Arts and culture chair appointed - The Solihull Observer

Arts and culture chair appointed

Solihull Editorial 1st Apr, 2023   0

A LEADING figure in arts and culture has been appointed as the new chair of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s (WMCA) Cultural Leadership Board.

Skinder Hunda, the global director of arts at the British Council, has been tasked to drive forward the region’s vibrant cultural sector, which directly supports more than 24,000 jobs and has an economic footprint of £1.1billion.

Previously Skinder has verseen major cultural programmes such as the Golden Lion-winning British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2022 and has spoken for the sector at major events such as the Davos World Economic Forum.

A delighted Skinder said: “The West Midlands has such a rich cultural and artistic heritage, and we now have an opportunity to build on the major cultural events which showcased our world-class cultural offer nationally and internationally.

“The recent devolution deal with the Government and the Commonwealth Games Legacy Fund all provide opportunities to harness key opportunities for the region and our cultural sector.

This is a key moment for the WMCA and the Cultural Leadership Board, given a total of £4.1million has just been allocated from the underspend of the Birmingham 2020 Commonwealth Games to deliver a regional culture and heritage legacy programme.

In addition a new formal partnership with the likes of Arts Council England, Historic England, Sport England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, the National Lottery Community Fund and Visit Britain was announced as part of the WMCA’s Deeper Devolution Deal.

This will see the development of a regional culture and heritage framework to support the region’s cultural sector, and to ensure more people have opportunities to take part in arts and heritage activities.

West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, said: “It’s great news that Skinder will lead our Cultural Leadership Board given his reputation and experience within our region’s rich and diverse cultural sector – as well as nationally and indeed internationally.

“Cultural Leadership Board members have made a significant contribution as the sector continues its post pandemic recovery and have helped to ensure the influence of arts, culture and heritage is felt across other areas falling within the WMCA remit such as skills, transport and housing.”

The WMCA established the Cultural Leadership Board in 2020 to bring together professionals working in the different parts of the cultural sector to help the WMCA place culture and heritage at the heart of sustainable and inclusive growth in the region, and to enhance quality of life for local people.

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