Thought Foundation


You know that feeling...when an idea makes your heart almost burst, but then...somehow each avenue you explore ends in a cul-de-sac of disappointment. You convince yourself that the time just isn't right. Right?

The idea for Thought Foundation was born over 15 years ago but after a number of near misses and false starts, it was kept carefully in a back pocket just in case things would ever change... Then one day the planets aligned, Leanne Pearce met Gareth Billinghurst and a vision shared meant that everything started to fall into place.

It has been a journey, a journey that has involved lots of hard work, commitment and the support and input of those who share the vision.

Thought Foundation is now a reality. A place where creative thought and play are nurtured. Where new skills are learned, and where you can eat, drink or buy things that enrich the experience and hopefully make your life better. Thought Foundation is a thoughtful arts and cultural space, to inspire, promote and support; a community interest company based in Birtley, Gateshead

The gang

Leanne founder and creative director

Is the painter and creative. Art is in her bones and according to her, colour does something immense to her insides. She wears a great big pair of imagination goggles and loves turning nothing into something. She is passionate about encouraging quality creatives to work in the Northeast.

Gareth director

With an unshakeable 'can do' attitude to life, Gareth is here to help mould the thoughts and amibitions of Thought Foundation. His background is in running an environmental organisation and he is passionate about recycling, upcycling, repurposing from the build through to the events and exhibitions. Artists fascinate him - their passion, energy, skills, creativity, their take on the world. He is hoping that our gallery will boost creativity in our region. Quality art is for all to enjoy.

Hayley creative director

As well as providing input and support based on her skills and experience, she likes nothing better than making new connections for the benefit of all! With a varied background in design management, business development, visual merchandising and interior design, Hayley has also lectured in events management and also has experience as working as a performer. She would love to see a closer connection between artists, businesses and the public and truly believes that we are all creative beings!

Amanda Director of Learning and Engagement

All of our Thought Foundation Directors have zealous energy, a creative mind and a thoughtful soul, Amanda is no different. She manages our LEARN education programme and brings a plethora of skills and experience, including 10 years of primary teaching. Her passions lie in developing creativity in people by delivering forward thinking and inspiring workshops.  This includes schemes of work for schools, educational institutes and charities. She absorbs creative energy from the artists we work with and the artwork we exhibit in order to give our participants new found confidence, a greater understanding of the art world and thinking like an artist.  


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