- Date: 23 March 2012
- Region: National
Jeremy Hunt, Secretary of State for Culture announced today that he will not reappoint Dame Liz Forgan as Chair, Arts Council England when her term ends in January 2013.
Liz Forgan became the first female Chair of the Arts Council in February 2009; she was previously Chair of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund. In a statement released today she said:
'I’m proud of the way the Arts Council has coped with the cut to our budget by setting out a bold 10-year strategic framework and a reformed and transparent process of grant-making in order to ensure the right decisions were made. It is also significant that at the same time the Arts Council’s remit expanded to include regional museums, libraries and cultural education – showing government’s confidence in the Arts Council.
'Thank you all for making the past three years such a time of creative excitement and ambition despite the challenges.
'The arts in England are repaying handsomely the investment that successive governments have made and I don’t believe there is a country in Europe with a more vibrant and creative cultural sector or one where the spirit of innovation is more alive.'
Responding to the news, Alan Davey, Chief Executive, Arts Council England said:
‘Liz has been an outstanding Chair and will be much missed. I have valued her passion, insight and strong leadership as we worked together through challenging times to deliver a sustainable future for the arts in England and to maintain their world standing.
‘When Liz departs at the end of her four-year term in January, she will leave behind a transformed Arts Council – one whose greater transparency and efficiency has been recognised in its being entrusted with a wider remit that includes museums, libraries and cultural education alongside the arts. And that is due, in no small part, to her stewardship.
‘I am pleased that Liz will remain with us through this important Olympic year, when many of the investments she and her Council endorsed will come to fruition in the Cultural Olympiad – a once in a lifetime nationwide showcase of English artistic talent. It seems fitting to end her tenure on such a celebration of the artistic excellence Liz has been instrumental in safeguarding and developing.’