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The Arts Council announces changes to national and regional councils

  • Date: 22 April 2013
  • Area: National

The Arts Council will be making changes to the national and regional councils following an independent review of its non-executive governance undertaken by David Norgrove.

The key changes are:

  • National Council will be reduced from 17 members to 14 in order to streamline decision-making
  • in line with the changes to the Arts Council’s structure, which will come into operation in July 2013, five area councils will replace the current nine regional councils

Arts Council England has also accepted recommendations from the report in order to improve the efficiency of the national and regional councils, and to consider the balance of skills and knowledge needed on them. In consultation with the Secretary of State, it has been agreed that:

The Norgrove report was commissioned by the Arts Council’s previous Chair, Dame Liz Forgan, and is published alongside a response to the report from our current Chair, Peter Bazalgette, who said:

‘The restructuring of the Arts Council has given us a valuable opportunity to reflect on our non-executive governance. We want a governance that supports us in our goal of achieving excellent and exciting art, but also reflects our new priorities. David Norgrove’s recommendations help us to do this.’

National and area councils

The appointment of the new National Council members will take place in the coming months, with the changes being implemented in time for the new organisation structure which comes into operation in July 2013.

Further information about the recruitment process to the National Council can be found on the Cabinet Office website.

The change from regional to area councils is in line with the geographical changes from regions to areas in the Arts Council’s new structure. There will be one Area council for each of the following areas:

  • London
  • South West
  • South East
  • Midlands
  • North

The role of the new Area councils will be similar to the existing regional councils - in summary to:

  • provide advice on the long-term strategy of the Arts Council
  • decide on National portfolio organisation grants in their regions below a certain threshold
  • monitor progress on the delivery of area plans
  • monitor the impact of the Arts Council’s funding decisions and other opportunities and challenges on artists and cultural organisations in their area
  • advocate for the arts, culture and the Arts Council in the area

Area council Chairs

The Area council Chairs have been appointed:

  • Veronica Wadley - London
  • Sheila Healy - South West
  • Jon Cook - South East
  • Peter Philips - Midlands
  • Joe Docherty - North