Manchester International Festival general director Simon Mellor is to become executive director, arts, at Arts Council England.
Mellor will replace Andrew Nairne, who left the ACE role in November to become the director of Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge. As executive director for arts, Mellor will lead work on the arts council’s current and future national arts strategy.
Before working at MIF for the past five years, Mellor has held positions at the Lyric Hammersmith, the Southbank Centre, Battersea Arts Centre and Pegasus Theatre in Oxford.
Alan Davey, chief executive of ACE, commented: “I’m delighted to welcome someone of Simon’s calibre and track record to the arts council. He has made the Manchester International Festival a force to be reckoned with across all art forms and did outstanding work as the executive director of the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. He’ll bring fresh ideas as we continue to make sure arts and culture remain at the heart of what we are as a country.”
Mellor said that he was proud of his work at MIF and “it was only the prospect of tackling such an exciting challenge that persuaded me to move”.
He will take up his new position in March and until then Barbara Matthews will continue to be acting executive director, arts. After Mellor joins ACE, Matthews will return to her post as director, theatre.