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Interim Chair appointed to the Creative Scotland Board

Published: 26 Jul 2017

Ben Thomson

Creative Scotland announces today the appointment of Ben Thomson as Interim Chair. This follows the sad news of the death of Richard Findlay CBE, who served as Creative Scotland Chair from January 2015 until July 2017. Ben will take up the role of Chair on 26 July for six months while the Scottish Government undertake a recruitment process for a permanent Chair.

Ben has recently completed eight highly successful years as Chair of the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS), caring for and displaying the national collection of Scottish and international art across its galleries, as well as delivering a broad reaching programme of activities, exhibitions, education and publication, with the aim of reaching the broadest possible audience.

He has held a wide range of directorships and senior positions over the course of the past thirty years in both the public and private sectors. He does not hold any other ministerial appointments.

Scotland’s creativity is central to our identity, our relationships and how we present ourselves to the world- Ben Thomson

Ben Thomson, Interim Chair of Creative Scotland said: "Firstly, I want to recognise Richard Findlay’s stewardship of Creative Scotland over the past two years and his immeasurable contribution to the cultural life of Scotland throughout his career. His death is a sad loss to Scotland and he will be profoundly missed.

I have worked closely with Creative Scotland during my time as Chair of NGS and seen the tremendous amount that the organisation has achieved through its support for Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries. I look forward to working with the Board, with everyone at Creative Scotland, with Government and with the culture sector more broadly at this pivotal time.

Scotland’s creativity is central to our identity, our relationships and how we present ourselves to the world. Through culture, creativity shapes the ideas, philosophies, inspiration and ethics of the society we live in. Creative businesses are a vital part of ensuring we adapt to a changing global environment and deliver a thriving economy for the next generation. I strongly believe that investment in culture should not be seen as a luxury or an added extra but at the heart of how we sustain ourselves and grow as a nation.”

Janet Archer, Creative Scotland Chief Executive said: "Ben Thomson is a very welcome appointment as our Interim Chair and him taking up the role in the light of the sad passing of Richard Findlay, is greatly appreciated. Ben brings with him extensive experience of, and passion for, culture in Scotland balanced with high levels of economic and business knowledge.

His commitment and experience, alongside that held by the rest of our Board, will help us navigate our main areas of focus over the next few months including important decisions on the next round of Regular Funding and finalising plans for a dedicated Screen Unit based within Creative Scotland.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs said: “I welcome Ben Thomson’s appointment as the Chair of Creative Scotland. He brings a wealth of cultural experience and business acumen to this post, including from his time as Chair of the National Galleries of Scotland and the Edinburgh Science Festival.

I am pleased he has agreed to take on this new role on an interim basis for the next six months while a permanent Chair is recruited.”

Mr Thomson’s first engagement as Interim Chair will be at the Creative Scotland Board meeting on 27 July in Edinburgh.

Contact: Kenneth Fowler, Director of Communications, Creative Scotland

T: 07970 557 960 | E: kenneth.fowler@creativescotland.com