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Haythornthwaite replaces Hollick at Southbank Centre

Rick Haythornthwaite has been appointed as chairman of the Southbank Centre in succession to Lord Hollick.

"It is a great privilege to be taking on the chairmanship of Southbank Centre at this exciting and challenging time," says Rick Haythornthwaite.

"Together Clive Hollick and chief executive Michael Lynch have pulled off an extraordinary feat – reopening the Royal Festival Hall to universal acclaim, and demonstrating just what bold vision and leadership can achieve.

"The centre has been relaunched as a cultural destination, with a brilliant artistic vision, a commitment to learning, participation and reaching the broadest audiences, and a determination to make the most, both artistically and commercially, of its unique 21-acre site and enviable central London location.

"To deliver simultaneously on all these fronts, the organisation and finances have been enormously stretched. My priority is to create the stable environment necessary to support the innovation and excellence of Jude Kelly and her team's artistic programme, while putting the overall funding on a sustainable footing.

"Southbank Centre is not only an extremely important heritage site and a major player on the world cultural stage, but also part of the vibrant plans for London in 2012. So, we will be building momentum as we head towards the Olympics and taking a leadership role in the development of the South Bank Cultural Quarter."

Haythornthwaite is currently partner of the private equity firm Star Capital Partners and Non-Executive Chairman of Mastercard Inc.

In the arts world he is currently chairman of the Almeida Theatre and chair of Tate's Corporate Advisory Group and a member of the British Council's board.

"I very much welcome Rick to the South Bank," says Lord Hollick who is retiring after six years as chair of the arts complex.

"His success in business and the arts makes him an ideal leader for the next exciting chapter in the Southbank Centre story."

One of Haythornthwaite's first tasks as chairman will be to oversee the recruitment of a new chief executive. Last year Michael Lynch announced his intention to leave the post at the end of 2008.

• The South Bank Board is the governing body for Southbank Centre. The chairman and governors of the board are appointed by the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport after consultation with Arts Council England.

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