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Bazalgette to step down from Arts Council England in 2017

Arts Council England chair Peter Bazalgette

Peter Bazalgette has announced he will step down as chair of Arts Council England in 2017.

The former TV producer has been in the role since February 2013, [1] but has decided not to remain chair for a second term and will resign from his post on January 31, 2017.

During his time at ACE, Bazalgette vowed that the diversity of organisations in gender, ethnicity and disability would be closely monitored, and that those without adequate representation would risk losing their national portfolio funding.

He was also instrumental in lobbying the government on the importance of the arts ahead of the spending review, resulting in an extra £10 million in funding each year [2] for ACE as opposed to the 30% cut expected [3].

Announcing his resignation, he said: “Championing the arts and culture in this country at a time when public finances have been constrained has been a challenge, but one that I have enjoyed tremendously. And with another year to serve, there is still plenty to do.”

He continued: “I have been extremely proud of the work we’ve done making the case for investment in the arts and ensuring that investment benefits more places. The arts council is in a strong position to ensure our arts and culture continue to flourish.”

ACE chairs are appointed for terms of four years, and may remain for extra terms if they choose to stay.

Explaining his decision to leave the council, Bazalgette said there were “a number of opportunities in the creative industries” he would like to pursue “before I pop my clogs”.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport will name a new chair later this year, with recruitment expected to begin in the spring.

Culture secretary John Whittingdale said Bazalgette had done “a fantastic job leading Arts Council England over the past three years, and has brought real enthusiasm and expert knowledge”.

“He has made an invaluable contribution to the arts in this country and I would like to thank him for the incredible work he has done championing the sector,” Whittingdale added.

Alongside ACE chief executive Darren Henley, Bazalgette appeared at number five in The Stage 100 2016 [4].