English Heritage's First Female Chair is Appointed

Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw has announced the appointment of Baroness Kay Andrews as the new Chair of English Heritage.

Baroness Andrews was formerly Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government. Her appointment followed an open competition under full Nolan procedures earlier in the year, and will run for four years from 27 July 2009.

The Culture Minister said, "English Heritage plays a key role in so many of my department's programmes, and we greatly value its expertise and experience, and the important work it does to bring our historic environment alive for everyone. Kay Andrews was the unanimous choice of the independent panel that assessed all the applicants for the Chair, and takes on the chairmanship at an important time for the organisation.  Public interest in our history and heritage is really high at home, and looks set to captivate the huge numbers who will come to the UK in 2012.  There are exciting times ahead and she is wonderfully well-qualified to lead English Heritage through them.

"I must also thank Sir Barry Cunliffe who has been a most diligent interim Chairman since last September and I thank him warmly for stepping in to lead the organisation following Sandy Bruce Lockhart's death in August."

Baroness Andrews added, "I am delighted to be appointed the new Chair of English Heritage.  I am conscious that I do so following last year's tragic death of Sandy Bruce-Lockhart.  He was a great man and a wonderful champion of England's heritage.   It will be the greatest privilege for me to take up the baton and be directly involved in the protection and promotion of the historic environment all around us and under our feet.

"Living, as I do, in the middle of Lewes – one of our most beautiful towns - I appreciate, on a daily basis, the living history we see in our streets and downland landscapes.   But we hold our unique historic environment in trust not just for those who are lucky enough to live with it but also for those who come to marvel at it from all over the world.

"But the greatest responsibility we have is to enthuse the next generation so that they understand the significance of the historic environment for them.   As a child, I remember being taken to Cardiff Castle and the curiosity and enjoyment which has grown over the years stems from that early experience. I believe very strongly that inspiring and opening doors for children to enjoy and care for our historic places is one of the most important things English Heritage can do and I look forward to working with everyone there to ensure we achieve this".