Prominent Labour peer Lord Hollick was today named as the new chairman of the South Bank Centre.
Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell today announced the appointment of Lord Hollick as the new Chairman of the South Bank Board. He succeeds Elliott Bernerd, who resigned last month due to ill health.
Hollick is best known as chief executive of Blackfriars Road-based United Business Media plc, an international business information group with major publishing, news distribution and market research businesses in the UK, US, Europe and Asia. Until 2000 the company was known as United News and Media and its media interests included Express Newspapers and a number of regional ITV companies.
Tessa Jowell said: "The South Bank Centre has the potential to be the best cultural centre in the world, with world-class architecture, providing a varied programme of arts and film for a local, national and international audience. It should also be a model for culture-led urban regeneration, in common with the wider South Bank, from the London Eye and National Theatre to Shakespeare's Globe and Tate Modern, providing a cultural hub which will attract tourists from all over the world.
"The range and quality of the arts at the South Bank Centre stands comparison with the very best anywhere. But the artists, audiences and wider public are poorly served by the buildings, public spaces and infrastructure which have deteriorated over the last half century. "Realising the potential of the site remains a major challenge. Rick Mather's masterplan was rightly commended for its vision, and some welcome progress has been made over the last two years, but as with its predecessors, progress has been limited by planning and funding difficulties and the absence of a consensus on the way forward among the South Bank Centre's many stakeholders. The Government fully supports the redevelopment of the South Bank Centre site and will work with the Board and other stakeholders to identify and deliver the necessary improvements.
"I have appointed Clive Hollick as Chairman of the South Bank Board as I believe he has the skills and qualities that will be required to lead the organisation effectively, secure the success of the development and deliver an outcome of which the nation can be proud. His extensive record of success in the public and private sectors is testament to his ability, and his combination of business expertise, strategic vision and focus on delivery will be of enormous value to the South Bank Centre and its stakeholders.
"His first priority will be to appoint a new Chief Executive. I have asked him to report to me within three months of the Chief Executive taking up post on his plans for completing the development and reinforcing the artistic programme through a focus on excellence, education and broadening public access."
Lord Hollick said: " I am thrilled to be appointed Chairman of the South Bank Board. I admire the range and high quality of its work, its commitment to education and its success in appealing to a broad audience.
"The South Bank needs substantial investment. The first priority is to renovate and modernise the Royal Festival Hall.
"The Board and our key partners must then move quickly to provide great new buildings to fulfil the vision of the South Bank as a world class arts and entertainment centre for all, in the heart of London."
The South Bank Board is the governing body for the South Bank Centre. The Chairman and Governors of the Board are appointed by the Culture Secretary, having consulted the Arts Council. The other Governors are Maya Even (Vice-Chairman), Edward Walker-Arnott (Vice-Chairman), Elliott Bernerd, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Deborah Bull, Sir George Christie, Robert Devereux, Gilbert Kaplan, Joanna Lumley, Robert Saxton, Alan Smith, Marina Vaizey, Nigel Walmsley and Alan Yentob.
The appointment is for a term of three years. The Chairmanship is a non-executive, unpaid position.