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Culture Company appoints Cultural Advisor

he Executive Group of the Liverpool Culture Company today confirmed a number of changes to the structure of the Culture Company Board and also announced a senior appointment.

Michael Elliott is to join the Culture Company as Cultural Advisor on a part-time secondment from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, where he has been Chief Executive since 2001. He will take up his role on November 7th.

Michael will work with the Culture Company Chief Executive, Jason Harborow, and the creative team to advise on the Culture Company’s planning and its relationship with the cultural organisations and practitioners in Liverpool and build on the already close links with the DCMS and Arts Council England. He will also work closely with the Chief Executive in assessing the artistic and cultural structure required to manage the future development of the 2008 programme, its communication and delivery. He will be a member of the Strategic Steering Group, Directors’ Management Group and act as an advisor to the Board.

Michael is a former Chief Executive of the Heart of England Tourist Board and from 1989 until 1996, he was Chief Executive of West Midlands Arts, the Regional Arts Board for the West Midlands. He has advised successive governments on cultural policy and the creation of national and regional structures in both arts and tourism.

On his new role as Cultural Advisor to the Culture Company, Michael said: “I am delighted to have been invited to assist the Liverpool Culture Company by providing advice and support to Jason Harborow and his team. I look forward to playing a key role in the planning for 2008 and in supporting the on-going relationships with key stakeholders in the City and nationally, as we prepare to deliver a successful year as European Capital of Culture in 2008.”

Jason Harborow, chief executive of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: “It’s great news for European Capital of Culture that Michael is assisting us. He will advise the already strong team we have in place, working closely with our partners at a local and national level on developing a memorable 2008.”

Councillor Warren Bradley, leader of Liverpool City Council and deputy-chair of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: “As a Board member at the Phil, I’m delighted that Michael has agreed to take on this role at an important time for the Culture Company and for the city. The collaboration of all the cultural organisations in Liverpool is what will make European Capital of Culture uniquely special.”

Roger Lewis, chairman of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic added: “Michael is an outstanding Chief Executive whose contribution in steering the Phil’s recovery and growth has been immense. It is a testament to his abilities that the Phil should be invited to support the Liverpool Culture Company through the loan of his expertise. Michael remains our Chief Executive and we will implement internal support arrangements that will underpin our on-going success and achievements.”

After the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Liverpool City Council, the Culture Company Board is to be reduced in size to a maximum of 14 directors, including three council representatives, and meeting quarterly. There will also be a small Operational Board, replacing the current Executive Group, which will meet approximately every six weeks to drive the Company’s activities forward.

An Advisory Group is being established to create a wider stakeholder group of key representatives, funding partners and other organisations who are not members of the Board. This group will meet twice a year to allow the Board to draw on the extensive field of expertise available.

Professor Drummond Bone, Chairman of the Liverpool Culture Company, said: “The appointment of Michael together with the structural changes that the Executive Group have set out today will provide a renewed focus for our strategic direction as we move ever closer to 2008. The new Board structure will allow for more efficient decision-making processes while at the same time ensuring that the Culture Company taps into the experience and expertise of as wide a group of people as possible.”

Proposed personnel changes to the existing Board will be considered further at the next meeting of the Liverpool Culture Company Board on November 29th.