Tim Bennett-Goodman, founder of FAQs Unlimited, was born in Somerset, England in 1953. He has worked in the field of arts and culture for thirty-five years in the voluntary sector and local government, for an MP and most recently for the Greater London Authority. He worked on the project team for the Rich Mix centre in Bethnal Green, London E1 from 2002-4 and for Central Arts Trust in Waltham Forest from 2004-5. From 2005-8 he was Chair of Apex Arts (the Arts Council for Waltham Forest), and was made an Honorary Life Member on retiring. He is currently a trustee/director of Voluntary Action Waltham Forest. Now working as a freelance arts consultant, he also reviews fiction and theatre for a monthly online LGBT magazine www.PolariMagazine.com He has lived in the London Borough of Waltham Forest since January 2004.
“I was prompted to set up FAQs Unlimited after reading Anna Minton’s excellent and thought-provoking book, Ground Control: Fear and Happiness in the Twenty-First-Century City (Penguin). It seemed to me that the issues she raised were so pertinent to what was happening in my own home borough that it would be good to invite her to speak. With my early career in literature festivals, I had no hesitation in contacting Anna’s editor and I was delighted when Anna herself responded (positively) and the first FAQs Unlimited event was launched.
Apart from Ground Control, inspirational reading has been:: No Logo by Naomi Klein; The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama; Another World is Possible by John McDonnell MP; Democracy: Crisis and Renewal by Paul Ginsborg; Decency & Disorder 1789-1837 by Ben Wilson; House Music, The Oona King Diaries; London The Biography by Peter Ackroyd and A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr.”
Anna Minton is a writer and journalist. She has worked as a foreign correspondent, business reporter and social affairs writer and is the winner of five national journalism awards. After a decade in journalism, including a stint on The Financial Times, she began to focus on longer projects for think tanks and policy organisations. She is the author of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's Viewpoint on fear and distrust, a member of the writers' panel for the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) and an associate of the consultancy, The Placeteam. She is a frequent conference speaker and is invited to speak to a wide range of audiences, from art Bienales to policemen. She appears regularly on television and radio and is a contributor to The Guardian.
The idea for Ground Control emerged from a series of three agenda setting reports. The first focused on gated communities and ghettoes in the US, questioning to what extent these trends are emerging in the UK. The second, Northern Soul, looked at polarisation and culture in one British city, Newcastle, and the third, What Kind of World Are We Building? investigated the growing privatisation of public space.
Back to top
Eric Reynolds has been involved in numerous urban regeneration schemes since the early 1970s, many including the practical re-use of historic buildings. In 1972 he spearheaded the restoration of a derelict building in Clerkenwell as one of the country's first craft workshops; and in 1974 with two partners he started Camden Lock, now one of London's top tourist attractions. He has repeated this success at many other locations, notably Spitalfields Market in the City of London. He acts as a regeneration adviser across the country, is former Chairman of the London Safer Cities Initiative, and is a Director and Member of many other voluntary bodies. He sat on English Heritage's Working Group 5 inputting to the recent review Power of the Place: the Future of the Historic Environment, and recently worked with the same organisation advising on the potential re-use of historic buildings in Calcutta.
Eric brought Urban Space Management (USM) to Trinity Buoy Wharf after winning an LDDC development/management competition to develop a centre for arts and creative activity. This is where he pioneered Container CityTM, the idea of converting shipping containers into attractive, practical and affordable buildings with a wide variety uses, and continues to develop the concept, design and implementation of this novel form of construction.
Back to top