I founded Catherine Holden Consulting in 2016, after a career in leadership roles with inspiring national cultural organisations. I wanted to be flexible and mobile, to share what I've learnt with a wide range of organisations in the UK and beyond, and to support creative organisations and people on a mission.


My practice includes strategic consultancy, coaching and facilitation.

I focus on brands, marketing, fundraising and organisational development: governance, leadership, team work and individual potential.

As a consultant, director, chair and trustee I have worked with museums, galleries, festivals, visual and performing arts organisations, heritage and membership bodies, sector development agencies and leadership networks. I also help smaller businesses to make their mark. These commissions range from short one-off projects to client relationships lasting years.

I am based outside Edinburgh, and work across the UK and beyond. During my career, work has taken me to the US and Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Russia, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Italy and Germany.

Before consultancy 

I have 25+ years experience in full-time roles:

  • Director of External Relations at National Museums Scotland for 12 years

  • Head of Communications at the Natural History Museum for 3 years

  • Head of Marketing at Tate for 7 years

  • Marketing Manager at the National Theatre for 4 years

For details see In-house Leadership

Before work

I was born in Lancashire, raised in Worcestershire and attended the local comp - a good state school whose democratic ethos and supportive teachers are never forgotten. I won a scholarship to read English at Oxford University, choosing Lady Margaret Hall, a pioneering college in beautiful gardens (LMH first opened Oxford up to women, and 100 years later offered a rare student gender balance). I gained a First Class degree, and converted this to an MA (Oxon) in 2019.


Beyond work

I'm a city girl who's found home in the moorland hills of the Scottish Borders, living in an old farmhouse with my partner and weirdly no dog. I like travelling, reading, riding, writing, cooking, Radio 4, urban walking, culture vulturing, and visiting exhibitions and theatre with friends. I'm currently channelling my teens, re-learning the piano (clanky/joyful) and e-biking (wobbly/exhilarating), but I've yet to revisit those space hopper glory days.


If you'd like to discuss a project or idea, I'd love to hear about it - give me a call or drop me an email.