National Council

​National Council is the non-executive board of the Arts Council and holds overall responsibility for the governance of the organisation. It is also the leading advocate for the Arts Council and the work it does to promote art and culture in England.

National Council Members

Meet the members of the National Council

Find out more
A collection of neon signs, designed to look like balloon model dogs.
Neon Dogs by Deepa Mann Kler, produced by Artichoke. Photo © Chris Hill / Artichoke.

About the National Council

National Council is made up of 14 members, who are also charitable trustees. One of these members is the National Chair, Sir Peter Bazalgette; five members chair the area councils. Members are appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport. Council members are usually appointed for four years, and may be reappointed for a further term of four years.

Each member is appointed because of their special interest in, or experience of, the arts as practicing artists or art administrators; as senior academics; or as public or private sector executives.

National Council members are responsible for ensuring the achievement of the Arts Council’s objectives, which are to develop and improve the knowledge, understanding and practice of the arts, and to increase the accessibility of the arts to the public. They do this by deciding on policy and priorities, and investing money in artists and art organisations directly and through the area councils.

Read our National Council terms of reference

National Council meets 10 times a year. Its work is supplemented by standing committees that have different responsibilities and cover different aspects of the council’s work. Each standing committee answers to, and feeds directly back into the work of, National Council. 

The standing committees of National Council are as follows:

Performance and audit committee
Remuneration committee 

National Council expenses

In line with our policy of openness and transparency, we periodically publish details of National Council members’ expenses.

A woman in African dress reaches out across a stage in front of musicians.

National Council expenses

In line with our policy of openness and transparency, we periodically publish details of National Council members’ expenses.

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Image captions
Top left to bottom right: 1. Adverse Camber’s The Old Woman, the Buffalo and the Lion of Manding. Photo © Adverse Camber / Chris Webb Photography. 2. BINARYWaves, LAB[au] at Urban Lights Ruhr. Photo © Roman Mensing. 3. Subhash Viman. Photo © Subhash Viman. 4. Neon Dogs by Deepa Mann Kler, produced by Artichoke. Photo © Chris Hill / Artichoke. 5. Shailesh Bahoran and Sooraj Subramaniam of Shobana Jeyasingh Dance perform Material Men, commissioned by Southbank Centre. Photo © Chris Nash. 6. Newcastle City Library. Photo © Newcastle City Library / Mark Thurston / Steve Brock 7. David Glowacki's Hidden Fields. Photo © Paul Blakemore / Interactive Scientific Ltd 8. Reopening of Manchester Central Library, March 22nd 2014. Photo © Joel C. Fildes for Arts Council England.. 9. Jon Nash & Jim Crago, writers of Spice Box: a Barbican Theatre Plymouth production at The Elizabethan House. Photo © Gemma Ward Photographer / Barbican Theatre. 10. Hands. Photo © CP Photo Art / DigitalVision / Getty Images.