Ben Higham Consulting


Strategic Planning
Project Development

Ben Higham

Building on a long and distinguished career in community music education in the third sector Ben Higham is now a consultant specialising in strategic planning and organisational development in the voluntary, social enterprise and SME sectors. Ben’s business experience spans the commercial and not-for profit sectors and informs his expertise in the management areas of strategy, operations, finances and personnel.

In 1985 Ben founded Community Music East Ltd. (CME), a community-based education organisation, charity and social enterprise of which he was the Director until December 2009. During this period in addition to operational viability his main interests were in the development of community music practice and curriculum development and implementation for the training of community music tutors, music teachers and other professional musicians involved in teaching. The reason for these interests was to address the issues of intent, benefit and quality in community education work and to secure the resources and support that enabled CME to develop effective programmes of work that truly benefit those who participate in them. He has presented papers on community music practice issues at international conferences around the world. Prior to this role he was a partner in an international furniture transport company for 8 years.

Since 2011 Ben has been chair of The Sue Lambert Trust (formerly SeVA), a long-established charity and emerging social enterprise that supports the victims of rape and sexual abuse in Norfolk. From 2006 – 2014 he was a board member of Social Enterprise East of England Ltd. (SEEE), the organisation charged with developing the environment for social enterprise in the region, and SEEE’s chair from 2006-2013. Previous board positions have included Sound Sense (1991-2001) and Eastern Jazz Ltd. (1987-1990). He was Chair of the Musician’s Union Norwich Branch from 1990 to 2002 and was elected as an eastern regional delegate to National Conference 5 times. He was also a member of the Jazz Services National Education Advisory Panel until its recent demise.

Ben has an MA in Applied Research in Education (1994), is a graduate of the Common Purpose Matrix Programme Norfolk (2001), was a participant on the LEADEast Regional Leadership Development Programme (2005), and the Social Enterprise Executive Development Programme (2009-11). He is an Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) accredited business adviser and social enterprise adviser through the Small Firms Enterprise Development Initiative (SFEDI) and, in early 2011, he completed the EEDA-funded High Growth Business Coach Development Programme.

Ben has sat on advisory panels for national foundations and the Arts Council of England (ACE), as well as a range of county and regional level consultation groups., and has been a visiting tutor on the MA in Managing Creative Enterprise at the Norwich University College of the Arts. He is a fellow of the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA).

Ben is a classically trained musician who for the last thirty-five years has worked as a professional performer in the fields of improvised, jazz and popular contemporary musics. He is also a composer in these fields including music for video and theatre. He is, at last, increasingly active in these fields of activity.