HLF Mentor and acts as an interim director for organisations in transition.

He is particularly interested in developing personal and organisational resilience through the MRL processes.  Stephen developed the original structure for the MRL Programme and runs the evaluation and mentoring systems.  He specialises in financial and strategic planning, organisational development and board - director relationships. He teaches on or supports all of the workshops and retreats with fellow Director, Nick Winterbotham.

Stephen has worked in the museum and cultural sector since 1980. Past UK credits include the Stirling Prize winning Magna Science Centre (Chief Executive and Creative Director), Eureka! the Children’s Museum in Halifax (Development Director) and the £35 million mixed-use social enterprise regeneration scheme, Heartlands in West Cornwall (Interim Director). As a Curator or Chief Executive he has also developed or founded a number of museums, visitor attractions and museum services covering fine and applied art, geology, archaeology, social history, textiles, glass, industrial archaeology, science and technology.  These included: Sudbury Hall, Museum of Childhood, Quarry Bank Mill (Chief Executive 1989-1995), The Word of Glass St Helens, the Magna Science Centre, York Museum Service and most recently Heartlands Cornwall, UK.  

Selected projects:

  • Airedale Partnership – the Aire Valley Master plan with Arup
  • Arts Council England -  Museums and Resilient Leadership Programme 2013 – 2018
  • Barnsley Council – town planning project
  • BBC – Alexandra Palace -  development review of the building
  • Black Country Living Museum – master plan development, audio-visual installations and film making
  • Blackpool Council – feasibility studies for attraction and illuminations projects
  • Churches Conservation Trust – visitor attraction project, All Saints, Bolton
  • Cornwall Council – Heartlands – design, project inception, funding, creative direction, exhibition, film, business planning and branding
  • Department for Communities and Local Government (through Bournemouth University)
  • East Midlands Development Agency – Derwent Valley World Heritage Site Economic Masterplan – with Latham Architects and Arup
  • Fund for Arts and Culture in Eastern Europe – faculty member for five-day conference for Eastern European museum professionals
  • Government of the Republic of Slovenia – lecture and workshop – building resilient museums
  • Historic Royal Palaces - story making master classes, design and installation of the ‘Diana: a Princess Remembered’ exhibition at Kensington Palace
  • The Heritage Alliance - strategic planning workshop and organisational analysis
  • Imperial War Museum – five sites - four-month strategic planning workshop process for the Director General and senior management team
  • Imperial War Museum North - exhibition and site re-planning
  • Isle of Man - Manx Heritage - interpretation development planning diagnosis and seminar
  • Jersey Heritage - five-year Island wide interpretation Masterplan. Project design development and implementation. 6 films interpreting aspects of the Island’s heritage. 3 painting exhibitions
  • Lake District National Park Authority - attraction planning, Brockhole, Windermere
  • London Transport Museum, Curator of the Future for the Sense and the City exhibition. Strategic thinking about city futures
  • Luton Cultural Services Trust – commercialisation, training and business development project
  • Maltese Government - site development and appraisal for two historic locations
  • Ministry of Culture, Bahrain - lecture and workshops on the future of exhibitions
  • National Memorial Arboretum – exhibition and site design review
  • National Museum of Science and Industry – £300 million master plan for the York Central site - themed on cities
  • National Photography Centre Wales – cultural and commercial business plan
  • National Trust - interpretation development seminar for the national interpretation team
  • Norfolk County Council – commercialisation business development project
  • Northern Way – public art strategy for the North
  • RAF Museums - strategic re-development and interpretation plan
  • Royal College of Art – Creative Exchange project with the BBC and Lancaster University
  • Royal Collection - Windsor Castle interpretation planning day
  • Royal Signals Museum - exhibition development planning
  • National Trust - story master class for national interpretation team
  • UK Coal – site master plan for a 1000 homes + 1000 jobs 500 acre site
  • Warwickshire County Council – museums service business development and training programme
  • Yorkshire Forward – regional tourism strategy, development and urban regeneration specialist Renaissance Market Towns programme