Backstage at The Lowry: Jen Blundell, Assistant Accountant


Working at an arts venue has always been an ambition of mine ever since I worked for the Arts Council and became addicted to the creative environment. I have always loved visiting The Lowry since my (long gone) school days and it has far exceeded my expectations of a vibrant, exciting and stimulating work place. The people here are fantastic and the experience of being in a creative hub whilst simultaneously working in finance makes my job highly enjoyable.

I believe that you can be creative and have a deep love of the theatre and the arts and also be a number cruncher that is excited by balancing reconciliations. I am proof that the two are not mutually exclusive! I have worked in finance since graduating from Sheffield University (in English Literature) and sort of accidentally fell into this world of balance sheets and profit and loss. I love that I can combine my passion for the arts with my financial career.

My role here is Assistant Accountant and I am working towards my Management Accounting qualifications with CIMA. I help to compile the monthly management accounts to ensure that our finances are accurate, succinct and understandable.  Reliable financial data underpins the success of any organisation and I feel that the work our finance team does contributes to the success of The Lowry. I have  been with The Lowry for 6 months and it has been a steep learning curve but I can honestly say that I have enjoyed every minute. My day to day job can differ but finance certainly adheres to strict deadlines and I like the routine and structure of the department.

Whilst our work is office based we still reach out to all areas of the organisation and as such we try to have a wander around now and then! We have been known to stray from our spreadsheets occasionally and I love that I get to work with almost every department in some form or other. Whether it is through building spreadsheets for the Front of House team to record all merchandise sales figures or wandering around the building putting the morning tills out in the restaurant. As I see the financials of every department I need to gain a working understanding of every department and this has been challenging as everyone has their own unique ways of working and a different budget. I do like that I can sit down and learn about the intricacies of technical theatre as well as how the catering department is run though; I feel I am getting there slowly but surely!

I have always enjoyed the theatre and my particular highlights just over the past few months have been ‘Acelere Circolumbia’ when I was on the edge of my seat for most of the acrobatics, ‘The Girls’ with Gary Barlow and ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by Birmingham Royal Ballet. The combination of working in finance and getting the opportunity to see such fantastic theatre shows makes the Lowry a brilliant place to work.

Written by Jen Blundell.