Arts Council England is streamlining its National Council to reflect new regional structures and strategic priorities.
The Arts Council (ACE) is to reduce the number of people serving on its National Council, in order to ‘streamline decision making.’ The funding body is responding to the recommendations of a report, commissioned by ex-Chair Dame Liz Forgan and carried out by former Chairman of the British Musuem, David Norgrave, which says steps need to be taken to improve efficiency and to balance the knowledge and skills of those sitting on the ACE boards. 14 people will now sit on the National Council instead of the current 17; with six members due to retire in 2013, only four will be replaced by new recruits, with expertise in museums, education, fundraising and digital media. They will be appointed before ACE’s new organisational structure is implemented in July this year. This change is made in line with the previously announced re-structuring into five ‘areas’ rather than the current nine ‘regions’, and the new Area Chairs will sit on the National Council like their current regional counterparts. Area Councils, though accountable for bigger constituencies, will continue with the tasks completed by the existing regions: advocating for the arts in their area, deciding on local Portfolio Organisation grants below a certain threshold, monitoring projects in their areas and assessing the local impact of Arts Council decisions.