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Kate Willard announced as new Chair of Arts Council North

The Arts Council has appointed Kate Willard as Chair of its North Area Council following the departure of Joe Docherty whose term expires on 30 November.

Kate Willard is currently Head of Corporate Projects at the Carlisle-based Stobart Group. With a background in culture and creativity, Kate has worked as an independent regeneration expert with the European Commission and established the first UK Hungarian cultural partnership trust, Brouhaha Magyarország. She was also CEO of the UK’s first rural regeneration company, Rural Regeneration Cumbria, and is a Trustee of Liverpool Playhouse and Everyman Theatres.

Kate Willard said “I am completely made up to be joining the Arts Council as Chair of the North Area Council. I am passionately committed to ensuring that our rich, varied, vibrant and unique cultural assets are given the right support to flourish. And to then to stay strong. I believe in bravery in the face of economic fragility and the rights of each of our different and beautiful communities to play a proper role in owning, championing and being part of the arts and our collective creative futures.”

Our Area and National Councils ensure the Arts Council invests public money effectively and play a crucial role in local and national decision-making. Our North Area Council includes people with long experience of working professionally in the arts across the whole of the North. Their expertise and grassroots knowledge of local developments and issues will be especially important as we start work on the Arts Council’s next ten-year strategy. More information about the members of the North Area Council can be found here.

Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North, Arts Council England commented “I’m delighted that Kate Willard has been appointed as Chair of our North Area Council. Our Area Council fulfils a hugely important role as part of the Arts Council’s goal to enable everyone to experience and take part in great arts and culture wherever they live. Kate brings a business perspective and has a wealth of experience in the cultural sector, particularly in the North, and I’m looking forward to working with her and gaining her insights into how we can continue to ensure that arts and culture is available to everyone in the North.”

The Arts Council is also annoucing two other Area Council Chairs and seven new National Council members. The new National Council members include Michael Eakin, Chief Executive of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.