Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Policy

We hope that the art we create represents & connects with everybody

Our ambition is to:

  • Make outstanding creative work, that reflects the UK in all its diversity
  • Be an open, accessible, welcoming, respectful and inclusive company where everyone is treated fairly


We are committed to equity, diversity and inclusion in our work: the stories we reflect, who we employ, how we work together, who we meet as participants and audiences and how we engage with them.

We are an arts organisation that creates life-affirming experiences, made in North Devon and shared nationally and internationally. Our shows and events are widely accessible – they are usually presented for free and in public spaces where everyone is invited to congregate. However, just because they are invited, this doesn’t mean that everyone feels welcome. We can go further to excite and enable people who face barriers, to join us.

Our work relies on us creating a fair, diverse, inspiring and trusted environment. We believe that diversity is a benefit and will seek wherever possible to open up opportunities for artists and other collaborators to work with us, who are marginalised.


We subscribe to the Equalities Act 2010 and will ensure that our activities, governance and management practices do not discriminate, directly or indirectly, against any individual on grounds of: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation. We will connect with organisations as partners that share this commitment.

We understand that discrimination can also exist because of employment status, health, caring responsibilities, socio-economic status and criminal convictions. We believe that everyone has the right to be treated with respect and with equal access to opportunity. We have selection protocols with the aim to mitigate any unconscious bias that we may have. We aim to undertake regular training and to review and update this policy when necessary.

1. Direct Discrimination is treatment that involves a conscious motive to discriminate. It consists of treating someone less favourably in the same circumstances because of, for example, their disability. Discrimination on the grounds of disability, race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief or marital status is against the law.

2. Indirect Discrimination means applying a condition or requirement that adversely affects one particular group considerably more than others, and cannot be strictly justified in terms of requirements for performing the job.

3. Harassment includes unreciprocated and unwelcome comments, looks, actions, materials, suggestions or physical contact that is found objectionable and/or offensive and may create an intimidating working environment.

4. Victimisation is unlawful in relation to the Sex Discrimination Act, Race Relations Act and Equal Pay Act. This means that a person may not be treated less favourably than others because they have taken action relating to the Acts e.g. have given evidence in a case.


We strive to ensure full accessibility for all of our activities and services. Where needed, we use accessible spaces for meetings and rehearsals and provide additional facilities such as interpreters.

The timing of meetings, events and activities are considered in relation to the potential attendees to ensure that people with family, care or other commitments are not disadvantaged. We consider providing travel costs wherever possible.

Red Herring Productions’ curation and casting will seek to reflect the diversity of contemporary Britain and the specific communities that it serves. The company will consider, audition and cast actors with regard to equal opportunities, according to the artistic and technical requirements of the production. The company will seek to become familiar with the work of local artists and encourage their participation in training, interviews and auditions.

Event locations and travel to these events are assessed for a wide range of access needs, including Visually Impaired People, d/Deaf, physically disabled, and neurodivergent people. Where possible arrangements will be made for sign interpretation and captioning, as well as Guide dogs being permitted.

Locations must be fully accessible for people using wheelchairs and have or be close to special access toilet facilities. If landscape locations are not fully accessible, alternative arrangements for people using wheelchairs must ensure that their experience is of equal quality or better and not result in these people feeling marginalised.

We have a duty to engage a diverse community in our audiences and we strive towards best practice with our marketing and publicity, including printed materials and our website. For ticketed events we include concession rates for young people, students, senior citizens, and the unwaged and offer free tickets, wherever possible. When recruiting participants, we will actively seek to engage a widely diverse group of people to take part.


This policy applies to all company members, whether full-time, part-time or fixed-term contract employees, artists and managers engaged on a self-employed basis for projects and volunteers.

Red Herring performers and anyone associated with the Company has a responsibility to work to implement the policy and the Directors will be answerable for its implementation.


Planning for Stepping Out 2024 will feature a more conscious effort to recruit a broader diversity of artistic talent, including artists representing the Global Majority, d/Deaf and disabled artists.

We will ensure that Stepping Out 2024 features a comprehensive access assessment for event locations and performances, with information and support clearly signposted and shared more conscientiously with potential audiences.

We wish to embed the Seven Inclusive Principles as part of our work and acknowledge that we need to better understand the impact of systemic ableism and change our culture and ways of working. We can go further with communications, including that publicity is fully accessible and that alternative formats are available.

We will undertake anti-racism training while also investing in new resources on being an ally – someone who is not a member of a marginalised group but wants to support that group, and challenging discrimination for all newly recruited employees and freelancers.

We will be proactive with Partner organisations, asking to view their Equality, Diversity and Justice Policy or Statement or ask them to agree to act in accordance with ours.

Updated October 2023