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Starling Start Limited is a creative practice and consultancy with a focus on arts, place and collaboration. We initiate and develop strategic cultural research and creative placemaking projects. Our projects are always rooted in understanding place and creating positive change.


Starling Start has collaborated with and supported organisations and companies including: Galway Culture Company, Belfast City Council; Armagh City, Banbridge, Craigavon Borough Council; Department of Justice; Queen's University Belfast; Belfast Charitable Society; Strand Arts Centre; Studio idir; Haller Clarke; Translink; Royal Society of Ulster Architects; Linen Quarter Business Improvement District; and Positive Carrickfergus. 


Visit the Portfolio for a snapshot of recent projects. If you’d like to commission or collaborate with Starling Start, please get in touch by using the contact form below.

Who we are:


Starling Start is led by Amberlea Neely, a consultant and creative practitioner with unique expertise in arts and placemaking. Amberlea approaches projects with curiosity; questioning, listening and innovatingShe is a critical thinker with a wide and strategic skill set including research, writing, facilitation, mapping, evaluation, and problem solving. Amberlea has an extensive network due to 20 years’ experience in the sector. She holds an MSc in Cultural Management, a PgCert in Executive Leadership and a BA (Hons) in Fine Art.

Amberlea founded Starling Start in 2019. Previously she was Acting Director at non-profit PLACE, leading on developing cutting edge creative, intelligent and inclusive public engagement in the built environment in Northern Ireland. Amberlea is currently a Lecturing Associate on the MA Arts Management at Queen's University Belfast, and she is a panellist on the Irish Architecture Foundation’s Reimagine Placemaking initiative.  Amberlea was Chair of Northern Ireland’s largest visual arts festival, Belfast Photo Festival, and she was a founding Director of Platform Arts.

As Starling Start, Amberlea works with a diverse range of organisations, artists, architects, designers, educators, producers, and communities of practice. Current Associate Starlings include Jane Morrow and Dr Conor McCafferty.


Murmuration of Starlings backdrop by Rinky Design / Starling Start Logo by Betsy Bailie.

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