Skip to main content


Arts Council England announces new Area Council appointments

20 September 2013

Arts Council England has today announced appointments to the five Area Councils that were created following an organisational restructure in July 2013.

Arts Council England has today announced appointments to the five Area Councils that were created following an organisational restructure in July 2013.

Sheila Healy, Chair of the South West Area Council, is joined by 14 appointments, including:

  • Julien Boast
  • Terence O’Rourke
  • Cllr Dave Butt
  • Cllr Simon Cook
  • Jaswinder Singh
  • Cllr Stuart Wheeler
  • Jon Adams
  • Claire Hodgson
  • Verena Cornwell
  • Pippa Jones
  • Kate Wood
  • Matthew Tanner
  • Cllr Rosie Denham
  • Cllr Matt Tucker

Following the Arts Council’s decision to move from nine regions to five areas, David Norgrove was commissioned to review the Arts Council’s non-executive governance, including both national and regional councils. In line with the recommendations made by The Norgrove Report, five new area councils have been created. The new appointments bring to a close the Arts Council’s transition from nine regions to five areas.

The five Area Councils cover:

Please click on the links above for a full list of membership

The Area Councils will help ensure that the Arts Council spends public money against agreed strategy and in a way that the public can see, understand and support the investment. Hand-in-hand with this, members will also advocate for the arts, culture and the Arts Council within their area.

The Area Councils will also provide an important forum for artists, organisations and other stakeholders to ensure their views are heard in the formulation of Arts Council strategy and to share Arts Council England’s thinking with the sector.

In addition to providing support and governance on an area level, each of the Area Councils will offer advice to National Council in terms of ‘on-the-ground’ knowledge of locally and nationally significant issues.

The new Area Councils will meet at regular intervals throughout the year to fulfil their role. Throughout their tenure, the Area Councils will provide advice on long-term strategy and monitor progress, assess the impact of funding decisions and evaluate the challenges and opportunities for artist and organisations in their area.

Each area council will have 15 members with the Chair also a member of our National Council. Even though some of the area councils have still to recruit individual members, this process is underway and all five area councils are quorate and have commenced their tenure.

The five Area Chairs are:

Joe Docherty (North)
Peter Phillips (Midlands)
Jon Cook (South East)
Sheila Healy (South West)
Veronica Wadley (London)

Notes to editors

The Norgrove Report

The Arts Council’s recent major organisational restructure meant that we needed to assess the structure of our non-executive governance, and also provided us with an opportunity to assess how we could improve its effectiveness. David Norgrove was appointed to undertake this review in May 2012.

David Norgrove was asked to review the size and the knowledge and expertise needed on the Arts Council governing body – its National Council, as well as how regional councils operated in their own capacity and with National Council.

The key recommendations to our Councils’ structure were:

  • the number of members on National Council was reduced from 17 to 14
  • five area councils replaced nine regional councils

Contact information

Amy Solis
Amy Solis
Job Title
Arts Council England
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2010 and 2015, we will invest £1.9 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1.1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.